Will Sutil turn to IndyCars now? UPDATE #2 (GMM) Two well-known German drivers on Tuesday said they have not given up on formula one.
2011 was Nick Heidfeld's twelfth consecutive season on the grid, but the 34-year-old former Williams, BMW and Renault driver has been left without a seat for 2012.
He will race at the fabled 24 hour Le Mans race this year but on Tuesday said he still hopes to be involved in F1.
"Of course I've been trying to get a seat," he said on Austrian television Servus TV, "but we all know that it's not easy at the moment, with money playing a big role.
"I've been there (in F1) for many years, it was a great time, but I would still like to be involved for a bit longer," added Heidfeld.
Also forced onto the sidelines in 2012 is Adrian Sutil, the former Force India driver who has vowed to fight his new conviction for grievous bodily harm.
"The plan, very clearly, is formula one," he insisted on Tuesday.
"This is a new situation for me, but I'm motivated. Maybe I am having to have a short break, but it could be over very quickly if any opportunities open up.
"I'm hopeful," the 29-year-old admitted. "It's always difficult to make plans in this business, but I would like to come back in 2013 with a very good team.
"It's a shame for me that I will probably not be there at the start in Melbourne, but hopefully one way or another I will (be back) in the course of the year," added Sutil.
(GMM) Adrian Sutil looks set to keep his motor racing career alive in a category outside of formula one, and possibly IndyCar.
|As AR1.com rumored back on January 31st, and now confirmed by his manager, an IndyCar team has made inquires about Adrian Sutil |
The 29-year-old has been fully focused on F1 since 2006, when he was a test driver with the Midland (now Force India) team.
He moved into the Silverstone based squad's race seat the following season, but lost his place for 2012 as Nico Hulkenberg stepped up from the reserve role.
German Sutil has also run into legal trouble due to the Eric Lux assault affair, resulting in a criminal conviction for grievous bodily harm. zzzz
His best option to keep racing this year, therefore, could be an offer from a World Touring Car Championship team, German newspaper Bild reports.
Another offer on Sutil's table is from an IndyCar team, the report added.
"Our focus is on returning to formula one," his manager Manfred Zimmermann commented.01/31/12 Adrian Sutil has acknowledged that his Formula 1 career could be over, having been handed an 18-month suspended jail sentence and a fine of 200,000 euros (£165,000) on Tuesday. This follows a nightclub clash in April 2011 after which Eric Lux (CEO of Genii Capital, co-owner of the Lotus F1 team) required 24 stitches.
“Maybe I will take some time out now,” Sutil told Reuters when leaving the court in Munich. “Maybe I will do something completely different (read that possibly IndyCar), think about things in peace. At least I shook Mr. Lux's hand - that's a good thing,”
When referring to the incident, prosecutor Nicole Selzam explained that Sutil’s sentence has been constructed with his profession in mind:
“Pushing someone away with a glass is adventurous and not in-line with our experience of life. Professional athletes play a role model function in public life and such incidents should not occur.”
Sutil has already been replaced at Force India by German compatriot Nico Hülkenberg, who steps up from the role of reserve driver to join Paul di Resta. The reserve place is now occupied by Ferrari protégé Jules Bianchi.