Force India have finally announced that Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg will form the team’s driver line-up for the 2012 season.
Di Resta will start his second season in Formula 1 next March after impressing in his debut season. For Hulkenberg, 2012 will also be his second season in the sport; his career began with a year at Williams in 2010, and he was then test driver for Force India in 2011.
Adrian Sutil, who has been with the team since 2007 when they raced under the Spyker name, will now have to look elsewhere if he is to stay on the F1 grid in 2012.
This announcement has been widely predicted over the last month, but the team chose to wait until today to officially confirm their driver line-up.
“I am delighted to present our line-up for the 2012 season,” said team principal Vijay Mallya. “In Paul and Nico we have two extremely talented drivers with tremendous potential.
“I think Paul caught the eye of everybody in the pit lane during his rookie season. His speed, maturity and racecraft confirmed that we were right to believe in him and we look forward to working with him again next year.
“As for Nico, we identified him as a rising star at the end of 2010 and chose to evaluate him during the course of this season. Despite having only limited time in the car, he convinced us that he deserved a race seat for 2012.
“Our new line-up means we say 'goodbye' to Adrian Sutil, who has been with the team since we entered the sport. He has been an integral part of our success over the past four seasons and we wish him well for the future.”
Di Resta said that he is looking forward to 2012, and another season with Force India. “I'm really looking forward to my second season of Formula One and continuing to grow and develop with Sahara Force India,” said the Scot. “I've said all along that I love being part of this team: they are ambitious, hungry for success and we work well together. I'm really excited about 2012 and there is a real sense of belief that we can continue to push the top teams and take another step forward.
“I'd also like to thank the team for all their hard work this year and for all the support they've given me. I'll take some time out over the next few weeks to recharge my batteries and hopefully come back even stronger in 2012.”
Hulkenberg has had a frustrating season sitting on the sidelines and competing in only a few Friday practice sessions. He is very pleased that 2012 will see him back in a race seat. “I'm obviously delighted to be staying with Sahara Force India and to be given the chance to race next year,” said the German, who impressed in his debut season by taking pole position at the Brazilian Grand Prix. “It wasn't easy to watch from the sidelines this season, but I did my best to help the team and show what I was capable of.
“I'm extremely motivated for 2012 and would like to thank everyone for believing in me and giving me this chance. I'm keen to get down to work over the winter to develop our new car and help the team build on this year's achievements. The first test in Jerez can't come soon enough.”