After a mixed year in the Force India, Adrian Sutil’s signing by Sauber has been confirmed by the Swiss team, as a replacement for Nico Hulkenburg’s seat.
It is essentially a straight swap, as Hülkenberg joins Sergio Pérez in the Force India outfit after the team decided to change both their drivers for next year. Perez was confirmed at Force India earlier this week, ending Sutil’s chances of retaining his seat.
Sutil, having driven all of his Formula 1 career with the same team is reportedly looking forward to the new challenge.
"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."
Adrian Sutil has been racing in Formula 1 since 2007, starting with Spyker. The team changed into Force India in 2008 and he stayed on until 2012, after which he was dropped from the grid following a grievous bodily harm charge for stabbing Lotus manager Eric Lux with a broken champagne flute in a Shanghai nightclub.
He returned in 2013 to a modest result, with some good finishes but coming 13th and behind his teammate Paul Di Resta in the overall standings with only 29 points.
Monisha Kaltenborn, the Suaber Team Principal, spoke highly of the German driver and excitedly for the plans ahead.
“We are pleased that we were able to sign Adrian, particularly as we have been wanting to work together with him for a while,” she said.
“Adrian had already visited the factory at the end of September to have a look at the infrastructure. Adrian is not only very fast, but also brings a lot of experience, which is very important looking at the new regulations for next year. We welcome Adrian to the Sauber F1 Team and look forward to a successful collaboration.”
Sauber’s second driver is still unknown. Initially, Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin was earmarked for the seat, however there is also a chance Esteban Gutiérrez may remain with the team.