Sutil casts doubt on Sauber’s future after losing seat

2014 F1 season

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Adrian Sutil cast doubt on whether Sauber will compete in 2015 after the team announced a change in driver line-up which leaves him without a seat for 2015.

Sauber has confirmed Felipe Nasr as their second driver alongside Marcus Ericsson for next year. That leaves Sutil, who joined the team from Force India this year, without a drive.

Asked during today’s press conference whether he originally had a two-year contract with Sauber, Sutil said: “There are certain things to talk about definitely, yes.”

“I mean they’ve confirmed two drivers but it doesn’t mean the drivers’ going to drive, and it doesn’t mean the team’s going to drive.

“So there’s no real change from last weekend to this weekend. It’s just an announcement and now of course my situation I think I have to do some talking to sort out the things.”

Nasr joins Sauber from Williams, where he was a test driver. Felipe Massa, who made his F1 debut with Sauber, endorsed Nasr’s move but was also pessimistic over the team’s future.

“I hope the best for him,” said Massa. “Definitely is not a great moment for Sauber so I don’t know exactly how it’s going to be next year, his team. I don’t know which car and how competitive they can be, looking that they suffer a little bit of crisis and a crisis is not good for everything you’re doing.”

“But anyway I hope the best for him and I hope he can have a good start and a good experience being in Formula One for a long time, not just a few years.”

Sutil expressed doubt over whether he will be able to find a seat next year. “At the moment I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe. Formula One is unpredictable. But as I said there’s a few things to sort about first and the team has to comment the rest.”

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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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45 comments on “Sutil casts doubt on Sauber’s future after losing seat”

  1. His comments are clearly tinged with spite – he knows he’s out of a seat and is trying to generate uncertainty in the team.

    I lost all respect for the guy when he let the Lewis Hamilton thing simmer over and the sooner he’s out of F1, the better, in my book.

    1. Yes, I agree. But we must all understand that the man talking has just been made redundant by his team effectively, and with no other obvious seat to go to his backers may also look for other places to use sponsorship. So no job, no future: he’s allowed to be slightly acidic.
      I think his performance has been disappointing over the past several years, and I don’t think he had any more to offer F1 than he had already delivered.

      1. I think sauber has been really bad this year and as such it has been really difficult to analyze the performances of the drivers. The drivers definitely could have done much better in better car.

    2. “I lost all respect for the guy when he let the Lewis Hamilton thing simmer over”

      Really? For me it was when he stabbed a guy in the neck.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        7th November 2014, 2:48

        hahah +1

    3. Sutil’s reaction aside, I’ve lost a lot of respect for Sauber if it turns out that they signed concurrent contracts. Buying Sutil out of his contract without even talking to him first, is nasty and not what we were used to when Sauber himself ran the team.

  2. I think people will complain more about losing Jenny Becks than Adrian Sutil…

    1. …Adrian who?

    2. haha! right here!

    3. I already miss her :)

  3. Sauber don’t even need to improve their car next year and you know they’ll do better! Especially with Nasr. Ericsson? Not so much.

  4. TBH, even for a pay driver Sutil is pretty bad. I mean, he’s barely beaten Gutierrez this year. And look at Hulk last year. I’m sure even Ericsson is faster.

  5. Wow, sour grapes much?

  6. This is merely spite since it is certain that the budgets of Ericsson and Nasr supersedes the Telmex/Medion combo, otherwise Sauber simply would have kept their incumbent line up. With a larger sponsorship package, some genuine talent in Nasr and having apparently started their 2015 project earlier than any other team, I are quite so sure 2015 is set to be as bleak a year for Sauber as Adrian makes out.

    I am disappointed with Sutil because he surely would have known from the early stages of the season when it became clear that formula 2014 was not to his liking that this would be his final season. Why waste a seat on an unmotivated and poorly performing old hand when there are hoards of youngsters that would kill for the seat? If I was Monisha I would respond to such spite by replacing him with Felipe as of this race, since it is almost a “2013-Maldonado-at-COTA-esque” remark.

    1. How is it spite? He is being asked questions, as a matter of fact much as I like the Sauber team, I find it odd how they can sign on new drivers for another year without saying to the existing one what exactly their situation is. It isn’t fun to hear from the newspapers or elsewhere what goes on in a team you are a part of.

  7. Bye Sutil! Don’t forget to close the door on your way out.

  8. his attitude take him to this pathetic level… he referred 2013 force India car to carrot(before changing tyre compound they scored consistently in every race) after they signed nico and perez… his F1 career is over…

  9. I hope Sauber enforces a ban on glass bottles.

  10. Sure, becuase with you, the future of ANY team is as secure as Bruce Wayne’s house. You didn’t deserve Sauber’s seat in the first place…

    7 YEARS since your debut, mate. 6 seasons of “meh”… sad to see your girl gone, mate, tv footage won’t be the same. But it was about time for you to go !

  11. I’ve never taken much of an interest in Sutil. No particular reason other than him being mostly invisible throughout the years.

    I’ve never understood how he managed to keep getting or retaining seats when he’s never been anything other than below average.

    Is he or his family really rich and he’s largely been a pay driver?

    1. Agree, I’ve long been baffled as to how he stayed in F1 for so long. I understand he is disappointed though with the decision, who would be happy in being told (or finding out through the grapevine) that your services are no longer required? But I was hopeful that de Silvestro would get the seat for next year.

  12. It seems to me that there is more to it than just Sutil’s frustration. If he really still has an agreement with Sauber for 2015 (it is also not clear what van der Garde’s status is), then Sauber are desperate to secure extra cash. I hope that Banco do Brasil and Volito Aero have enough money to pay the bills and settle the legal issues and that Ecclestone really “understands the need for change” but I will believe it when I see it.

    1. Yeah, most of us have seen reports that VdGarde actually already had a contract in place with Sauber (from as recent as Sochi) and Sutil is reported to have a valid contract (that needs to be payed off) in more or less any source I have seen.

      Off course none of us know exactly who has what in which contracts with whom. But there is a good reason why Ferrari do not announce Vettel yet until they have their current drivers sorted (payoff for Alonso, or voluntary exit, or even getting a payoff from Alonso, or whatever).
      The same goes for Sauber if they haven’t settled this with Sutil up front, either by buying him out or because of an exit clause (maybe including a case of inability to pay his salary?) its quite normal for him to question the sanity and prospects of the team.

  13. I think the money Sauber will save on wrecked cars will be enough to make up any shortfalls they will see with Sutil leaving.

  14. wow, some real insight from Massa here: “they suffer a little bit of crisis and a crisis is not good for everything you’re doing.”

    1. Once again, Massa should just stay quiet.

  15. Let’s just hope we don’t see him or Gutierrez in F1 again.

  16. I am so happy! That terrible pay driver Sutil, could finally be out of Formula 1, and I hope he takes Gutierrez with him. He is much worse than Hulkenberg and barely beat Gutierrez. I lost all sympathy and respect for him when he attacked a guy with a glass bottle and tried to get Lewis Hamilton into trouble and now hates him for no reason.

    1. I completely agree all respect lost when he glasses someone in a nightclub. To make it worse he’s not a very good driver either.

  17. Bye Sutil!
    Won’t be missed.

  18. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    6th November 2014, 17:50

    It’s a shame he didn’t get a break after Force India. I feel he’s one of those drivers who did enough to get an opportunity with a bigger team, especially since McLaren and Renault were running the likes of Kovaleinen, Perez and Piquet Jr.

    1. +1

      At Force India he had some good races or part of races anyway (remembering him overtaking in the Monaco hairpin and making it stick)… don’t feel he is such a terrible driver despite all the critics.

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      6th November 2014, 19:41

      @sennanmbr1 now you mention it, I never understood why Kovalainen got a McLaren seat. I know Alonso’s departure may have been a big surprise, but Kovalainen? Really?

      1. At the time Kovalainen looked like a good pick.

        He’d had a difficult start to 2007 but had looked fairly impressive towards the end inclduing a podium at that very wet race at Fuji.
        He’d also just won the race of champions by beating Michael Schumacher in an identical set of cars & had just missed out on the GP2 championship to Nico Rosberg the year before at the final race.

        He looked like a young driver with a lot of potential going forward & McLaren obviously saw that & felt he’d be a good #2 to Lewis as he could learn & continue to improve. Sadly for both sides it didn’t work out.
        He was great at Caterham though, Especially in 2010/2011 where he had a couple standout drives in a very poor car.

  19. I’m amused how much hate Sutil is attracting considering his qualifying performance last week. He’s always been a solid journeyman in my opinion, some of his early drives were quite impressive. I won’t shed a tear if he’s gone for good but I don’t begrudge him his time in F1.

    Gutierrez on the other hand has been a complete waste of space.

    1. +1 I am equally confused about the hate for Sutil as I am the love of VDG.

  20. I don’t really get a lot of the hate Adrian has got this year.

    Certainly the commends about him been a poor driver who’s never done anything is a little unfair & to be honest inaccurate.
    Certainly during his 1st stint with Force India he had some very strong performances & there were a dozen times he got the car further up than it probably should have been. Even looking at last year lets not forget his drive at Melbourne after a year out of racing & he had other strong performances up until the tyre changes which seemed to hurt Force India more than others.

    He’s had a difficult year this year but lets be honest, The car is utter crap & everyone who’s driven it have complained about the exact same issues with not just the lack of consistency of the cars balance but also the lack of drivability of the power unit.

  21. I wonder how Sauber mechanics feel after Sutil said the team might not be there next year, i think it was very poor of his part saying that without taking in consideration all the team staff that will lose their jobs if that happens, i can understand he might be feeling “cheated” by the team administrators but saying that is only making more unlikely that he will remain in F1 next year.

    1. And wasn’t it any less poor of the team to announce two new drivers when they have others still contracted to drive for the team @leonardo-antunes?

      Actually, unless they have some kind of agreement on ending Sutils contract he can block sue them to give him the drive (or bring it up with the FIA contract board thing)

      1. Yes, yes it was (in case Sauber have this contracts signed and confirmed but didn’t announced it and signed Nasr and Ericsson anyway) but that doesn’t excuse Sutil behavior, his actions are understandable but i don’t think that is the way a professional racing driver should act in this situation.

  22. To quote another German driver: “Tough luck.”

    If I’m Sutil, I’d take the buyout and go somewhere else – maybe Super GT, maybe the WEC – and accept that the team will be better without me as a part of it. Same with GVDG.

  23. I don’t want to seem bias myself by saying this, but Sutil says this 1 day after Sauber have confirmed their 2015 line-up, which doesn’t include Sutil. In all reality, Sutil has been underperforming his whole career. I’m surprised Force India kept him for so long to be perfectly honest. But then again, his pocket full of cash might’ve been more appealing than one first thought. And now, he’s one of the oldest drivers in the field, one of the most experienced and that experience doesn’t come with pace that can land him a 2015 seat.

    1. Thing is, Sutil still has a contract with the team for next year which they will have to sort (buy off? – I am not aware of Sauber confirming they did actually sort that out properly before signing new guys. And VdGarde was also supposed to have already singed a contract, although that one might have been just an option tied in with funds provided)) to actually make that happen @mattypf1

  24. Parthian shot from Sutil.

  25. Good riddance, Sutil. He joins the ranks of other past f1 drivers I couldn’t stand; namely, Villeneuve Jr., Irvine, Heidfeld, Frentzen and Montoya.

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