Sutil secures F1 return with Force India UPDATE #4
This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Having denied it was a done deal mere hours ago, Adrian Sutil's manager now sounds certain the 30-year-old has secured a Force India race seat for 2013.
|Adrian Sutil back in F1|
"It looks like it has worked out," Manfred Zimmermann told the Kolner Express newspaper.
"I've heard that Nicolas Todt told French reporters that Jules Bianchi is out of the race," 30-year-old Sutil's manager added.
"We still have to wait for the official confirmation of the team," Zimmermann said.
Indeed, Todt - rookie Bianchi's manager - told multiple media sources late on Wednesday that his 23-year-old charge had been beaten to the Force India seat by Sutil.
"It's a big disappointment," Todt, whose father is the FIA president Jean Todt, is quoted by Reuters.
"I am a very realistic person but I was very hopeful he would get this drive."
Some reports say Bianchi could now be in the running for the second Marussia seat, with Brazilian Luiz Razia left out of the team's recent Barcelona test due to reported sponsorship problems.
Todt said: "We are looking around in F1 but there are very few options."
British broadcaster Sky's race commentator David Croft said Bianchi will remain Force India's reserve driver this year.
But RMC Sport - one of the French outlets who spoke directly to Nicolas Todt on Wednesday - said no decision has been made.02/27/13 (GMM) Adrian Sutil's manager has denied reports on Wednesday that the 30-year-old has definitely secured his return to formula one.
The German magazine Sport Bild said Sutil, the long-time Force India driver who sat out 2012 in the wake of the Eric Lux assault affair, has beaten hot contender Jules Bianchi to become Paul di Resta's new teammate.
If confirmed, the news would indicate that the Silverstone based team is staying with its existing engine supplier Mercedes for 2014, given Frenchman Bianchi's close ties to Ferrari.
"Sutil was in the McLaren simulator yesterday," read the Sport Bild report. "As of Thursday, he will be in action for the last pre-season test in Barcelona.
"On 17 March in Australia, he will race a grand prix for the first time since Brazil 2011," added the report by Bianca Garloff and Ralf Bach.
Sutil's manager Manfred Zimmermann denied the report.
"Nothing has been finalized yet," he is quoted by the German news agency SID.
"We are still hoping and waiting for a confirmation."02/18/13 Sutil will test for Force India this week in Barcelona so it appears he may have the inside line on the final open seat in F1 for 2013.
01/07/13 (GMM) Sebastien Buemi will remain Red Bull's official third and reserve driver in 2013, the Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick reports.
It had already emerged that the former Toro Rosso racer, who served as Red Bull's reserve in 2012, is now definitely out of the running for this year's second Force India seat.
Sonntagsblick said the 24-year-old Swiss is this week in Brazil, where he is competing in Felipe Massa's annual Florianopolis kart race.
"Before that," said veteran correspondent Roger Benoit, "Buemi will again be signed as reserve driver for Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
"Team advisor Helmut Marko has agreed the renewal with Buemi," he added.
Meanwhile, the Belgian newspaper Le Vif reported that Jerome d'Ambrosio is likely to remain Lotus' official third driver in 2013.
The 27-year-old, who is managed by Lotus team boss Eric Boullier's Gravity stable, has been working to return to the grid.
"My management is working hard," said d'Ambrosio, "but it's difficult because there are many experienced drivers without teams. We'll see."12/31/12
(GMM) Sebastien Buemi has kicked off his new year by learning he will not be making his return to the formula one grid in 2013.
Switzerland's Blick newspaper reports that the 24-year-old has been told he is out of the running to secure the vacant Force India race seat.
Veteran correspondent Roger Benoit said Buemi, who lost his Toro Rosso drive at the end of 2011, will now work instead on having his deal as Red Bull's official reserve driver extended.
Benoit said Buemi, who had also been linked with a Ferrari test deal, wants that new Red Bull contract in place "as quickly as possible".
"Buemi will not comment at this time. First he needs to safeguard his future," the journalist wrote.
Blick added that the Ferrari-linked Frenchman Jules Bianchi, and former team driver Adrian Sutil, are now the favorites to become Paul di Resta's new teammate at Force India.