Adrian Sutil has shown flashes of talent in his two seasons of Formula One so far, but needs to consistently produce his best form in 2009 to guarantee his long-term future - especially as Force India make the hoped-for step forward with their new Mercedes-powered car.
After shaking down the VJM02 at Silverstone, he shared his thoughts on the car and the season with autosport.com.
Q: What do you make of the car?
Adrian Sutil: I have quite a good impression. It looks quite interesting, all the details are much better than last year. In general the co-operation with McLaren helps us. We should have a big advantage in terms of performance on the track with the gearbox and the engine. I'm really confident right now and the team is confident, which makes the work really good here. It's a very good atmosphere here in general.
Q: Does the McLaren-Mercedes partnership help make up for operating on a relatively small budget?
AS: I hope so. McLaren really tries to help us. We get all the parts, the engine, gearbox, hydraulics and KERS, but in the end the aerodynamics are up to us and it's up to us to develop it as best as we can. At least we have just this area to take care of, we can concentrate just on the aerodynamics and maybe some other things but we are more efficient this year in terms of development.
Q: You are confident of an improved level of performance, do you have a feeling for what you can achieve? Fighting for seventh or eighth place, or better?
AS: Right now I don't want to say too much because I've got to drive the car. Let's wait and see after testing. But the goal for the season is to have some points and to be reliable, this is also one of the most important things this year. It depends on the car. If the car is OK, why not run in the midfield, but let's see in the first test.
Q: Are you happy the car is completely ready for testing?
AS: I'm confident, but at the first test day there will always be a few problems to sort out because it's a new car. But hopefully we can run without any problems. It would make things much easier. We only have eight days, so we have to try and get the most out of it.
Q: You've had two years in F1 already with back-of-the-grid machinery. Where do you see your career at the moment? Do you need the car to be better to show what you can do and make sure people don't just think of you as a back-of-the-grid driver?
AS: This year has to be better. After two years driving at the back it's really time to make a consistent impression to other people and this is only possible with a good car. We had our good race in Monaco last year, but it was just one race and we definitely need more of this. We want to achieve this performance through the strength of the car, not through tricky conditions.
This is one of my most important seasons and I really see some potential. This is the first season where I have a good feeling and am absolutely happy. The co-operation gives me a lot of confidence and makes it possible to go nearer to the front.