x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Sutil keen to stay on with Mallya's Force India team

The German has been with Vijay Mallya's team since its inception and wants to continue in the next season.

Adrian Sutil, Force India’s German driver, has been linked with a move to Renault.
Adrian Sutil, Force India’s German driver, has been linked with a move to Renault.

ABU DHABI // Adrian Sutil has reconfirmed his desire to remain with the Force India-Mercedes team for the 2011 season.

The German has been with Vijay Mallya's team since its inception following the takeover of Spyker, for whom Sutil raced a season in 2007.

But having endured a frustrating season, one in which the team's form fell away after a promising start, speculation rose that Sutil, 27, might be ready to move on.

But when asked yesterday in the Yas Marina Circuit paddock if he envisioned staying on with Force India, he said: "I can probably see my future here with this team. It's all going in this direction."

Another motivation for staying will be the chance to represent Force India at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix next year in Delhi, and he acknowledged that was an exciting opportunity.

"It will be amazing. I am looking forward to the Indian Grand Prix and if I am with this team here, it will be very special weekend for Force India," he said.

"It is their home grand prix and I feel it is a good team here anyway, so we will see."

Sutil had been linked with Renault and the potential departure of their driver, Vitaly Petrov. The Russian has struggled in his first year in F1 and is expected to lose his seat for next season after an inconsistent campaign. Petrov has often been outclassed by his teammate, Robert Kubica, the Polish driver.

Another German driver who has been linked with Renault for 2011 is Nick Heidfeld, who drives his last race for BMW Sauber in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.

Heidfeld, 33, is without a car for next season after Sauber announced last month that Sergio Perez, the Mexican driver, would partner Kamui Kobayashi in the team next season.

Heidfeld said: "For next year, obviously there are many seats already gone. I'm still in talks with various teams - also with Renault, as [team principal Eric] Boullier confirmed."

Renault, like a number of teams in F1, are not flush with revenue in the current economic climate. It is believed they are looking to add a driver who can bring in sponsors, as well as to partner Kubica.

He said Renault would represent "the best opportunity" for him but conceded that it is "obvious" that "talent, what you can give on the circuit" is not the only consideration for the French team.

He denied he was considering a move to sports car or touring-car racing for next season, reconfirming his commitment to F1.

"I am only looking to be in Formula One at the moment," he said. "I am 33 years old … and those other series could be interesting in the future, but not at the moment."

 

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