Force India name Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg as 2012 drivers

 

Force India have finally confirmed another of Formula One's worst kept secrets by announcing Paul di
Resta and Nico Hulkenberg will be their driver line-up for next season.

It means the Silverstone-based marque have dumped Adrian Sutil after six seasons with the team through its various guises since he began in 2006.

Sutil also finished a career-high ninth in the drivers' standings this past season, as well as helping Force India to their highest position of sixth in the constructors' standings.

The 28-year-old German, who finished 15 points clear of Di Resta at the end of a solid rookie campaign for the Scot, remains favourite to be taken on by Williams.

Di Resta enjoyed a superb second half of the season, finishing in the points in seven of the final nine grands prix, including a high of sixth in Singapore.

For Hulkenberg, who last raced at the end of 2010 with Williams, the 24-year-old steps up from the reserve role he occupied with Force India last season.

Explaining his decisions, team principal Vijay Mallya said: "In Paul and Nico we have two extremely talented drivers with tremendous potential.

"Paul caught the eye of everybody in the pit lane during his rookie season.

"His speed, maturity and race craft confirmed 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.

"Our new line-up means we say goodbye to Adrian, 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."

For German Hulkenberg, there is naturally considerable delight he is back in F1 after he was seemingly unfairly dropped by Williams at the end of his rookie season in 2010.

Desperate for funds, Williams opted to hire a pay-driver in Pastor Maldonado who brought with him considerable sponsorship from his home country of Venezuela.

Back on the grid on merit, Hulkenberg said: "I'm obviously delighted to be staying with 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."

As for Di Resta, he is now eager to build on the last campaign and strengthen his position in the sport.

"I've said all along I love being part of this team," said Di Resta.

"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."

With Force India's vacancies confirmed, it now means there are just two available seats for 2012 - the one at Williams, and another at Hispania Racing.

PA

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'