F1: Adrian Sutil confirmed as Nico Hulkenberg's replacement at Sauber after Force India exit, dealing another blow to Paul Di Resta's hopes
Straight-swap for Sutil and Hulkenberg with Di Resta battling with Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin and current driver Esteban Gutierrez for final seat with the Swiss team
Friday 13 December 2013
Sauber have confirmed Adrian Sutil will driver for them in 2014 as the German driver replaces compatriot Nico Hulkenberg at the Swiss team.
Former Force India driver Sutil lost his place at the Silverstone-based outfit as they decided to change both of their drivers from the 2013 season, with Paul Di Resta also making way.
But, with Sergio Perez and Hulkenberg named at Force India, Sutil has effectively swapped seats with the latter as he revealed he had been involved in prolonged talks to join Sauber.
"Although I have known for a while where I wanted to go, in the end the negotiations took a bit longer than planned," he said.
"However, now I will have all the more reason to celebrate during the Christmas season. I've been in contact with Monisha [Kaltenborn, team principal] for a while and she always gave me the feeling my qualities are valued.
"After six good years driving for Force India, with a lot of highlights, it's now time to embark on a new challenge. I am determined to do my part in order to have a successful future together with the Sauber F1 Team.
"The long and successful tradition in motorsport, combined with an impressive factory and one of the best wind tunnels in F1, have been fascinating me for a long time."
Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin has been earmarked as Sauber's other driver for next season, though there remains a chance Esteban Gutierrez could retain his race seat.
The 30-year-old Sutil has started over 100 grands prix after starting out as a test driver with Midland. That team became Spyker, with Sutil named as one of the drivers, and he remained in that role when Vijay Mallya brought the team and re-branded it as Force India.
He sat out the 2012 campaign, during which time he received an 18-month suspended prison sentence for an assault in a Chinese nightclub a year earlier.
Sutil finished 13th in the 2013 drivers' championship, picking up 29 points with a fifth-place finish in Monaco the highlight.
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