Mallya bids goodbye to Adrian Sutil
Britain's Paul Di Resta and German driver Nico Hulkenberg were confirmed as Sahara Force India's two drivers for the 2012 Formula One season yesterday. Di Resta drove with the team in 2011, finishing in 13th place in the standings while helping Force India to sixth in the constructors.
Hulkenberg was a reserve driver in 2011, having driven for Williams in 2010. The 24-year-old German replaces compatriot Adrian Sutil, who has been tipped to take over from Rubens Barrichello at Williams. Team principal Vijay Mallya gave Sutil due credit for the team's success nevertheless. "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," said Mallya.
Di Resta sounded confident. "I'm really looking forward to my second season of Formula One and continuing to grow and develop with Force India," he 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."
Mallya however was confident the two drivers could keep the team on the shoulders of the leading teams. "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," he said.
"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, who grabbed a surprise pole position in the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix, added: "It wasn't easy to watch from the sidelines this season. I'm extremely motivated for 2012." �