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Sutil best bet to replace Hulkenberg at Sahara Force India

by Satya Rath, TNN Photos: DPPI Posted on 31 Oct 2012

After Nico Hulkenberg signed up with Sauber F1 team for the Formula One season 2013, there is speculation regarding who will replace him at team Sahara Force India

 

 

Adrian Sutil Sahara Force India

 

 

 

Now that it is more or less certain that the promising Nico Hulkenberg would be moving to the fast-improving Sauber for the 2013 Formula One season, speculations are on regarding the German's replacement at Sahara Force India.

 

A few names have been floating in the air, but if the team's co-owner Vijay Mallya is to be believed, one could well see Adrian Sutil make a return to his former 'home'.Mallya was quoted by a news agency as saying that Sutil would be on his radar if and when Hulkenberg decided to make a move. "I hear from the media that Nico has signed with Sauber. Well, if he has then good luck to him. As of now, I have not been officially notified by Nico of anything, which I expect he would do if he was on his way... He's a wonderful guy, he's done well for us... I always have the potential of considering Sutil again. Sutil is always quick. So there are many options. I would certainly consider him," Mallya was quoted as saying at the Indian Grand Prix, where Hulkenberg finished a creditable eighth, after starting from 12th, for his third straight top-10 finish this season. Also Read:Nico Hulkenberg to drive for Sauber F1 team in 2013

 

German Sutil was part of Force India's original driver line-up, along with Italian veteran Giancarlo Fisichella, in their debut 2008 season. He also drove for Midland and Spyker, the team's previous avatars. Mallya bought the Spyker team for 90 million in October 2007 and renamed it as Force India.

 

The team was rechristened Sahara Force India in October 2011 after Sahara India Pariwar bought a 42.5% stake in the team for $100 million.There were also rumours that SFI's other driver, Briton Paul Di Resta, will move to Mercedes, but it seems unlikely now.

 

Sutil, if he indeed returns to SFI, could prove to be a good hand in further development of the team as he has spent almost his entire Formula One career (2007-11) with this outfit. His best finish came at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix where he finished fourth.

 

In the previous race the same year, the Belgian GP, his teammate Fisichella had secured the first, and till date the only, podium finish for Force India with a second-place finish.

 

The German's rising career graph was disrupted by a nightclub brawl in Shanghai in 2011, for which he was handed an 18-month suspended sentence and fined $258,600 by a German court.

 

His contract wasn't renewed by Force India for the 2012 season, with Nico taking his place. The German has been without a drive since. Life seems to have turned full circle for Sutil in a year. If everything goes fine, he could be the one replacing Nico at SFI.