Adrian Sutil returns to Force India 15 months after being axed - Motor Racing - Sport - The Independent

Adrian Sutil returns to Force India 15 months after being axed

Sutil will partner Paul di Resta for the coming campaign

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

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 tomorrow and Saturday at the Circuit de Catalunya at the final four-day test.

With the new season starting in just over a fortnight with the Australian Grand Prix, Sutil said: "I'm delighted to be back in Formula One, especially with a team I know so well.

"I'm very happy and I want to thank Force India for giving me a second chance.

"Having been away from the sport, I'm even more determined to achieve my goals in Formula One.

"Things went really well at the Barcelona test last week and it almost feels as though I've never been away.

"Driving the car felt so natural and I was able to get back in the groove quickly and find the limit.

"Now my focus is on making the most of the final test session this week, working with the team in the simulator and getting myself in the best possible shape for Melbourne."

Explaining his reasoning behind re-hiring Sutil, Mallya said: "The decision over our driver line-up has not been an easy one and we have given it great consideration over the last few months.

"It was a close call, but ultimately we felt Adrian's experience and historic links to the team gave him the edge, and will provide us with the best possible chance of realising our ambitions for the coming season.

"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 a snubbed Bianchi.

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."

PA

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