Sutil to have seat fitting ahead of possible test

2013 F1 season

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Korea, 2011Adrian Sutil could be on the verge of returning to Formula One as Force India confirm he will have a seat fitting for them next week.

Sutil is believed to be one of two drivers in contention for the final place on the F1 grid in 2013. Jules Bianchi, who tested for Force India in Jerez, is also in the running.

A team spokesperson said: “Adrian has had a seat-fit with the team this week.

“At this stage the test driving schedule for the Barcelona test is not finalised, but there is a possibility Adrian could be involved. The driving schedule will be communicated on Monday next week.”

Sutil drove for the team from 2008 to 2011, and in 2007 when it competed as Spyker. He was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg at the end of 2011. In January 2012 he was given a suspended jail sentence following an incident in a bar in Shanghai.

Paul di Resta will do some of the team’s workload at the Circuit de Catalunya. Simulator driver James Rossiter will not make a return for the team after his run in Jerez last week.

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75 comments on Sutil to have seat fitting ahead of possible test

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  1. Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 14th February 2013, 14:42

    Boooooooo. I’m definitely on Team Bianchi.

  2. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 14th February 2013, 14:45

    Well this is interesting… I thought Bianchi had it covered

    • mhop (@mhop) said on 15th February 2013, 0:54

      I’m increasingly wondering whether Force India are using Sutil as a kind of bargaining chip… By having him available they are saying to Ferrari we don’t need your boy Bianchi and if you don’t give us a really good deal on engines for 2014 we WON’T be taking him. For that reason I think it’s impossible to read which way this one will go.

      Either way I think it’s quite obvious that Force India have reservations about Bianchi’s ability. I think the main problem is that he REALLY didn’t impress the team with his performances in FP1 last year: he was generally over a second slower than Di Resta and Hulkenberg! (That’s not to say that he won’t improve of course…)

      Perhaps one possible outcome is that Sutil will be Force India’s third driver, ready to take over from Bianchi if he doesn’t perform over the first half of the season? (A few FP1 sessions might also be a good way of getting Sutil back in to the sport?)

  3. Alex Russell (@kimihakkinen) said on 14th February 2013, 14:47

    I thought Bianchi’s twitter campaign would definitely make him a shoe-in for the seat! #Bianchindia

  4. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 14th February 2013, 14:48

    I’m surprised that Sutil is still in the running for the seat. He must have done well in his year away from the sport to secure enough backing to keep him in contention this long. I assume that Bianchi hasn’t gotten the drive yet because Force India is seeking Ferrari engines cheaper than Ferrari are willing to supply, merely for the sake of Bianchi.

    I’m still hoping Bianchi will get the second seat, because I find it more interesting to see what he can do compared to round two of Sutil – DiResta. However, with the trouble Mallya and Sahara find themselves in currently, I will settle for any Force India presence on the grid this and coming seasons.

    • I’m thinking…. why not both?
      Force India can hire both, give ‘em 4 races apart, and they can show who the best to continue in remaining races. If team need more money, Narain could be given one-off. These things worked in the past, I guess. Since they got reliable point scorer in Di Resta (not exceptional though), honestly it could be working good, assuming the seat bidders have same quality.
      Team got money and probably engine deal. Yeah, it could be complex with development issue but let Di Resta focus on that. Although it obviously will be unpopular among the inside engineers, I don’t see why it can’t work.

      • Yeah..Liuzzi-Klien style(RB1, 2005) you mean?
        In my opinion they should’ve sacked the uninspiring Scot and appointed both Sutil and Bianchi.

  5. I hope it’s gonna be Narain. Gotta annoy Vettel more often!
    jk :D

  6. Eggry (@eggry) said on 14th February 2013, 14:54

    I want Bianchi for the remaining seat.

  7. Jarv F150 (@jarvf150) said on 14th February 2013, 14:55

    Never really liked the guy; though he was at least a competent driver.

    The memorable things I remember him for were the Trulli spat in Brazill 2009 & spending more time off the track than on it in Korea 2010.

    I too would probably be on Team Bianchi.

    • Forceindy said on 14th February 2013, 16:47

      well you must not watch that many races then! Sutil is a fantastic driver and very very quick. Qualified in the top ten alot of occasions and scored a majority of the points for force India, when we finished ahead of the williams and saubers.

      Dont really get why people want Bianchi in the team. The guy is not very good. Force india have allowed him to driver in the third practices at most of the races last season and he shown nothing!!

      Sutil will be the best pick for Force India, welcome back!!!!!

  8. Girts (@girts) said on 14th February 2013, 14:57

    I truly hope that Sutil returns, that would probably be the best news during the whole off-season for me. I’ve always believed that Sutil deserves to be in F1 on merit, that we haven’t seen the best of him yet and that a suspended jail sentence shouldn’t be the reason to keep anyone away from F1. Let’s remember that he was voted the Driver of the Weekend after the last GP he participated at and I’m sure we are going to see him at least in top three of these polls again this season if he returns.

    • Silverkeg (@silverkeg) said on 14th February 2013, 15:33

      I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve always rated Sutil very highly and feel he was dropped from F1 just as he was reaching his peak, he easily deserves a seat on merit. I like Bianchi too, and would feel for him if he doesn’t get the seat, but sticking to their original plan and giving him another year as third driver, introducing him alongside Sutil in Ferrari powered Force India’s for 2014 would be fantastic.

      I so hope that comes to fruition :D

      • Christopher (@twiinzspeed) said on 14th February 2013, 18:20

        +1. Sutil was always fun to watch. I too believe he is a talented driver. He really pulled FI into the midfield. I am a big Ferrari guy, but Bianchi is young. He will get his shot eventually. Sutil is exactly what Force India need to move up the grid. Besides, I think Adrian got a raw deal, loosing his seat because of a barroom mishap. If i had that same thing happen to me, would people not want me to do my job?? I think it wouuldn’t matter for me, so why for him. Sometimes PR is wrong.

    • George (@george) said on 14th February 2013, 19:04

      +1 from me, he was getting improving season on season.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 15th February 2013, 5:25

      Completely agree with you. Its sad to see a night out in a club ended up in Sutil being off the grid. He was amongst the best mid field drivers in 2009, 2010 and definitely in 2011. He beat his highly rated teammate pretty convincingly in the 2nd half of the 2011 season. He was fast and talented although the results never really flattered him.

      I would be glad if he was on the grid in 2013. A bar room brawl shoudn’t change the fact that he was putting in strong performances at the end of his career… and that he was very worthy of being on the f1 grid.

      Bianchi can wait a year .. but Sutil deserves at least one more season in the sport.

  9. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 14th February 2013, 15:09

    If you’re only as good as your last race, then he’s pretty good – but, for me, not as good as Hulkenberg or even the guys who are out of F1 like Glock, Kovalainen and Kobayashi. I thought he only seemed to raise his game when his drive was under threat.
    Probably just about deserves a second chance at F1, but he (and Force India) would do better if it was with another team.

    Bring on Bianchi – we need some talent from Renault 3.5, to go up against all these drivers who didn’t win GP2 and their rich daddies.

  10. Cristian (@cristian) said on 14th February 2013, 15:17

    I want the better driver ( which is Sutil ) take the seat. In my opinion, Sutil is the best gp driver who is not racing in F1 today. He demolished Di Resta in their year together and it is just not faiir that he, and not the Scot, had to pack.
    On the other hand , if, for the second year in a row, Paul will be beaten by a driver returning after a year long hiatus, his career might be over.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 14th February 2013, 15:47

      he demolished Di Resta in their year together

      @cristian define “demolished”. Di Resta, coming from Touring Cars in his first year, gave Sutil, (almost a veteran, within the team since 2007) something to think about. And in the latter part of the season they were split in strategies, so the points haul doesn’t define it…

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 14th February 2013, 15:53

      He stabbed a man in the neck (allegedly). Keeping him was a liability ahead of 2012 because he could have suddenly found himself in prison.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th February 2013, 16:01

        He stabbed a man in the neck (allegedly)

        given that he was sentenced for that in court, I’d say we can drop the “allegedly” from that.

          • UKF1rules said on 15th February 2013, 14:53

            i do not think we ever heard the whole story, it seemed very bizarre the whole story leading up to his sentencing, and it seemed almost like a witch hunt against sutil. i would like to see the glassing recipients wounds, and also there was provocation involved. michael schumacher got another shot in f1 after crashing into a driver on purpose, so why shouldnt sutil get another shot at f1 for something that was outside of the racetrack?
            He was driving the force india brilliantly, at least as well as rosberg has been driving the mercedes.

  11. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 14th February 2013, 15:17

    oh no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. the_sigman (@sigman1998) said on 14th February 2013, 15:17

    That might be like Renault did in 2011. A choice (Heidfield) vs. a test driver (Senna) in testing.

  13. They’re gonna split’em. Bianchi drives first 6 races. Sutil drives the rest. More money for Force India that way.

  14. So, this confirms what i always suspected! This is going to be a shootout between Sutil and Bianchi! The one who posts the fastest time will get the seat!! Well, I am impressed by both, so may the fastest man win. And if Sutil seems to raise his game only when his drive is under threat, the so be it coz i am sure if Bianchi is not confirmed for 2013, he WILL be for 2014. Thats good enough threat for Sutil.

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 14th February 2013, 18:18

      @1abe

      Thats good enough threat for Sutil.

      And Di Resta.

      • @kingshark
        The way i see it, Di Resta wont be with FI in 2014. Either he ll move out (unlikely) or he will be dropped (likely). For a guy, who talks about how he needs to perform in 2013 so he can move up the grid rather than move his team up the grid and at the same time dont want his new teammate to be ambitious, i dont think FI will take that as words of a team player! Moreover his performance in the last two year were, IMO, average, neither great nor poor.

  15. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 14th February 2013, 15:43

    A pair of averages, then, if Sutil lands in the seat. As much as I hate Di Resta, I put him well above Sutil, who’s really hardly spectacular.

    And, to be honest, Force India sacked him for a reason… why put him back in again? specially after a whole year outside the tracks. And it’s not like there’s not much choices around him, is it?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th February 2013, 16:02

      I think that one is easy to answer @fer-no65

      And, to be honest, Force India sacked him for a reason… why put him back in again?

      – the reason why they sacked him (giving Hulk a drive) has now left them for Sauber.

    • Christopher (@twiinzspeed) said on 14th February 2013, 18:31

      I don’t think Sutil is average. Almost all of these guys are super talented. I think so many people see midfield drivers as average without taking into account they are driving machines that were built on 25% of less the budget of the front runners. Adrian’s last season with FI he was a consistent points hauler. I doubt Vettel or Alonso would be winners in the same machinery Sutil has had in his career. Although that would be really fun to watch. My dreamone off would be too swap the cars and drivers from front to back for a charity event. Seeing a Hamilton, Alonso, or Vettel in a backmarker while putting guys like Sutil, Pic, or Kartikain in one of the RBRs would be alot of fun. :)

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th February 2013, 19:07

        Except Fisichella was a nine tenths of a second away from winning in one of the cars Sutil drove in his career, and the WDC drivers like Alonso or Vettel have done more than “haul points” in midfield cars.

        Nevertheless, I agree that Sutil is a decent driver. Just because he may not be WDC material doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be on the grid. Bianchi hardly looks like the next big thing- he seems to have hung around the junior series for ages without anyone picking him up. He probably isn’t even the safe pair of hands we know Sutil is.

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