Team: Force India
Birth date: 11/01/1983
First F1 race: Australian Grand Prix, 2007
2012 points: n/a
2012 best finish: n/a
2012 championship position: n/a
Adrian Sutil’s Formula 1 comeback is less about the racing and more about the story of his enforced 2012 layoff. Following the Chinese Grand Prix in 2011 Sutil found himself in a Shanghai nightclub with Renault executive Eric Lux. An altercation left Lux requiring stitches and Sutil convicted of assaulting him with a champagne glass.
With a suspended prison sentence and a €200,000 fine Sutil was forced to sit out the 2012 season, but Force India invited him back in from the cold to drive alongside teammate Paul di Resta this year. He’s driven for them since his F1 debut in 2007 (the team was then known as Spyker) and despite the lurid off-track stories he’s been a steady if unspectacular employee for them on the track.
Sutil won his first point in Japan in 2007, sneaking into eighth place after the driver ahead of him was given a 25 second penalty for overtaking him under yellow flags. Spyker became Force India the following year, but the brand change didn’t make much difference to his fortunes as the team failed to score a single point.
From then, however, it was a steep upward curve, hitting a career high in 2010 with 47 points, a massive jump for the German. 2011 brought a similarly promising 42 points, although it was that incident in Shanghai that would define his season. He’s promised he’s returned ready to put his past behind him, and the team talk of a more humble driver.
This could be his year of redemption – as long as his criminal conviction doesn’t prevent him getting visas to travel.
2013 predictions: “If you work hard at it and you believe in it then you will get a second chance – everyone deserves a second chance.”
Did you know? Sutil has hidden musical talents – an accomplished pianist, he’s also the son of professional violinist Jorge Sutil.