Sutil stays on, di Resta to make debut with Force India

Last Updated 26 January 2011, 15:53 IST

Force India today confirmed that it has finalised its driver line-up for the 2011 season, putting to rest weeks of speculation.

Besides, Sutil and di Resta, Force India will also have Nico Hülkenberg as the test and reserve driver as part of its long-term partnership.

"I am genuinely excited by the drivers we will be fielding in 2011. I believe that the combination of talent we've assembled gives us one of the strongest line-ups on the grid," team principal and chairman of Force India, Vijay Mallya said.

"Adrian has matured into one of F1's most consistent and highly-rated young drivers, while Paul is, I believe, a real star of the future. He has won in every category in his career and this base speed was in evidence when he got in the car on Fridays last year.
"With Nico, signing him was too good an opportunity to let by. He showed a good racing head and talent and I was amazed by his control in Brazil last year. Together I think they are a formidable partnership and will help take us to the next level of performance," he added.

Twenty-seven year old Sutil enjoyed his most successful season in F1 last year, securing 47 points to help Force India to seventh position in the constructors' championship.
En route to his highest-ever drivers' championship classification, he notched up nine points scoring positions, including a fifth spot finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

"I made my F1 debut with the team back in 2007 and we've worked together since then, so to stay for another year here feels very right," Sutil said."I've always said that I feel good in this team, it feels like family and when you feel good, you are confident and can push to your maximum.

"We've made some good progress together over the past four years and I'm excited to be part of the team when it takes the next step, which is hopefully to become a front running team. We have the same ambitions so it makes a lot of sense to achieve them together," he added. His new partner di Resta will make his F1 debut in 2011 following a strong year of Friday performances as Force India's test and reserve driver last season and his recent DTM title success.

The 24-year-old Scot joined the team after an impressive test in late 2009 and said he is thrilled to join the Force India team.

"Naturally I am thrilled to be making my race debut this season. Becoming an F1 driver has been a long-held ambition of mine, something I've wanted to do since I first stepped into a kart, and to finally realise it feels amazing," said di Resta, who participated in eight free practice sessions in 2010 to get up to speed with the challenges of F1 circuits.
"I've worked really hard for this opportunity throughout my career and to get it with Force India, a young team that's got ambitions as big as mine, is genuinely exciting. I can't wait to be on the grid in Bahrain, it can't come soon enough," he said.

German Nico Hülkenberg, who completes Force India's driver line-up for the 2011 season, had strong performances in the junior circuit.The 23-year-old also had an impressive rookie form in last year's F1 championship, including a sensational pole position in Brazil.
"I am happy I can stay in F1 in 2011. I am looking forward to working with Force India and I am sure the team will continue improving in the future. I appreciate the team trusting me by signing a long-term contract. I will do my very best to live up to expectations," Nico Hülkenberg said.

(Published 26 January 2011, 15:53 IST)

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