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Adrian Sutil, who returns to the sport after a years enforced sabbatical, believes his time away has made him mentally stronger.
The German was sidelined following his conviction for GBH after an incident in a nightclub in China in 2011 hours after the Chinese Grand Prix. Last week, after weeks of procrastination, Force India finally confirmed him as Paul di Resta's teammate. The German is now looking ahead to his sixth season with the Silverstone-based team.
While some feel that there might be a certain degree of 'ring rust', Sutil insists that the enforced break has made him stronger and that he is fully up to the challenge... indeed, he has serious aspirations.
"I was watching it on TV. I tried to take a step back from the sport," he told Reuters. "By the middle of the season I felt so much stronger and found my, let's say, a new goal in life...to be a world champion.
"I am not in Formula One to just race," he continued. "I would rather stay at home. The car is very important but you have to set your mind. I am here to race against the world's best and if anyone is there not to win then it is not the right place for him."
Talking about his sabbatical, he continued: "I had time to think about my career. We will see if I am a better driver but mentally, I have seen a life without Formula One and a life with it. In this professional sport you never actually have the time to learn. I wouldn't have chosen a year off but it was probably for the good. Once I was back in the car, the engineers were very impressed. It showed I didn't lose any speed but probably I gained a bit mentally."
Despite concerns that he could face further sanctions on returning to China, Sutil insists he has no such fears. "Everything happens for a reason I would say. You can't change it, it just happens in life. You have to just learn from it, you have to understand that downside is another side. It just makes you stronger.
"I have to go there," he continued. "It's not that I don't like the country because something bad happened there. It could have happened anywhere else. I think it was a lesson and in a way I have learnt a lot of things from that. So it is not only a bad thing."
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