Former Sauber driver Adrian Sutil has left his role as reserve driver at Williams Martini Racing ahead of the 2016 Formula 1 season.
The German was with the Sauber F1 Team for the 2014 season where he finished the championship in eighteenth after failing to score any points. Sutil had a contract with the Swiss team that extended into the 2015 season but instead the team opted to take Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.
This led to Sutil without a race seat for the 2015 season. After Valtteri Bottas’ accident in Melbourne, which forced the Finn to miss the opening race of the season, this put an extra focus on the need to have a reserve in the team.
Rather than promote test driver Susie Wolff, Williams decided to sign a driver who had racing experience, especially with the hybrid V6. Sutil fitted into this category and was announced as Williams’ reserve driver before last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
In his time with Williams, Sutil never drove the FW37 on the track, although he did experience the car in the simulator. The reserve driver role at Williams was always regarded as a temporary role for Sutil as he looked for other opportunities.
It is understood that Sutil won’t continue his Formula 1 career as he is close to signing a deal outside of the championship, with interest in the WEC, DTM and Japanese Super GT.
It is not known yet who will replace Sutil as reserve driver and whether the team will hire another experienced driver.