Adrian Sutil needed his strong result in the Monaco Grand Prix to boost his confidence, according to Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley.
The German finished fifth from eighth on the grid, passing both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button at the hairpin. This ended a run of four consecutive starts without a points finish, largely down to problems outside of Sutil's control.
"We all knew that the underlying [performance] has been there, but when you have three or four races where it keeps falling apart for you, from Adrian's point of view, he needed it for his confidence," Fernley said. "The team has never thought any less of him, but his luck needed to turn."
Fernley paid tribute to Sutil's mental strength and ability to bounce back from his bad run of results with a strong drive. He said that this was one of the motivations behind re-signing Sutil, who spent the 2012 campaign on the sidelines after being dropped by Force India for Nico Hulkenberg.
"When you have had a year out and you have three or four [difficult] races early on, of course it's undermining," said Fernley. "As a team, we have supported him, so he has not had to feel threatened by that and has responded well to it. Of course, it's got to get the nerves jangling and he has pulled through and delivered. That mental strength was the whole reason that we wanted to work with Adrian this year."
Fernley added that he was impressed with Sutil's overtaking moves during the race and suggested that it was only teams warning drivers over the radio that he was attacking in the radio prevented him making up more places.
"He sorted out where he wanted to make the move and managed to do it twice," said Fernley. "That was before he was blocked off by teams informing the car in front that this was what he was doing."