Force India turn to Sutil

  • Last Updated: February 28 2013, 17:53 GMT

Adrian Sutil is back at Force India 15 months after being axed by the Silverstone-based team.

Force India turn to Sutil

The 30-year-old, who competed in 73 grands prix for Force India from 2008-2011 - and a further 17 races in 2007 in the team's former guise as Spyker - will again partner Paul di Resta for the coming campaign.

Sutil was dropped at the end of 2011 in favour of fellow German Nico Hulkenberg, who has now moved on to Sauber for this season.

Despite a number of options on the table for co-owners Vijay Mallya and Roy Sahara to mull over the past three months, including reserve Jules Bianchi, they have decided to again turn to Sutil.

Sutil, who spent a day in the car last week in the second pre-season test in Barcelona, will be behind the wheel on Friday and Saturday at the Circuit de Catalunya at the final four-day test.

And he claims to have learned the error of his ways and insists he is worthy of his second chance.

The team were adamant Sutil's departure was nothing to do with an impending court case at the time as he faced charges of causing grievous bodily harm.

Sutil was eventually convicted of assaulting Lotus executive Eric Lux with a champagne glass during an incident in a Shanghai nightclub after the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix.

A German court handed Sutil an 18-month suspended sentence along with a fine of 200,000 euros (£167,000).

After a year on the sidelines, following an initial five-season stint in F1, Sutil again partners di Resta after what team principal Vijay Mallya described as "a close call" between the German and Jules Bianchi in the fight for the last remaining seat in F1.

Sutil said: "Everyone can make mistakes in life. If you never make mistakes you will never grow. I don't think there is a single person here who never made a mistake.

"My one was maybe a different one and was very public. There are others probably even worse, but no one talks about them.

"Whenever someone does something wrong I always give them the opportunity to show they are still a good person. I will give them a second chance. I see it being very similar here.

"Of course it is a tough business, but no one is perfect and that is why life is an adventure."

Sutil has also confirmed the complete breakdown in his friendship with Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton was at the club on the night of the Lux incident, but chose not to testify in court.

Sutil added: "I'm not in contact with him any more so we have no relationship at the moment. I've not seen him, I've not spoken to him.

"For sure I will meet up with him, but I don't know what will happen."

Sutil, whose best finish came with a fourth at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix, added: "Having been away from the sport, I'm even more determined to achieve my goals in Formula One. We are still a small team, but I am sure we can have a very good season. My targets are very high.

"I am not here to race for fifth or sixth position. I want to go on the podium. I want to win in the future and be one of the best drivers in the world in F1."

Explaining his reasoning behind re-hiring Sutil, Mallya said: "We felt Adrian's experience and historic links to the team gave him the edge.

"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."

However, the team's reserve role remains up in the air, with question marks now lingering over the snubbed Bianchi who formerly occupied the post.

Mallya added: "As for Jules, 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."

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