Force India were adamant Sutil’s departure was nothing to do with an impending court case at the time as the 30-year-old faced charges of causing grievous bodily harm.
Sutil was eventually convicted of assaulting Lotus executive Eric Lux with a champagne glass during an incident in a nightclub after the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix.
A German court handed Sutil an 18-month suspended sentence along with a fine of 200,000 euros. After a year on the sidelines, following an initial five-season stint in F1, Sutil again partners Paul di Resta.
Speaking at the final pre-season test at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, Sutil said: “Everyone can make mistakes in life. If you never make mistakes you will never grow. I don’t think there is a single person here who never made a mistake. My one was maybe a different one and was very public.”