Sutil justifies decision to keep him in team: Mallya

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{image-adrian sutil_28052008.jpg}New Delhi, May 28: As Kimi Raikkonen wrecked Adrian Sutil's spectacular effort at the Monaco Grand Prix, a heartbroken Force India team owner Vijay Mallya said the driver has answered his critics in a fitting way and added that the team still has a lot of positives to draw from the race.

''We were obviously shattered. We were so looking forward to a spectacular result, which was not to be but we need to take away the positives.
''Adrian Sutil has a lot of ability and talent, and we're glad and proud to have him in our team. Some people started questioning my decision to keep him when he didn't finish a few races at the start of the season, but I think he has more than redeemed himself,'' Mallya asserted.
Earlier, Sutil showed great control in the changeable wet-dry conditions and was running fourth at one stage in race.

With just seven minutes to go, Sutil looked certain to pocket four championship points when Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen rammed into the back of the VJM01 car he was driving which put an end to what could have been a dream finish for the Force India driver.

Mallya claimed that gradually the strategies of the team have started working out well and the result was just an evidence of how unpredictable the sport is.

''I think our strategy and our whole team came together. The race strategy was right, the set-up was right, and to see a Force India car running fourth in Monaco was a great pleasure while it lasted.

''We were seven minutes from home. It was unfortunate, but I guess that's what racing is all about. I can't say that I'm not feeling sad, because I am, but we'll get over it, and we'll take away a lot of positives,'' Mallya said.

Mallya, however, said he had nothing against Raikkonen as the Ferrari driver is too experienced to do anything like that intentionally.

''We warned Adrian on the radio that you have Raikkonen right behind you on your tail. And of course we didn't want him to get pressured and do anything stupid, because if he wasn't fourth he would have still finished fifth and that in itself would have been a huge accomplishment.

''But you know what happened, Kimi just rear ended him. It wasn't as if it was an overtaking manoeuvre, something drastic must have happened, because you wouldn't expect a World Champion to run into somebody,'' he said.

Mallya went on to say that the moment was so emotionally for him that he was almost in tears but assserted that his team has shown great improvements in recent times.

''I was in tears, and so were many of us actually! I've had quite a lot of SMS messages and phone calls from supporters in India, all of whom are I think highly emotional. But such things happen in racing, that's what I've been telling everyone. F1 wouldn't be F1 if it wasn't as unpredictable as it is.

''It was a great weekend for us, and what better than to have demonstrated the improvement in this team as we did,'' Mallya noted.

With Canada as the next Formula 1 destination, race that often features rain and safety cars, Mallya said his team doesn't want to base its earning points on exceptional circumstances.

''The team's got to be good and competitive, and that's what we're driving for, and everyone's doing their best to make that happen. I just hope that some of these efforts get rewarded soon,'' he concluded.


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