Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley insists Adrian Sutil 'deserves his second chance' after impressing during pre-season testing...
Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley insists Adrian Sutil 'deserves his second chance' after impressing during pre-season testing.
Sutil was forced to watch the 2012 Formula One season from the sidelines after Force India decided to replace him with Nico Hulkenberg for the campaign. The German, though, is back on the grid after the Silverstone squad chose his experience over that of rookie Jules Bianchi.
Having spent 2012 away from the sport, Sutil was handed some pre-season testing duties by Force India and it appears that was when he made his mark.
"Adrian was exemplary," Fernley is quoted as saying by Press Association Sport. "He just ticked every box, which was no disrespect to Jules because it was a very tough decision.
"We just felt Adrian has that tiny bit more experience to deliver what we need to do this year, but it was a very difficult decision. If you saw the way Adrian carried himself after that test, he's learned a lot by being out for a year.
"Adrian has always been very fast. We had to make a choice at the end of 2011 whether to go for Adrian or Nico, and it was Nico. But now Adrian is deserving of a second chance, and that's why we are giving him one."
Sutil was dropped by Force India shortly after he was handed an 18-month suspended sentence and fined £167,000 for assaulting Lotus executive Eric Lux during an incident at a nightclub in Shanghai in 2011.
There has been talk that his criminal record could cause problems in terms of visa applications during the F1 season, but Fernley is confident it won't be an issue.
"I don't think there are any problems," he said. "It's just a matter of the management team clearing them all up beforehand. We don't expect any problems at all. I don't see any issues. I think it's about being transparent, and then it will be fine."