Hulkenberg in, Sutil out at Force India for 2012

2012 F1 season

Adrian Sutil, Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Adrian Sutil, Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Nico Hulkenberg will return to F1 in 2012 with Force India, the team has confirmed.

Hulkenberg will join Paul di Resta in the team’s race-line up for next season.

The news leaves Adrian Sutil without a race seat having spent the last five years with the team.

Team principal Vijay Mallya said: “Our new line-up means we say ‘goodbye’ to Adrian Sutil, who has been with the team since we entered the sport. He has been an integral part of our success over the past four seasons and we wish him well for the future.”

Mallya added: “In Paul and Nico we have two extremely talented drivers with tremendous potential.

“I think Paul caught the eye of everybody in the pit lane during his rookie season. His speed, maturity and racecraft confirmed that we were right to believe in him and we look forward to working with him again next year.

“As for Nico, we identified him as a rising star at the end of 2010 and chose to evaluate him during the course of this season. Despite having only limited time in the car, he convinced us that he deserved a race seat for 2012.”

Hulkenberg said: “I?m obviously delighted to be staying with Sahara Force India and to be given the chance to race next year.

“It wasn?t easy to watch from the sidelines this season, but I did my best to help the team and show what I was capable of. I?m extremely motivated for 2012 and would like to thank everyone for believing in me and giving me this chance.

“I?m keen to get down to work over the winter to develop our new car and help the team build on this year?s achievements. The first test in Jerez can?t come soon enough.”

Di Resta said: “I?ve said all along that I love being part of this team: they are ambitious, hungry for success and we work well together. I?m really excited about 2012 and there is a real sense of belief that we can continue to push the top teams and take another step forward.”

See the updated list of 2012 F1 drivers and teams.

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125 comments on Hulkenberg in, Sutil out at Force India for 2012

  1. Tommo N7 (@tommothfc) said on 16th December 2011, 16:19

    Regarding all the seats in F1, I think it’s a shame Williams signed up Maldonado so quickly. With Petrov booted out of Renault, he may very well be without a seat next year. I wish he could have been in Maldonado’s place at Williams, as he could replace the money Maldonado brings in, and Petrov is also a better driver. Of course he could get the other seat, but I doubt it. It’s unfortunate, because at least 3 out of Senna, Petrov, Alguersuari, Buemi & Sutil won’t have a seat next year, while Maldonado does.

  2. David-A (@david-a) said on 16th December 2011, 16:20

    Sutil needs to hurry up and snap up that Williams seat. This might not turn out to be so bad for him.

  3. JPedroCQF1 (@joao-pedro-cq) said on 16th December 2011, 16:30

    Well, surprise, surprise! I guess we all saw that coming a few months ago.

    Anyway, I think Force India have made the right call. Di Resta is a excellent driver and I’m a fan of Hulkenberg since that pole in Brazil, which really stunned me. I was sad for him when he was sidelined for this year. So I sincerely hope he can get back to his bets performance level next year.

  4. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 16th December 2011, 16:37

    And so we look to Williams.

    I do wish Williams would just take Sutil and Petrov. That way they have the money, the experience and drivers who can actually finish a race…

  5. f1 is so strange as a sport but probably not as a business… I remember how strange was droppping Hulkenberg last yaer after his pole in Brazil. Then this year we coulde see one of the best in-team battles between Buemi and Algersuari, and both are fired. Finally Sutil is chosen by fans aas driver of the weekend, shows progress all year and then gets fired too. But i see old dinosaurs like Trulli and Barrichello going nowhere and in spite of that, so cozy in their cars. Well I guess they are more worthy as walking wallets than like good pilots.

  6. Sutil really needs to get a a drive for next season. Hopefully it will be Williams because someone needs to balance the lack of Pastor’s pace. If he does then I think it might be good for him since he seems to perform well under pressure.

  7. sid_prasher (@) said on 16th December 2011, 17:02

    Disappointed for Sutil…I hope he finds a drive some where…

    As these developments have turned out (at Torro Rosso and FI), I am more and more ready to accept Ruben’s departure from the sport…

  8. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 16th December 2011, 17:03

    This is fine with me. Huelkenberg had à good Rookie season, whereas Sutil just never did shine.
    If I were Williams, I’d only take Sutil for tha money… He’s not an inspiational exceptional driver who brings all this extra energy to à team…

  9. mr apex said on 16th December 2011, 17:07

    i feel for the drivers who are not going to get a seat next year,i hope rubans stays let him have 20 seasons,this is where 3 car teams would be handy or even single car teams like in touring cars

  10. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 16th December 2011, 17:10

    I think this is definitely the decision I expected and I feel it is the wisest choice. Having two exciting young drivers is the way forward for these midfield teams I believe. Look at Sauber, exciting, enthusiastic and willing to learn.

  11. I’m a bit surprised by people saying that sutil wasn’t good in the other season’s. He was on the verge of some very good results around 2007-2009 but every time either raikonnen took him out (I remember one instance of this at Monaco, but there was at least one other) or the car let him down. If not for that people would have held him in higher regard (look at how highly ppl speak of hulk after his pole in brazil 2010)

    That said I feel that force India have the right drivers. Di resta did a fantastic job last season, and hulk looks really promising (having won every driving series, other than F1, that he’s competed in.

    • My thoughts exactly re the first paragraph.

      He was on course to finish 4th in Monaco in 2008 before being taken out by Raikkonen. Also he was on course for a points finish in Nurburgring before getting into a tussle with Raikkonen again. This was during a season which he and FI ended up scoring 0 points.

      Although he didn’t manage a podium in 2009, he still finished 4th in Monza, still his best finish to date.

      Don’t forget back then he tended to finish top of the timesheets in FP sessions when they were wet.

  12. dam00r (@dam00r) said on 16th December 2011, 17:16

    I still can’t understand why De La Rosa got a race seat when there are so many young and talented drivers without a seat.

    Bloody Formula 1..

    I want Rubens for his last season next year, also Buemi, Chandhok, Alguesuari and Sutil..

    Lotus should sack Trulli for next year.

  13. This was rumoured to be the decision for a while now so it isn’t surprising news like the Lotus/Renault and Toro Rosso 2012 line-ups were.

    Personally I would have chosen Sutil and di Resta but it will be nice to have Hulkenberg back in F1.

    So this just leaves Williams and HRT unless we believe that Trulli’s seat at Caterham isn’t secure.

    I can see Sutil going to Williams and that leaving Barrichello out of F1.

  14. xbx-117 (@xbx-117) said on 16th December 2011, 18:01

    So strange. Sutil finished 9th in the championship, and “Faster Than Thou” di Resta finished 13th, but Sutil gets the boot. I simply disagree with the decision, but congrats to Hulkenburg all the same. We’ll see if he deserves the seat he’s been given though.

  15. ShameOne said on 16th December 2011, 18:06

    FINALLY!!!!!FI realized that Sutil has absolutely zero talent and will never be a winning driver. Hülkenberg will definetly contribute more to the team than Sutil could ever do. Thank you FI!!!

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