Sutil says Force India yet to decide
26 October, 2011
Oct.26 (GMM) Adrian Sutil insists he has not been ousted by Force India, in the wake of reports that the German, who has been with the Silverstone based team since its Spyker days, will be replaced in the race seat next year by Nico Hulkenberg.
Boss Vijay Mallya, however, will not be making the 2012 driver announcement until mid December.
“Vijay has told me that there has been no decision yet and that the (Hulkenberg) news is not right.
“I have no reason to disbelieve him as he has always been open and honest with me,” Sutil told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
The magazine, however, is convinced that Sutil’s “marriage to his long-time employer seems over”, with new team co-owner Sahara meaning Force India is “no longer dependent on Sutil’s sponsors”.
His only alternative for 2012 appears to be Williams, with Sutil’s manager Manfred Zimmermann reportedly ruling out a switch to Lotus, Virgin or HRT.
Renault has a vacancy for next year, but Sutil remains locked in a legal dispute with that team’s co-owner Eric Lux.
For its driver choice, Williams is in a position of luxury, with Sutil but also Rubens Barrichello and apparently Kimi Raikkonen all keen on the seat alongside Pastor Maldonado.
Auto Motor und Sport said 2007 world champion Raikkonen has tired of rallying, has some sponsorship in tow and is “training hard” for his F1 comeback.
“A quick decision by Williams, as hoped for by Sutil, is not likely,” said the German report.