Adrian Sutil’s manager Manfred Zimmermann has played down reports the German is in line for a return to F1 with Sahara Force India in 2013.
With Nico Hulkenberg switching to Sauber next year, Force India Team Principal Dr.Vijay Mallya admitted last weekend that Adrian Sutil is an optional candidate to replace the outgoing Nico Hulkenberg.
Adrian Sutil has been on the sidelines this year following his bar incident conviction of 2011.
Switzerland’s 20min. quotes admitting there are “definitely opportunities” for a return to formula one in 2013. But his manager Manfred Zimmermann is for now playing down the Force India link. “There are no concrete negotiations with Force India,” he told the German news agency DPA by telephone.
Zimmermann said Sutil, 29, has several options for 2013. “I think we have legitimate hopes,” he said. “We hope the puzzle is over in the next 14 days.” Indeed, another contender for Hulkenberg’s Force India seat must be the team’s reserve driver Jules Bianchi, who is backed by Ferrari and managed by Felipe Massa’s manager, Nicolas Todt. “If a place becomes available,” the French rookie told RMC Sport, “there will be plenty of contenders.
“The main objective is Force India,” admitted Bianchi.
At least four drivers could be in the running to race the banned Romain Grosjean’s black and gold Lotus at Monza this weekend.
F1 veteran turned Indycar driver Rubens Barrichello is desperate to break back into his favourite category, and has admitted his interest in Grosjean’s seat to his 1.7 million Twitter followers.
“People are asking (whether) if Lotus called me to race in Monza, would I go? The answer is YES,” said the 40-year-old.
Team boss Eric Boullier has confirmed that official reserve Jerome d’Ambrosio is “80 per cent” assured the seat. But Jaime Alguersuari, the official Pirelli test driver, told Spain’s AS sports newspaper that he is also “ready to race in Monza”. “I’m ready to race, of course I am. It (Lotus) is a big team with possibilities — I would climb into the car tomorrow, no problem.” Asked if he has a real chance of being called up by Lotus, Alguersuari answered: “I don’t know, I have no idea how things are, but I am here and ready to do anything.”
And reports in the German-language media said former Force India driver Adrian Sutil might be another outside chance for the drive. Meanwhile, Ferrari is definitely not on the lookout for a stand-in driver for Sunday’s Italian grand prix, despite championship leader Fernando Alonso admitting the Grosjean crash had left him with a sore shoulder.
“Today I woke up with no pain,” he told his million Twitter followers, “and 200 per cent ready for Monza!”