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Sutil gets second chance in F1

2013-03-01 09:22

DON'T LET HIM NEAR ERIC LUX: Adrian Sutil completes the 2013 Force India driver line-up with a comeback in F1. Just don't let him anywhere near a GP after-party...

Alan Baldwin

LONDON, England - Adrian Sutil has sealed his Formula 1 comeback with Force India by being paired with Paul di Resta for the 2013 season.

A team statement said the driver had been re-signed after being dropped at the end of 2011 to make way for Nico Hulkenberg - but the latter instead moved to Sauber.

The 2013 season will start in Australia on March 17 and Sutil's appointment filled the last gap on the grid.

‘GREAT TO BE BACK’

Sutil said: "I'm delighted to be back in F1, especially with a team I know so well. I thank Force India for giving me a second chance.

"Having been away from the sport, I'm even more determined to achieve my F1 goals. Things went really well at the Barcelona test last week and it almost feels as though I've never been away."

The announcement came as no surprise after Jules Bianchi’s manager, Nicolas Todt, announced that he had lost the Force India seat.

Second chances are rare in Formula 1 but it was no secret that commercial considerations played a part in Sutil's return.

F1 BAR BRAWL


In 2012 Sutil seemed to have a mountain to climb to get back into the sport after being given an 18-month suspended jail sentence and fined the equivalent of R2-million for grievous bodily harm after a 2011 Shanghai night-club brawl.

Eric Lux, the then chief executive of Renault F1 (now Lotus) team owner Genii Capital needed stitches for a neck wound caused by a broken glass in the fracas.

If an unadventurous choice for some, Sutil is well-known to the team; he drove for them through 2007 to 2011. He and Di Resta were team mates in 2011 when he scored more points and finished ninth overall. Sutil’s best result was fourth in the 2009 Italian GP where he started on the front row.

NOT AN EASY DECISION

Tteam co-owner Vijay Mallya said: "The decision about our drivers was not easy. It was a close call but ultimately we felt that Adrian's experience and historic links to the team gave him the edge. He 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 we can pick up where we left off at the end of 2012."

Mallya said Bianchi, a Ferrari academy driver and Force India reserve in 2012, had impressed the team, which hoped to continue working with him to help him to get a future race seat.
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