Force India has confirmed its 2012 line-up

We all knew it was coming: Force India has confirmed it will field Paul di Resta and Nico Hülkenberg in its driver line-up next year, meaning that Adrian Sutil is now job-hunting to remain on next year’s grid with another team. The team has not named a reserve driver.

Despite Sutil’s impressive 2011 season (where he claimed 42 of the team’s 69 championship points) would no doubt have created a quandary for the Silverstone-based team, but ultimately it is believed that Hülkenberg had a deal to promote him to a full-time role after a year on the reserve’s bench.

The word of his departure warranted scarcely three lines of text in the team’s press release, with team boss Vijay Mallya (who had also promised that he would announce his driver line-up weeks earlier than is now the case) saying:

“Our new line-up means we say goodbye to Adrian Sutil, 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.”

The outcome is great news for Hülkenberg, who now gets a second crack at F1 after seemingly being found guilty of not having a government-owned oil company to help bankroll his career at Williams, when it came to an abrupt halt at the end of the 2010 season.


The 2011 team photo
...and the 2012 team photo
The trio of Di Resta, Sutil and Hulkenberg was proudly announced as the team’s 2011 line-up less than 12 months ago. Fast forward to today, and the same photo is used on the team’s website, with Sutil crudely photo-shopped out…

“I’m obviously delighted to be staying with Sahara Force India and to be given the chance to race next year,” the German said.

“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.”

Di Resta’s place was seemingly assured after his impressive rookie season in the sport, no doubt help by his close relationship with Force India’s engine supplier, Mercedes.

“I’m really looking forward to my second season of Formula One,” the Scot said.

“I’ve said all along that I love being part of this team: 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.”

[Images via Force India Media, LAT and Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.