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Force India names Sutil as second driver for the season

The Canadian Press

2/28/2013 8:53:29 AM

BARCELONA, Spain -- Adrian Sutil received a second chance Thursday to drive for Formula One team Force India after legal problems almost derailed his career.

Force India announced the German will be its second race driver this season, along with Paul Di Resta.

Sutil raced for Force India from 2007-11 before losing his seat after being given an 18-month suspended sentence for assaulting Renault owner Eric Lux in a nightclub.

After not racing last season, the 30-year-old Sutil competed with Jules Bianchi in the first two preseason tests for the right to take the place of Nico Hulkenberg, following his off-season move to Sauber.

"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. It was a close call," Force India team principal Vijay Mallya said. "If (Sutil) 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."

Sutil will continue preseason testing for Force India on Friday and Saturday at Catalunya Circuit near Barcelona.

He has participated in 90 F1 races but never finished on the podium. His best result was a fourth-place finish in 2009.

"I'm delighted to be back in Formula One, especially with a team I know so well," said Sutil. "Having been away from the sport, I'm even more determined to achieve my goals. Things went really well at the Barcelona test last week and it almost feels as though I've never been away."

Force India came seventh in the constructors' championship last year.

The season begins with the Australian Grand Prix on March 17.