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

  1. Red Andy (@red-andy) said on 14th February 2013, 16:20

    I always found it strange that the reason Force India finally got shot of Sutil was because of criminal behaviour, rather than his criminal slowness.

    Taking him back would be a big mistake for a team that supposedly wants to move forward.

  2. I didn’t think Sutil deserved to lose his seat at the end of 2011, he did a solid job. He is a bit inconsistent and can occasionally be awful, but I’d take him over most of the rookies who have or want an F1 drive.

  3. JB (@) said on 14th February 2013, 16:56

    Terrible news…. On the other hand… Bianchi might get to race when this convict can´t enter a country!

    Seriously…. this guy should´ve been discarded all together from F1…

  4. Avenger said on 14th February 2013, 17:34

    I think Sutil is ‘the’ best option left for Force India.They know him and he is familiar with the team as well.Something tells me he will be more eager to prove himself than he was before.Going for Bianchi is always a risk.With a feild so close than even last year,consistency can play a better part than shear speed.

  5. Shrieker (@shrieker) said on 14th February 2013, 19:05

    I hope Bianchi gets the seat. Sutil had many chances and he was mediocre at best.

  6. Roger2012 said on 14th February 2013, 19:42

    I don’t really see the benefit in bringing in Sutil who spent 5 years with the team & with the exception of 2-3 noteworthy performances was rather inconsistent & never did anything to see any other team show any interest in him.
    If Sutil was anything special then surely he would have been looked at by another team rather than been stuck in 1 mid-field/back of grid team for 5 years.

    Sutil had his chance at F1 & obviously didn’t impress enough to have anyone else show an interest in him, I think they should give someone else a shot.

  7. I’ve seen a few comments with people saying Bianchi isn’t that good, Have these people looked at his career stats?

    French Formula Renault Champion,
    Won F3 Masters at Zandvoort,
    F3 Euro Series Champion (Ahead of Bottas),
    3rd in GP2 championship as a rookie (Behind Maldonado & Perez),
    2nd in Renault world series championship as a rookie with 3 wins.
    Fastest on final day of F1 Jerez test.

    Kid clearly has some talent & is hardly useless like some are saying.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 14th February 2013, 20:12

      I agree, I think Bianchi has a lot of speed. His consistency has been his weak point in the past few years, but as he matures he can improve that. Also, I think an upcoming driver should be mostly judged by his highs and not by his lows. So many things can go wrong in motor racing – mechanical failures, silly mistakes by yourself or someone else, problems with setting up the car – that you cannot see just by looking at the stats. For example, take a look at this excerpt from Keith’s biography on Bottas, on his GP3 season:

      Halfway through the season it seemed his move [to GP3] had not paid off. With eight races to go he was languishing in tenth in the championship. But after he and ART team mate James Calado got to the bottom of their car’s set-up problems the pair became championship frontrunners. Bottas won a race in each of the remaining four weekends and beat Calado to the title.

      If you were to judge Bottas on his first half season in GP3, you might think him an average midfielder, but from what he has shown since, many expect him to beat Maldonado this year. Back to Bianchi, I think he has often displayed a lot of speed, and even if it did not always result in championships, I would like to see what he can do in an F1 car.

    • KimiWDC said on 14th February 2013, 21:04

      Those career stats mean nothing.
      Bas Leinders has a long list of wins but it didn’t mean a thing when he came in F1

  8. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th February 2013, 20:46

    Sutil is definitely in the ‘had a chance, didn’t do enough, time to move on’ category for me.

    I’d far rather see Bianchi get a shot – his one-lap pace is excellent, he’s got more F1 mileage than your average rookie and he’s ready for the chance.

    I suspect Force India would rather give the seat to Bianchi, but commercial imperatives may push them towards Sutil. If Ferrari are trying to get Bianchi in the seat, then the news that Sutil is having a seat fitting may be the sign it’s time for them to put their final bid in. Time’s a-wastin’.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th February 2013, 20:52

      If Ferrari are trying to get Bianchi in the seat, then the news that Sutil is having a seat fitting may be the sign it’s time for them to put their final bid in.

      – certainly one of the best reasons to have Sutil do a day of testing.

      I agree. Sutil was F1 capable, but he has been in the sport for several years. Has beaten some teammates, and others have beaten him. Di Resta beat him as a rookie. In the car that almost brought the team a win with Fisi his teammate Sutil was good, but missed too many chances. He has had his run, but ultimately there are better drivers around.

      Hard to tell with Bianchi, on the other hand it would be nice to see them give him a shot at it so we can finally see what’s in him.

    • Talking about F1 (@talking-about-f1) said on 14th February 2013, 21:02

      I’m surprised how many people are saying that Adrian Sutil’s ‘had his chance’ etc in F1. It strikes me as very harsh, after all at the point he lost his F1 seat he’d just finished P9 in the world drivers’ championship and was driving brilliantly. And Bianchi’s thought to be coming to Force India with cheap Ferrari engines, so I wouldn’t say Sutil necessarily has a commercial advantage in getting the drive. But I agree that today’s news on Sutil may be designed to make Ferrari jump…

    • Di Resta beat him as a rookie.

      Sutil had a very slight edge over Di Resta when it comes down to actual results – 10-9 Sutil in qualifying, 10-6 Sutil in head-to-head race results, 42 points for Sutil to 27 for Di Resta, 9 points finishes for Sutil compared to 8 for Di Resta. Di Resta did have one more classified finish than Sutil (18-17), which highlights his strength as a very consistent, if unspectacular, driver.

      In addition, with the off-season turmoil surrounding SFI and its primary sponsors, Sutil could be a familiar, stabilizing force. I can see where this opportunity should be going to someone younger, and Bianchi looked pretty good in testing, not just in Jerez last week, but going back to last year when he began testing duty with the team. He’ll get his chance. But Sutil isn’t a bad choice, if he still has the pace and consistency to match PDR.

    • Jono (@me262) said on 15th February 2013, 5:07

      gotta disagree with you guys on this one, Sutil getting a seat at Force India means they get the best of the 2013 crop (-Bottas)…better than all the other pay drivers coming in this year

  9. Adriaantje (@sutil2013) said on 14th February 2013, 20:58

    Did not count on it anymore, but this very nice news for me as a Sutil fan.

    I know this wont be mainstream reasoning, but a Dutchman (Im Dutch) AND Sutil in F1 makes it the best season in years for me, even before it started!!!

  10. Anna Lurke said on 14th February 2013, 20:58

    Jules Bianchi deserve Force India seat and has done enough to prove it .Jules is a talented driver with a lot of potential ,Force India make a mistake if they choose Sutil

  11. DaveF1 (@davef1) said on 14th February 2013, 22:11

    While Sutil is a proven quantity for the team, I think di Resta has more than enough experience and maturity to lead the team and therefore I think they should take chance with Bianchi.

    Don’t get me wrong, Sutil has talent no question. However Bianchi has had sufficient testing and has knowledge of the team and 2013 car. Not to mention that Bianchi has been hyped numerous times by Ferrari so there must be something there for a team of Ferraris size to have faith in him.

    I’d personally take Bianchi. With Sutil you have a driver who can deliver the goods but not really set the world alight. Taking a chance with Bianchi could mean that Force India may potentially discover a good new talent plus get Ferrari engines for 2014.

  12. James Eden (@jameseden) said on 14th February 2013, 22:18

    I’m thinking it will come down to a shootout between Sutil and Bianchi at the next test in Barcelona

  13. I think the guy deserves a fair second chance. He had a very good 2011 and that conviction really caused him more harm than it should have. I can’t believe the people calling him a criminal! Have none of these people ever had a one-off pub brawl, no matter how unfortunate or unwanted? Many have. Should everyone who’s had a brawl or fight be left without a job and called a criminal?
    I’d say try him out for the first few races, if he doesn’t do anything impressive, replace him with Bianchi. And put that clause in his contract, I’m sure he won’t say no to that.

  14. Shimks (@shimks) said on 15th February 2013, 5:59

    It’s so interesting the vastly differing opinions fans have on drivers. In my opinion, Sutil is another Heidfeld. I simply cannot understand why anyone would think either of those drivers is exciting or promising.

    Bianchi is 23 years old. He is on loan from Ferrari, is he not, and they are keen to get him into the second FI seat this or next year? So Ferrari are grooming him as a possible replacement for Massa when he is 25 or 26? It sounds a lot more exciting to me than bringing Sutil back in.

  15. Ben (@dirtyscarab) said on 15th February 2013, 12:57

    I don’t think Force India have got a great driver in either Sutil or Bianchi to be honest. I would have much rather seen Kovalainen in that seat. I think losing him is the biggest disappointment in the off season for me :(

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