After weeks of speculation, Germany’s Adrian Sutil has won the race for the final seat available in Formula 1 this season at Force India.
The 30-year-old, who was dropped by the team in 2011 after being given an 18-month suspended sentence for assaulting Renault owner Eric Lux in a nightclub, will replace fellow countryman Nico Hulkenberg and partner Britain’s Paul di Resta
The new Formula One season gets underway on March 17 in Melbourne.
“I’m delighted to be back in Formula One, especially with a team I know so well,” Sutil said in a statement issued by the team.
“I’m very happy and I want to thank Sahara Force India for giving me a second chance. Having been away from the sport, I’m even more determined to achieve my goals in Formula One. Things went really well at the Barcelona test last week and it almost feels as though I’ve never been away.”
“The decision over our driver line-up has not been an easy one and we have given it great consideration over the last few months,” said team co-owner Vijay Mallya.
“It was a close call, but ultimately we felt that Adrian’s experience and historic links to the team gave him the edge, and will provide us with the best possible chance of realising our ambitions for the coming season.
“If he can rediscover the exceptional form he showed in the second half of 2011, I’m confident that we can pick up where we left off at the end of 2012,” added the Indian drinks tycoon.