Hulkenberg in, Sutil out at Force India for 2012

2012 F1 season

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Adrian Sutil, Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Nico Hulkenberg will return to F1 in 2012 with Force India, the team has confirmed.

Hulkenberg will join Paul di Resta in the team’s race-line up for next season.

The news leaves Adrian Sutil without a race seat having spent the last five years with the team.

Team principal Vijay Mallya said: “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.”

Mallya added: “In Paul and Nico we have two extremely talented drivers with tremendous potential.

“I think Paul caught the eye of everybody in the pit lane during his rookie season. His speed, maturity and racecraft confirmed that 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.”

Hulkenberg said: “I’m obviously delighted to be staying with Sahara 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.”

Di Resta 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.”

See the updated list of 2012 F1 drivers and teams.

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Image © Force India F1 Team

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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125 comments on “Hulkenberg in, Sutil out at Force India for 2012”

  1. Such mixed feelings, exciting line-up but worried for Sutil :(

    1. I have to say the same….. I like both Hulkenberg and Sutil but I want to see them performing on the same grid…….. I just hope sutil can get a seat at williams maybe……

      1. Same here, I like Sutil and I like hulkenberg. There’s only one way to sort this out……. FIGHT!

      2. Sutil+8 million pounds sponsorship=guaranteed race seat at Williams.Don’t worry

        1. That’s what I was thinking.

          I think it’s a good move by Vijay, might be a bit of a gamble.. But it’s what F1 needs! Although, I suspect it’s a monetary thing once again? :P

    2. I am happy for Force India because I think its right for the team to bring in new blood and that it is time for Adrian to move on… Unfortunately he should be moving onwards and upwards and isn’t.

      Adrian to me seems the perfect fit for the number 2 seat at Ferrari, he has the speed, intelligence, skills and talent to push that car against Alonso, he has the pace I am sure to be a race winner and podium regular… beyond that he would would have to supply that extra spark to become one of the greats of the sport and maybe a world champion…

    3. Well, it was a widely expected decision. No smoke without fire. Next year, Vijay and and the team will realise their mistake. Di Resta was overhyped to death, same Hulkenberg. They are “platoon drivers” and nothing else. Sutil, on the other hand, is in advanced negotiations with Williams. The Grove-based team wants a 2-years contract, Sutil wants only 1 year. According to a prestigios german magazine (the same who announced his departure from Force India ) Sutil is announced as a possible replacement for Felipe Massa from 2013. Alonso – Sutil lineup ? A dream team….

  2. Didn’t see that coming…

  3. I’m happy that Hulkenberg and di Resta have seats as I think they both have talent, but I really hope Adrian gets a drive somewhere as he has potential. He was pretty average early in his career but he’s ironed out his mistakes and I found him to be quite a solid driver in 2010 and this year.

    I’m still not sold on Hulkenberg completely, but that pole he got in Brazil was probably the most joyous moment of the entire season.

  4. Happy that Hulkenberg has got a seat, though this could make the Williams line up interesting.. Sutil seems to be headed that direction now possibly alongside Maldonado, but has there been any news on PDVSA’s sponsorship yet or might they be touting Petrov’s services?

    1. PDVSA ie the Venezuelean goverment is not willling to sponsor Maldonado.So I suppose it’s goodbye Maldonado and Hello Sutil and Petrov

  5. Knew it was going to happen, Di Resta underperformed for me, because I think Sutil is quite mediocre, and to be pretty much dominated for the whole season just doesnt show much promisde.

  6. I’m chuffed for Hulkenberg, it was a joke he was left on the sidelines this year.

    It’s a pity for Sutil but after five years I can’t say I’m too surprised. He didn’t exactly dominate di Resta this year – far from it, actually.

    Not an easy decision for Force India but I think they’ve made the right call. They’ve got an exciting line-up for next year.

    1. Sutil strikes me as a solid, if slightly underwhelming driver. I suspect he’ll do no more than find another seat and serve out the rest of his time in the sport. Ultimately, I think Force India made the right decision.

    2. What sponsors will nico bring in team ?
      just for knowledge, nothing other than !

      1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
        16th December 2011, 15:39

        Sutil is like Heidfeld – solid driver that has the skills and experience but does not bring the excitement or the exceptional to the table.

        As neither has a pot of gold both will be watching from the sidelines although I expect Williams will replace Barichello for Sutil.

      2. His personal sponsor ist Katjes. But i don’t know if there any others, but he said a few times that he will not pay for a cockpit.

    3. I agree, Keith. This decision is a little tough on Sutil, but completely understandable. I think I would have done the same, in Mallya’s shoes. Sutil deserves to stay in the sport, and I think and hope he will go to Williams now.

      1. How low have Williams sank that we expect them to take-on a driver Force India doesn’t want anymore… As their non-pay driver!

        1. sutil will carry forward his sponsors

    4. i expected this last year itself, when Tonio and Sutil were paired; it was impossible to evaluate Sutil based on Tonio’s performance… Fisi Sutil’s previous team mate was doing better than him looking at VJM02’s history. So firing Tonio was very logical & letting go of Sutil following his comparison with a Rookie was also a right thing to do… though he did a good job in the second half but his performance could have been accurately measured only if he and Paul had the similar race strategy.

      Hulk & di Resta is the best way forward… to young guys wanting to prove themselves with a team which can’t afford good experience guys from big teams but can only bet on young drivers who could be as good as the top guys with some experience in the car.

      BTW our Prime Minister has made a statement few days ago implying that the airline cos will get help & already we see some action to that effect like reducing fuel prices of airlines… so hopefully Mallya can stay with FI for a few more years.

    5. I wouldn’t phrase it better Keith.

    6. I agree. I’ve never warmed for Sutil, apart from the last few months when he raised his game. For what he’s shown this year, he deserves to be in F1, but Hulkenberg and di Resta more so.

    7. Couldn’t agree more Keith

    8. The bigger joke is that Hulkenberg is back in Formula One… He was trashed by an old Barrichello, so I don t know what are the people in Force India expecting… Pole Positions on every Saturday? I believe this is the only reason why he is so overhyped… His drive was pretty boring in 2010, he showed very few overtakings and average race pace… I don t get those “we think he has a big otential” things, when the facts and numbers are saying something different… And about Sutil and Di Resta… Having an advantage of 15 points in midfield is quite outstanding… But they will have, what they wanted… I am really looking forward, if one of those drivers could reach a top 10 position in standings… I very much doubt that… I was desgusted by sacking of Alguersuari, which had no sense at all and this one is the same… Both drivers had their best seasons, get praise from Formula One fans and some Formula One insiders, but yet they don t have seats for next year… A complete joke… It is how I said before, some drivers can do everything, have great results, but still it isn t enough… Because the most important thing is an imaginery potential, which is not backed by anything visible…

      1. in the second part of the Hulk’s rookie scored 21 points Rubens scored 25 points. i’d say that was pretty even.

      2. Hulkenburg didn’t exactly blow me away last year and i never really understood all the hype about him, but one year isn’t enough to judge a driver nowadays..
        I’ll remain a skeptic but i won’t mind if he proves me wrong

        1. It comes from him dominating his way thought pretty much everything before getting to F1.

          As rookie pedigree’s go, he held the ace card.

      3. He was trashed by an old Barrichello

        No he wasn’t. He had an entirely respectable first season and beat Barrichello several times:

        1. The points situation was pretty clear (47:22!!!), also the overall quali and race battles… Few times is not enough for this sort of hype…

    9. Considering Sutil got 42 to Di Resta’s 27 – I would rather see it 55% more points than Di Resta than just 15 more. There is only 1 or 2 points difference at lower positions compared to 5 to 8 at top positions so its unfair to expect Sutil to beat Di Resta by 100s of points like alonso or vettel did.

      Statistically speaking, Sutil beat Di Resta more convincingly than even Button beat Hamilton and and almost on par with Vettel beating Webber. Considering top 6 teams in championship and leaving out Renault(as they had multiple driver pairings), Sutil is 3rd best out of 10 drivers in consideration based on the general F1 fanatics observation that a driver can only be evaluated against his teammate.

      So i believe he has been unfairly treated by F1 fans. Force India can have other reasons to boot him out but i expect fans to rate(doesn’t need to like) a driver based on his results only.

      I am neither a Sutil fan nor anti-di resta but a huge fan of “stats don’t lie” :)

      1. but stats don’t tell that di Resta was always on an alternative strategy in the later part of the season which would only have worked if safety car was in picture or if the tire performance did not go down as much as expected… so i’m sure his car setup was slightly different to allow for that strategy. besides Force India pit crew cost di Resta could be best result where he qualified 6th & his few mistakes like in Canada & the race before also cost him points… he has got pace he has made few rookie mistakes & he can only improve from here… where as Sutil lost out to Fisi, he beat Tonio but Tonio was hardly a reference… di Resta in his rookie season has shown lot of potential… Hulk’s friday practice pace was suggesting that he maybe quicker than both. So it was an easy call to make.

        1. Always on different strategy? :D
          Aww, poor old, Paul…

  7. This was inevitable – Sutil wasn’t exactly great and he should have wiped the floor with Di Resta, but ultimately didn’t.

    1. Yes, Because Di Resta is obviously terrible, the only reason he beat Vettel when they were team mates was because Vettel and the rest of the F3 grid were driving while in a coma.

      1. Thats more or less what I was thinking.

        1. No, what I meant was experience > youth

          1. I was expecting Sutil to be better due to experience, and he ultimately was, but not by as much as I had previously predicted.

          2. What @pielighter writes, Sutil should have grown far more. I found him quite interesting in the first half of 2009, but he failed to take over where Fisi left and this year he only got better after is became more and more likely that he would be dropped. Fine effort, but just not good enough for the top.

      2. hurr durr he beat Vettel in Junior Formulae, which means he is good. Frentzen used to beat Schumacher in sports cars, look what happened to that. The F1 environment is different, you have to develop additional skills. Not to mention how much either of them could have learned in those 5 years, especially since Vettel has been in open-seaters

    2. as the season went on sutil got faster, di resta didnt. if it was a rookie thing it would of been the other way round.

      Sutil struggled with the tyre change from bridgestone. many will argue his experience should mean that shouldnt happen. but di resta had nothing to adapt from. it was all fresh.

      the same happened in 07 lewis was instantly fast while michelin generation drivers kimi and fernando struggled for a few races.

      and this season we were hearing its now lewis struggling to adapt…funny how the cycle goes round

      From just before mid season when everyone found their feet sutil did by far the better job. If di resta was getting close to him during final gp’s id say yes the potential is there. but that wasnt the case.

      Bad decision in the long run. Nico deserves to be in F1 but he only had a small handful of good races in 2010.

      i predict these 2 will trip over each other on more than one occasion in 2012.

    3. Adrian Sutil 42
      Paul di Resta 27

      This is getting ridiculous… I know Di Resta is likable… But Sutil did beat him quite conclusively.

      1. I don’t think Di Resta is likable, that kid is so boring its unbelievable every time BBC just forced an interview with him I would go do something else. Monotone voice + nothing interesting to say = boring, although that might have been caused by the way the Beeb were infact forcing these interviews at every session of every venue…
        His drive was impressive but I think Sutil was ultimately better. As said before it must have been an incredibly difficult decision to make considering how all 3 of them are fully deserving of a race seat.

    4. He did wipe the floor with Di Resta unless you are considering only qualifying as the bench mark in which case Webber and Trulli were the best drivers of mid 2000s.

      Based on pure race results, Sutil beat Di Resta as comfortably Vettel did Webber(Just a simple exercise multiply both sutil and di resta’s points by 10 and let me know if it appears any different from vettel and webber’s scores)

    5. di rasta has just one season in f1 he can only improve while sutil just got stagnant

  8. Glad for Nico, but there will be a lot of pressure on him to deliver from the get go I should imagine so it will be interesting to see if he can live up to that. I’m optimistic that he will.

    Can’t have been an easy decision to get rid of Sutil, especially after his strong finish to the season. Hopefully he can claim that remaining seat at Williams to remain on the grid for next year.

    1. I’d like to see him replace Maldonado if he went to Williams. You could argue Rubens is wasting a seat, but he’s got a lot more to give than Pastor ever will.

      1. @damonsmedley I’m just happy someone agrees with me on this.

      2. A change of team may do him good. I think to some degree with both Button and Rosberg, we have seen that drivers who spend too long at the same team without success do seem to lose something that comes back with a change of team/competitive car.

        Will depend on what Williams can deliver with that second condition though.

        17th December 2011, 2:44

        I agree Pastor is a waste of time. He’s never going show anything, plus Sutil can outdo his sponsor money and he is a much more complete driver.

  9. Very much mixed emotions here.

    I’m glad to see Nico getting a seat again – he’s thoroughly likeable and clearly very talented and deserves a race seat, so on one hand I’m delighted with this news.

    However, on the other, its a huge shame for Sutil. He has really come into his own this year – the previous years of his career he hasn’t really proven himself, and I think now that he had a clearly genuinely talented team mate he has really had to up his game, and he has done this. But ultimately, it is too late for him. Had he upped his game last year and pulled out performances like he did in Brazil or in Germany this year last year as well, I think he may have had more of a shot.

    Its a shame to see him go, but at the same time, great to see Hulkenberg back.

    1. Agree completely. Sutil would have to be one of the most improved drivers in F1 and it’s a shame to see him go as soon as he seems to get on top of everything.

      1. For sure. Sutil has had some brilliant moments that were shadowed by a poor car. In my humble opinion, he belongs in the top half of the grid (only just).

        So I hope he finds a decent drive for next season, and that Hulkengerg does that 2nd seat justice.

  10. It’s also interesting how many ‘new faces’ for 2012 are actually making comebacks: Räikkönen, Grosjean, Hülkenberg and de la Rosa..

    1. thanks, I almost forgot about de la Rosa
      it would be nice, to have a car not passing 107% sometimes :D

  11. Sutil -> Williams
    Alguersuari -> HRT
    and Vitaly -> Caterham

    then all reserves !

    1. Personally I’m hoping for Senna to Williams, though I don’t really see it happening.

      1. hope Rubens remains in F1

        1. I wouldn’t complain like if Rubens kept his seat, just I’d like to see more young drivers in F1 especially since four of them have just lost out on seats recently.

          Well five if you include Sutil but he’s not exactly young to F1 now.

        2. Me too! Rubens will do his 20th season..

        3. Honestly, nothing annoys me more than seeing Rubens and Jarno on the grid.

          We have quicker, exciting and younger drivers like Sutil and Alguersuari out of drives… and old, boring, washed up drivers like Rubens and Jarno just wasting space on the 2012 grid

          1. Yeah, great young drivers like Senna and Pastor who really worked for their seats… :/

    2. agree that it’s logical to expect Sutil at Williams and Alguersuari at HRT but definitely not Petrov at Caterham
      I dont see Petrov driving any F1 car next season, and I dont think any right thinking team principal would take Petrov as test driver either.. but it would change if something were to happen at Marussia, which I think is unlikely too

  12. Great for Hulkenberg. Glad to see him back. Hopefully Sutil can find a ride for 2012. I’d like to see him at Williams.

  13. Its bad how all these drivers that had very good seasons are getting left out in the cold, while many drivers with a bad season have safe seats.

    1. @the-last-pope I wouldn’t say any of the drivers without a drive right now had ‘very good seasons.’ Sutil had an ok season, but overall he really hasn’t impressed in the 5 years he’s been in F1. Petrov & Senna both haven’t set the world alight either. They haven’t had a great chance to, but their seasons were quite dismal, mainly because of the Renault. Buemi & Alguersuari have both had longer, and Buemi hasn’t impressed me. Alguersuari though in my opinion has a lot to offer still. He is only 21, and I think he is probably the most deserving out of these drivers to get a seat. Not that they all don’t deserve a seat, but I’d give the remaining spots to Alguersuari & Sutil.

      1. I think Sutil had a good season, All the attention on Di Resta has made it hard to notice though.

        I really hope Alguarsuari gets a seat. He’s better than this.

        However… I love Rubens… The chances are slim now… But I so hope he get gets to keep his seat.

  14. Well, I’m not surprised! I don’t think Sutil deserves to lose his seat at Force India, but Hulkenberg’s talent is undoubted. He’s going to be top class. I can see Sutil taking the seat at Williams with Maldonado(how is he still in F1?).

    I think it’s slightly unfair to say Sutil should have wiped the floor with Di Resta last season. When you have a driver as talented as Paul, I think Sutil did a brilliant job in beating Di Resta. I think Force India realise how talented Hulkenberg is and don’t want another team to get him before he becomes a star. They probably needed to give him the seat. And they can”t get rid of Di Resta after the great debut season he had. Therefore, Sutil unfortuanately loses out.

  15. Any news of who the Force India reserve driver is yet? And is he guaranteed a race drive in 2013?!

    1. maybe it goes out to the highest bidder, now let the bids begin…

      1. I’m guessing Bruno Senna

  16. Regarding all the seats in F1, I think it’s a shame Williams signed up Maldonado so quickly. With Petrov booted out of Renault, he may very well be without a seat next year. I wish he could have been in Maldonado’s place at Williams, as he could replace the money Maldonado brings in, and Petrov is also a better driver. Of course he could get the other seat, but I doubt it. It’s unfortunate, because at least 3 out of Senna, Petrov, Alguersuari, Buemi & Sutil won’t have a seat next year, while Maldonado does.

    1. Same feelings here.

  17. Sutil needs to hurry up and snap up that Williams seat. This might not turn out to be so bad for him.

    1. i agree with you a driver like Sutil should race in this formula 1 & Williams is not a bad idea

  18. Well, surprise, surprise! I guess we all saw that coming a few months ago.

    Anyway, I think Force India have made the right call. Di Resta is a excellent driver and I’m a fan of Hulkenberg since that pole in Brazil, which really stunned me. I was sad for him when he was sidelined for this year. So I sincerely hope he can get back to his bets performance level next year.

  19. And so we look to Williams.

    I do wish Williams would just take Sutil and Petrov. That way they have the money, the experience and drivers who can actually finish a race…

  20. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    16th December 2011, 16:40

    f1 is so strange as a sport but probably not as a business… I remember how strange was droppping Hulkenberg last yaer after his pole in Brazil. Then this year we coulde see one of the best in-team battles between Buemi and Algersuari, and both are fired. Finally Sutil is chosen by fans aas driver of the weekend, shows progress all year and then gets fired too. But i see old dinosaurs like Trulli and Barrichello going nowhere and in spite of that, so cozy in their cars. Well I guess they are more worthy as walking wallets than like good pilots.

  21. Sutil really needs to get a a drive for next season. Hopefully it will be Williams because someone needs to balance the lack of Pastor’s pace. If he does then I think it might be good for him since he seems to perform well under pressure.

  22. sid_prasher (@)
    16th December 2011, 17:02

    Disappointed for Sutil…I hope he finds a drive some where…

    As these developments have turned out (at Torro Rosso and FI), I am more and more ready to accept Ruben’s departure from the sport…

    1. sutil’s depature from FI is on the expected lines, he might find a seat at williams, whereas nobody expected jamie and beumi to be kicked out by STR like this.

  23. This is fine with me. Huelkenberg had à good Rookie season, whereas Sutil just never did shine.
    If I were Williams, I’d only take Sutil for tha money… He’s not an inspiational exceptional driver who brings all this extra energy to à team…

  24. i feel for the drivers who are not going to get a seat next year,i hope rubans stays let him have 20 seasons,this is where 3 car teams would be handy or even single car teams like in touring cars

  25. I think this is definitely the decision I expected and I feel it is the wisest choice. Having two exciting young drivers is the way forward for these midfield teams I believe. Look at Sauber, exciting, enthusiastic and willing to learn.

    1. Couldn’t have said it better @smifaye I do rate Sutil, certainly more than I did in 2010 but I think for the benefit of his career and Force India as a team this is a wise choice. I’m confident Hulkenberg will deliver.

  26. I’m a bit surprised by people saying that sutil wasn’t good in the other season’s. He was on the verge of some very good results around 2007-2009 but every time either raikonnen took him out (I remember one instance of this at Monaco, but there was at least one other) or the car let him down. If not for that people would have held him in higher regard (look at how highly ppl speak of hulk after his pole in brazil 2010)

    That said I feel that force India have the right drivers. Di resta did a fantastic job last season, and hulk looks really promising (having won every driving series, other than F1, that he’s competed in.

    1. My thoughts exactly re the first paragraph.

      He was on course to finish 4th in Monaco in 2008 before being taken out by Raikkonen. Also he was on course for a points finish in Nurburgring before getting into a tussle with Raikkonen again. This was during a season which he and FI ended up scoring 0 points.

      Although he didn’t manage a podium in 2009, he still finished 4th in Monza, still his best finish to date.

      Don’t forget back then he tended to finish top of the timesheets in FP sessions when they were wet.

      1. He was on course to finish 4th in Monaco in 2008

        actually he wasn’t, he woudn’t have even scored points.

        stewards said post race they were going to give him a 25-second penalty for passing 3 cars under yellow flags.

        1. The knowledge of you people is bewildering! :O)

  27. I still can’t understand why De La Rosa got a race seat when there are so many young and talented drivers without a seat.

    Bloody Formula 1..

    I want Rubens for his last season next year, also Buemi, Chandhok, Alguesuari and Sutil..

    Lotus should sack Trulli for next year.

    1. yep, trulli is a waster now and should go, saw him at the ring in july, he was more interested in thr tour de france and F1 that weekend

  28. This was rumoured to be the decision for a while now so it isn’t surprising news like the Lotus/Renault and Toro Rosso 2012 line-ups were.

    Personally I would have chosen Sutil and di Resta but it will be nice to have Hulkenberg back in F1.

    So this just leaves Williams and HRT unless we believe that Trulli’s seat at Caterham isn’t secure.

    I can see Sutil going to Williams and that leaving Barrichello out of F1.

  29. So strange. Sutil finished 9th in the championship, and “Faster Than Thou” di Resta finished 13th, but Sutil gets the boot. I simply disagree with the decision, but congrats to Hulkenburg all the same. We’ll see if he deserves the seat he’s been given though.

  30. FINALLY!!!!!FI realized that Sutil has absolutely zero talent and will never be a winning driver. Hülkenberg will definetly contribute more to the team than Sutil could ever do. Thank you FI!!!

  31. I think Sutil’s relatively poor English will have counted against him too. Much better than my German I admit, but in a field full of fluent linguists like Schumi and Alonso, both Sutil and Heidfeld have relatively poor diction that makes them less attractive for sponsors and hence to teams. I stress the word ‘relatively’, this is not intended as a criticism of him, rather an observation on issues in play where sponsorship are concerned. Sutil seems dour, whereas fellow Germans Rosberg and Hulk in contrast speak far more eloquently and are much easier to sell. Nick did himself no favours in that regard with the bearded hippy look. Sad that it should come to that, but where advertisers are concerned, it absolutely will.

    Kimi aside I think those who are able to come over smoothly tend to be seen in a better light generally, especially when there’s not much to choose between two drivers, it’s a factor. Alguersuari’s smooth media presence (and his perfectly pitched response to being sacked) always made Buemi seem rather haunted in comparison, and I’d expect him to fare better in the fight for seats for that reason as much as for his driving.

    1. Sutil has good sponsorship. They are German sponsors so I expect they are more concerned with his German which I am sure is fine.

  32. Not surprised, Actually expected it last year.

    The problem with Sutil is that he’s kinda been at the same level for a couple years, He’s shown no real improvement in any area (According to the Force India engineer’s).
    As I gather when the cars been good, He’s driven to the maximum potential of the car, However when the cars off he often struggles to figure it out.

    Di Resta had a good 1st year in F1, Especially when you consider he’s been racing DTM for a few years (Even with testing that sort of transition takes time to fully figure out, more so in terms of racecraft).
    Forec India (And others in the F1 paddock) have been very impressed with Paul’s performances & most see him as having a better long term future when compared to Sutil.

    Since Petrov has been mentioned above, He seems more likely to be off to Indycar next year.

  33. YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, go home German… wait Hulk is also German, got nothing against germans but I think Sutil just had enough of Force India he will find place elsewhere.

  34. I think di Resta and Hulkenberg will be a great partnership.
    Sutil was good but not great tbh

  35. good to see hulk back, hope he trouches his previous employers

  36. Sutil’s only option now is Williams.

  37. About time really. Sutil hasn’t bee that impressive in most of his time at Force India. Before he could hide behind being a rookie, but his two years as team leader haven’t been that impressive. On top of this, Hulkenburg definitely deserved another shot.

    That said, this could be a good thing for Sutil if he gets the Williams spot. He had a good run at the end of the year (if suspiciously coinciding with increased speculation about his future) and if he could carry Williams back up the field, his reputation will be enhanced.

    As for Force India, well, Sauber didn’t struggle too much with an inexperienced line-up did they?

    It’s a potential win-win for everyone.

  38. Eh, I think it was a mistake to give up Sutil for Hulkenberg. And it probably would have been a mistake to give up di Resta for Hulkenberg, too.

    1. And that’s why Ferrari should’ve given Massas seat to THE HULK for next year

      1. Actually, I think Hulkenberg is one of the most over-rated drivers on the grid. Even moreso than Bruno Senna. The only thing Hulkenberg has shown he can do is lose positions – at the overwhelming majority of races in 2010, he finished in a lower position than which he started in. He’s also one of the worst starters in the sport, with the slowest reaction times.

  39. Dropping Sutil was a good decision. They have been together for five years. Whatever could have been achieved has been achieved.

    Picking Hulkenburg is probably going to prove to be a bad decision. He drove two amazing laps on a Saturday at Interlagos. And was then dropped by the team a week later due to sponsorship issues. Take these two incidents together and you can see why people pity him so much and think that he should get another drive.

    But it is only pity love that people have for Nico. He is an average driver at best. Paul is the real deal and he needed someone in the other seat whom he could learn from and become more mature. Nico is definitely not that person. Sorry!

  40. Most people saw this coming but it’s still a little bit harsh on Sutil. He was the best driver out of all the midfield teams and finished 9th in the championships behind the mercs who had the quicker car on 9 out of 10 weekends. I hope Sutil can find a seat next year at williams.

    1. @tomand95

      I hope Sutil can find a seat next year at williams.

      I’ve heard that Vijay Mallya delayed announcing his drivers until Sutil had plans for 2012 in place. It might sound like a small courtesy, but Sutil’s bargaining position would have been weaker if the team annouced Hulkenberg and di Resta before Sutil had anything in place because it would have made him look bad. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Sutil already has something at the ready; Frank Williams has said that he wanted his line-up decided by Christmas, which is just a week away.

      Of course, Sutil could theoretically go anywhere with an open seat, or buy someone like Trulli out of his contract.

  41. Has anybody else noticed that, despite all the hype they get (and regardless of whether or not it is justified), Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg only have one-year contracts?

    1. @Prisoner-Monkeys Nothing unusual about that at the moment. Even if a driver gets a contract for more than one year it doesn’t necessarily mean anything – just ask Petrov.

    2. Am assuming Paul di Resta has a shot at Mercedes line up if Shumi Retires at end of 2012. So he might prefer 1 year contract. And Force India might want to rest Hulkenberg before giving multi year contracts ..just a hypothesis..

  42. Happy for Hulk & well for at least this line up was expected, who will be their Test driver?

    1. @wasiF1 Jules Bianchi is rumoured for that role, I’d like to see it happen.

  43. All I can say is ‘Bad move Force India , you have taken a step backwords for sure’

  44. Even if Sutil is linked with Williams, i really like to see him in Caterham alongside Kovalainen. He utterly dominated trulli this season, but if sutil takes that place then that would be the best possible lineup to take Caterham forward. Two equally matched teammates with exactly the same experience and both at the best form of their careers.
    Now, that would be amazing!

  45. Well that was expected. As an Adrian Sutil fan, I am obviously gutted and am only hoping that he gets that Williams seat.

    Down to the new FI line up. Hulkenberg and di Resta are both quick, young, relatively inexperienced (both entering their 2nd full season in F1) and are highly rated in the paddock. So, we are in for an interesting battle for supremacy in FI. Maybe the one who comes out on top could end up in Mercedes in 2013 if Schumi decides against signing a new contract. So, I think the Merc bosses will be keenly looking at how Hulk and di Resta perform.

    1. It does set up an interesting battle in the midfield. Renault/Lotus held onto fifth in the WCC by the skin of their teeth this year, and now they’ve swapped both their drivers out for two drivers who have not been in the sport for two years. Force India have dropped their regular driver in favour of Hulkenberg, so di Resta will no doubt be team leader. It will be interesting to see if they can take the fight to Lotus. With Lotus admitting that Raikkonen might need some time to get fully up to speed, Force India will have to strike while the iron is hot. The first few races will be fairly intense as they wrestle over who gets to set the early lead.

  46. Very good news

  47. I Like Sutil, and hope he gets a drive. Hulkenberg has talent and it will be good to see him racing.

    I dont like the fact that Sutil will proberly end up with a lesser team.

  48. I don’t see what is so fantastic about Hulkenberg’s pole. He did it on a drying track and was fortunate to have started his laps earlier.
    Barichello put the Jordan on pole at Spa, I believe in 1994, under similar conditions.

    It is a well known fact that slick tyres on a drying track will make you a hero. If you happen to be fortunate enough to have just enough time to make it to the pits for your tyre change.

    If he had say taken pole on a wet Monaco, that would be something. But when most of the runners had intermediates and he had slicks, it becomes a fluke result.
    He is a good enough driver, but not suddenly better than all the other 23.

  49. Most people here seem to be hoping that Sutil gets a seat at Williams. But Williams are in a terrible condition at the moment. Still, at least it would keep him on the grid for another year. I’d much rather see Alguesari and Buemi get the remaining seats.

    It’s a great shame for Rubens – if he’s leaving the sport – to not have celebrated a proper goodbye drive and party.

    How many F1 fans are there around the world? If one million of us agreed to put £10 into a pot, we’d have £10 million to sponsor a driver of our liking!

  50. I like the decision made by Force India. Hulk and Di Resta are fast and tallanted drivers with lots of speed in them. Watching Paul racing past season was a pleasure. It’s obvious that he has growing speed in him. If FI builds a good car for them,these two could bring a pleasent surprise next season.
    As for Sutil- he’s a good driver,during the seasons with Force India,he has grown massiveley. Now he just need to trust he’s agents and hope they get him a seat in williams or a test seat in one of the top teams like Merc or someone else.

  51. monkey mgee (@jokerinthepack)
    2nd June 2012, 4:14

    I, like many of you like Sutil. However, he should never have stabbed that dude in the neck with a wine glass. When you go around doing stuff like that it turns people off a bit.

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