German driver beats Jules Bianchi to second seat at Silverstone team
Thu 28.02.13, 10:10PM
Force India have announced that Adrian Sutil will occupy the second seat alongside Paul Di Resta at the Silverstone-based team, ending Jules Bianchi’s hopes of claiming an F1 drive this season.
"I want to thank Sahara Force India for giving me a second chance. Having been away from the sport, I’m even more determined to achieve my goals."
Sutil last raced for the team at the Brazilian GP of 2011 but missed out on the 2012 campaign after he was convicted for assaulting Lotus team co-owner, Eric Lux, in a Shanghai bar following the 2011 Chinese GP.
However, after impressing in testing last week in Barcelona, Sutil will line up on the grid in Melbourne for a sixth racing season with the Silverstone team he made his race debut with in 2007 when it was called Spyker.
“I’m very happy and I want to thank Sahara Force India for giving me a second chance,” he said of. “Having been away from the sport, I’m even more determined to achieve my goals in Formula One. Things went really well at the Barcelona test last week and it almost feels as though I’ve never been away. Driving the car felt so natural and I was able to get back in the groove quickly and find the limit.”
Sutil’s signing means the future of Bianchi, who had been vying with the German for the seat, remains unclear, although Force India team principal Vijay Mallya indicated he would like the Ferrari-backed French driver to stay with the team.
“He has impressed us enormously with his speed and work ethic, and I’m hopeful we can continue working with him this year to help him develop into a future Grand Prix driver,” said the team boss.