New Delhi: Ending months of speculation, Sahara Force India on Thursday completed its drivers-line up by bringing back Adrian Sutil as one of its race drivers for the Formula One 2013 season.
The development means that there will be no Indian driver on the F1 grid this season since Narain Karthikeyan was also linked to this seat but missed out.
Karthikeyan raced for Hispania in the 2012 season but the Spanish team found it difficult to continue in the expensive sport and opted out, leaving the Indian without a job.
Sutil joins British teammate Paul di Resta to complete Force India`s drivers line-up while Jules Bianchi will continue as reserve driver.
Sutil had raced for Force India till 2011 but was dropped last year after being implicated in an assault case. He was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg, who now has moved to Suber.
The 2013 campaign will be Adrian`s fifth racing season for the side and sixth in Formula One.
The 30-year-old German will test for the team this week in Barcelona, driving on Friday and Saturday. Paul Di Resta will be back in the car on Sunday.
"The decision over our driver line-up has not been an easy one and we have given it great consideration over the last few months. It was a close call, but ultimately we felt that Adrian`s experience and historic links to the team gave him the edge, and will provide us with the best possible chance of realising our ambitions for the coming season," Team Principal Vijay Mallya said.
Mallya was confident that with Sutil in its ranks, Force India would continue its good work of last season.
"If he can rediscover the exceptional form he showed in the second half of 2011, I`m confident that we can pick up where we left off at the end of 2012. As for Jules Bianchi, he has impressed us enormously with his speed and work ethic, and I`m hopeful we can continue working with him this year to help him develop into a future Grand Prix driver," he said.
Sutil said he was delighted to be back in Formula One especially with a team he knows so well.
"I`m very happy and I want to thank Sahara Force India for giving me a second chance. Having been away from the sport, I`m even more determined to achieve my goals in Formula One. Things went really well at the Barcelona test last week and it almost feels as though I`ve never been away," he said.
"Driving the car felt so natural and I was able to get back in the groove quickly and find the limit. Now my focus is on making the most of the final test session this week, working with the team in the simulator and getting myself in the best possible shape for Melbourne," he said.