Date: 20th March 2013 at 9:01am
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If Adrian Sutil wanted to make an impact on his return to Formula One then he achieved his goal.

Sutil has been away from the sport for the past year after losing his Force India drive to Nico Hulkenberg.

The decision by the team was made purely on sporting reasons, with Hulkenberg proving to be one of the best up-and-coming young drivers on the grid.

But Sutil wasn’t helped by being found guilty of assaulting Lotus team co-owner Eric Lux following the 2011 Formula One Chinese Grand Prix.

Lux received neck injuries during the fight and while Sutil pleaded that he never intended to hurt Lux he was given an 18-month suspended sentence by the court and was fined 200,000 euros, which was reportedly set to be given to charity.

It looked like his career was in tatters, but following Hulkenberg’s decision to leave the team for Sauber, Sutil earned back his old drive and qualified 12th, not bad for someone who had been away for a year.

But the best was yet to come.

The German 31-year-old ended up leading a race for the first time in his Formula One career, something he wasn’t expecting on his first outing back at Force India.

‘I wasn’t expecting that. I came back to do better and it’s a great feeling to be straight up there, I was the first runner on mediums and I knew the first ten were going to pit very early, I was expecting to be near the front. Probably not P1 but I was expecting a certain kind of scenario. Sutil told Sky Sports.

Of course due to being on the opposite tyre strategy to everyone else Sutil eventually dropped back down through the field when it was his turn to use the Pirelli super-soft tyres.

But he held on to seventh place, something that he was extremely pleased with, especially the pace that his car showed throughout the race.

‘I knew I was going to lose a few places because I was on the opposite strategy. Nevertheless, seventh position for the first race, it’s showed what’s possible and is a sign that you should never give up and always believe that everything is possible.’

‘I was amazed that we could actually be competitive at the front. I gained my first position back after the first pit stop so the pace was really there. I could pull away from Vettel when he was running too close behind me, maybe he destroyed his tyres, The pace was just there and that was great to see.’


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