F1 »

Sutil not concerned by Hulkenberg threat

Adrian Sutil insists that he does not feel under any extra pressure to defend his seat from Force India reserve Nico Hulkenberg.
Adrian Sutil may have to raise his game if he is to be given the option of remaining with the Force India F1 team beyond the end of 2011, with fellow countryman Nico Hulkenberg being tipped to return to a full race seat next season.

The incumbent German insists that his first choice would be to continue with the Silverstone-based squad - one year on from a contract hold-out as he chased the vacant seat at Lotus Renault, amongst others - even though he has generally been matched in on-track performance by rookie team-mate Paul di Resta. Although Sutil leads the intra-team battle by 24 points to eight, he trails 5-7 in qualifying and only a degree of misfortune has prevented di Resta from racking up more top ten finishes.

With team boss Vijay Mallya keen to keep di Resta, and his Mercedes links, on board for a second season, Sutil could come under pressure from Hulkenberg, who has been carrying out third driver duties in Friday free practice throughout the year, having been snapped up by FIF1 after his release from Williams. The young German, who won the 2009 GP2 title, recorded a surprise pole position at the Brazilian Grand Prix, but it was not enough to protect his position from the better-funded, but more erratic, Pastor Maldonado.

While Hulkenberg reveals that other teams have begun to enquire about his services, he admits that he is happy with Force India and insists that he has 'a realistic chance of racing again in 2012', suggesting that Sutil's place could be in danger after spending his entire F1 career with the squad through its various post-Jordan incarnations as Spyker, Midland and Force India.

"He did very well at Williams last year and deserves another chance," 28-year old Sutil said of his rival in an interview with Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport, before insisting that he was keen to see off the challenge for his seat.

"We are currently the fifth best team - and with an extremely small budget - so why should I go? Of course, I hear things about me [going] somewhere else, but I'm a loyal person and my first contact will be Force India."

Ironically, one team being spoken about as a possible alternative for Sutil is Hulkenberg's former employer Williams, which continues to hold talks with veteran Rubens Barrichello about extending his contract into 2012. Hulkenberg recalls that the Brazilian was clearly team leader during his spell at Grove, but fears that Maldonado may now hold the upper hand, despite trailing in both qualifying and championship stats.

"Last year, Rubens had the complete support of the team," Hulkenberg told Motor-Total.com last month, "Everyone was standing behind him and what he said was more or less law. However, this is no longer quite the case, from what I read from the media, and I think that his performances might suffer a bit."

With nominated reserve Valtteri Bottas not yet though to be ready for F1, despite leading the GP3 standings, Williams could be looking for an alternative to the most experienced F1 driver of all time, and BBC pundit Eddie Jordan believes they could do worse than settle for Sutil.

"This is a real possibility, because I see Hulkenberg and di Resta at Force India next year," the Irishman noted,

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.07.2011- Race, Vijay Mallya (IND), Chairman and Managine Director Force India
30.07.2011 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM04
27.08.2011- Saturday Practice, Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Force India F1 Team, Test Driver
26.08.2011- Friday Practice 1, Adrian Sutil (GER), Force India F1 Team, VJM04
03.07.2015 - Free Practice 1, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
03.07.2015 - Free Practice 1, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
03.07.2015 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
03.07.2015 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
03.07.2015 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
Nico Rosberg - Mercedes
02.07.2015 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
02.07.2015 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
02.07.2015 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
02.07.2015 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
02.07.2015 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
02.07.2015 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
02.07.2015 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
02.07.2015 - Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Rob - Unregistered

September 06, 2011 11:51 AM

How can this forum disagree with Mark comment, there should be no place in this sport for people capable of that sort of behavior, superstars of F1 dont go around throwing their weight about why should the B class drivers While I'm this FI subject I would like to see Will Power in an F1 car, hes a real driver

© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.