Sutil to secure Williams seat UPDATE #2
(GMM) Adrian Sutil has a firm eye on Williams as formula one's driver lineup for 2012 takes more shape.
|Sutil is Williams bound|
On Friday, one of the German's potential options for next year - the vacant Lotus seat alongside Kimi Raikkonen - was filled by new GP2 champion Romain Grosjean.
Sutil is expected to lose his Force India seat to Nico Hulkenberg, so the team veteran is now hoping for a switch to Williams.
"Yes, certainly there has been talks with several teams for quite some time, but nothing is signed," the 28-year-old was quoted as saying on Friday by Germany's speed-magazin.de.
Sutil, with a few million euro in Medion sponsorship backing, finally confirmed his reported link with Williams, who are still contemplating replacing Rubens Barrichello.
"Williams is certainly one of the teams that have a seat. Unfortunately I can't say anything about the discussions to date.
"But we hope that there is a decision by mid-December," he said.
Specifically, December 15 has been the date officially earmarked by Force India boss Vijay Mallya, although it is believed Sutil has already been told that he is definitely on the market.
Recently, he has sounded frustrated that, despite struggling alongside rookie teammate Paul di Resta early in 2011, it has escaped the notice of many that he had a very good finish to the season.
"Yes, in the end I beat Paul in all areas, but it was hard work," said Sutil. "He did a great job and challenged me throughout the year.
"Whether he is set (to stay at Force India) or not, I cannot say -- I don't know about Paul's contract," he insisted.11/26/11 (GMM) Adrian Sutil is on pole position to replace Rubens Barrichello at Williams for 2012.
Multiple sources are now reporting that the door at the famous British team has been closed to Kimi Raikkonen, with Marca sports newspaper saying the Finn was asking for a whopping EUR 12 million for a single season.
"Contact (with Raikkonen) was called off last week," said Auto Motor und Sport, revealing that Sutil and Valtteri Bottas are now the frontrunners, while the 2007 world champion opens new talks with Renault.
But veteran Barrichello might stay at Williams, after successfully finding about EUR 5 million in sponsorship to compete with Sutil's Medion backing.
Auto Motor und Sport said Sutil's negotiations are nonetheless detailed, with Williams reportedly wanting a two-year deal but the Force India driver wanting to be free to switch to a bigger team in 2013.
At Interlagos, he sounded frustrated with Force India's dithering over its 2012 plans.
"I wanted to know much earlier, but somehow it did not work out," Sutil told the German broadcaster Sky.
"Now we'll see if we know in the next week, at least for us, how it stands," he added.11/25/11 (GMM) Adrian Sutil sounds relaxed about his future as the 2011 season pulls to a halt this weekend at Interlagos.
Officially, the German is anxiously waiting to know if he will be retained by Force India, with Nico Hulkenberg tipped to succeed him.
But in the background, Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmermann has been in detailed talks for some time with other teams, and the Interlagos grapevine whispered on Thursday that he is close to a deal with Williams.
Sutil told SID news agency he is calm.
"At some point, everyone's contract runs out. I am quite relaxed because I have done my best."
So is Force India still an option for 2012? "You can't rule it out," the German answered coyly.
Auto Motor und Sport reports that Sutil is in pole position behind Kimi Raikkonen for the 2012 Williams seat alongside Pastor Maldonado.
Manager Zimmermann reveals: "We have two or three options that we are negotiating. We expect to sign a new contract about a week after Sao Paulo."