Barcelona, Feb 28: German Formula 1 driver Adrian Sutil will make a comeback into the sport after a gap of one year after he was confirmed as the second driver of the Vijay Mallya-led Force India for the 2013 season.
The 30-year-old completes the Formula 1 drivers’ line-up as he will race alongside British Paul di Resta, with whom he raced in 2011. The 2013 campaign will be Sutil’s fifth season in Force India colours and sixth in the sport.
The German will test for the team this week here, driving Friday and Saturday. Di Resta will be back in the car Sunday as the new season kicks-off just two weeks later at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Sutil expressed his delight at being back in the sport.
“I’m delighted to be back in Formula 1, especially with a team I know so well. 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 in Formula 1.
“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. Now my focus is on making the most of the final test session this week, working with the team in the simulator and getting myself in the best possible shape for Melbourne.”
Team Principal Mallya said that the selection was not an easy decision.
“The decision over our driver line-up has not been an easy one and we have given it great consideration over the last few months. It was a close call but ultimately we felt that Adrian’s experience and historic links to the team gave him the edge and will provide us with the best possible chance of realising our ambitions for the coming season. If he can rediscover the exceptional form he showed in the second half of 2011, I’m confident that we can pick up where we left off at the end of 2012,” said Mallya.
French driver Jules Bianchi was also in contention for the seat.
“As for Jules Bianchi, 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.”
Sutil first joined the team as a test driver in 2006 when it still Midland and made his race debut when the cars ran under the name of Spyker. He has not raced since the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix but returned to the cockpit with his former team at the recent Barcelona test.
Force India was faced with a change of plan late last year after they lost Nico Hulkenberg to rivals Sauber.