Sauber have confirmed one of its two drivers for the 2014 season after the announcement that Adrian Sutil will move from Force India to the Swiss team next year.
Sutil left Formula 1 in 2011 but rejoined Force India for the 2013 season and impressed in the opening races but failed to score points thanks to reliability issues. He eventually finished behind team-mate Paul di Resta in the standings.
With Vijay Mallya’s decision to re-hire Nico Hulkenberg and sign Sergio Perez from McLaren, Sutil was forced to look elsewhere, but Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn revealed that talks have been ongoing since September.
“We are pleased, that we were able to sign Adrian, particularly as we have been wanting to work together with him for a while,” she said on friday.
“Adrian had already visited the factory at the end of September to have a look at the infrastructure. Adrian is not only very fast, but also brings a lot of experience, which is very important looking at the new regulations for next year.
“We welcome Adrian to the Sauber F1 Team and look forward to a successful collaboration.”
Speaking described the move as a new challenge in his career.
“I am very happy that we found common ground. Although I have known for a while where I wanted to go, in the end the negotiations took a bit longer than planned. However, now I will have all the more reason to celebrate during the Christmas season.
“I’ve been in contact with Monisha for a while and she always gave me the feeling my qualities are valued. After six good years driving for Force India, with a lot of highlights, it’s now time to embark on a new challenge.
“I am determined to do my part in order to have a successful future together with the Sauber F1 Team. The long and successful tradition in motorsport, combined with an impressive factory and one of the best wind tunnels in F1, have been fascinating me for a long time.
“Thank you to Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn for your trust in me.”
The team are yet to confirm their second driver, though young Russian Sergey Sirotkin is lined up should a Russian investment deal go ahead.