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

Hulkenberg in, Sutil out at Force India for 2012

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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”

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  1. Has anybody else noticed that, despite all the hype they get (and regardless of whether or not it is justified), Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg only have one-year contracts?

    1. @Prisoner-Monkeys Nothing unusual about that at the moment. Even if a driver gets a contract for more than one year it doesn’t necessarily mean anything – just ask Petrov.

    2. Am assuming Paul di Resta has a shot at Mercedes line up if Shumi Retires at end of 2012. So he might prefer 1 year contract. And Force India might want to rest Hulkenberg before giving multi year contracts ..just a hypothesis..

  2. Happy for Hulk & well for at least this line up was expected, who will be their Test driver?

    1. @wasiF1 Jules Bianchi is rumoured for that role, I’d like to see it happen.

  3. All I can say is ‘Bad move Force India , you have taken a step backwords for sure’

  4. Even if Sutil is linked with Williams, i really like to see him in Caterham alongside Kovalainen. He utterly dominated trulli this season, but if sutil takes that place then that would be the best possible lineup to take Caterham forward. Two equally matched teammates with exactly the same experience and both at the best form of their careers.
    Now, that would be amazing!

  5. Well that was expected. As an Adrian Sutil fan, I am obviously gutted and am only hoping that he gets that Williams seat.

    Down to the new FI line up. Hulkenberg and di Resta are both quick, young, relatively inexperienced (both entering their 2nd full season in F1) and are highly rated in the paddock. So, we are in for an interesting battle for supremacy in FI. Maybe the one who comes out on top could end up in Mercedes in 2013 if Schumi decides against signing a new contract. So, I think the Merc bosses will be keenly looking at how Hulk and di Resta perform.

    1. It does set up an interesting battle in the midfield. Renault/Lotus held onto fifth in the WCC by the skin of their teeth this year, and now they’ve swapped both their drivers out for two drivers who have not been in the sport for two years. Force India have dropped their regular driver in favour of Hulkenberg, so di Resta will no doubt be team leader. It will be interesting to see if they can take the fight to Lotus. With Lotus admitting that Raikkonen might need some time to get fully up to speed, Force India will have to strike while the iron is hot. The first few races will be fairly intense as they wrestle over who gets to set the early lead.

  6. Very good news

  7. john (@johnf1fanatic)
    17th December 2011, 11:55

    I Like Sutil, and hope he gets a drive. Hulkenberg has talent and it will be good to see him racing.

    I dont like the fact that Sutil will proberly end up with a lesser team.

  8. I don’t see what is so fantastic about Hulkenberg’s pole. He did it on a drying track and was fortunate to have started his laps earlier.
    Barichello put the Jordan on pole at Spa, I believe in 1994, under similar conditions.

    It is a well known fact that slick tyres on a drying track will make you a hero. If you happen to be fortunate enough to have just enough time to make it to the pits for your tyre change.

    If he had say taken pole on a wet Monaco, that would be something. But when most of the runners had intermediates and he had slicks, it becomes a fluke result.
    He is a good enough driver, but not suddenly better than all the other 23.

  9. Most people here seem to be hoping that Sutil gets a seat at Williams. But Williams are in a terrible condition at the moment. Still, at least it would keep him on the grid for another year. I’d much rather see Alguesari and Buemi get the remaining seats.

    It’s a great shame for Rubens – if he’s leaving the sport – to not have celebrated a proper goodbye drive and party.

    How many F1 fans are there around the world? If one million of us agreed to put £10 into a pot, we’d have £10 million to sponsor a driver of our liking!

  10. I like the decision made by Force India. Hulk and Di Resta are fast and tallanted drivers with lots of speed in them. Watching Paul racing past season was a pleasure. It’s obvious that he has growing speed in him. If FI builds a good car for them,these two could bring a pleasent surprise next season.
    As for Sutil- he’s a good driver,during the seasons with Force India,he has grown massiveley. Now he just need to trust he’s agents and hope they get him a seat in williams or a test seat in one of the top teams like Merc or someone else.

  11. monkey mgee (@jokerinthepack)
    2nd June 2012, 4:14

    I, like many of you like Sutil. However, he should never have stabbed that dude in the neck with a wine glass. When you go around doing stuff like that it turns people off a bit.

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