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Pieces fall into place as Adrian Sutil is confirmed at Sauber
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Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Dec 2013   |  6:21 pm GMT  |  50 comments

With the signing of Adrian Sutil at Sauber following on from Sergio Perez at Force India, the expected pieces of the middle order driver market have been falling into place.

There remains the question of who will partner Sutil next season, with Esteban Gutierrez hoping for a second chance, but much will depend on whether Sergey Sirotkin’s money and superlicence are forthcoming.

Sutil had been building relationships with Sauber for some time, visiting the factory in Switzerland and his girlfriend could be seen in the paddock in the final races of the season hanging out with Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn.

This deal, in other words, has been on the cards for some time. What is perhaps surprising is the fact that it took this long to conclude all the details of the deal.

Kaltenborn said, “We are pleased, that we were able to sign Adrian, particularly as we have been wanting to work together with him for a while. Adrian had already visited the factory at the end of September to have a look at the infrastructure.

“Adrian is not only very fast, but also brings a lot of experience, which is very important looking at the new regulations for next year. We welcome Adrian to the Sauber F1 Team and look forward to a successful collaboration.”

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50 Comments
  1. Random 79 says:

    I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Gutierrez, but – sponsorship money aside – he’d have to be the safer bet.

  2. David H says:

    Wrong ex Force India driver. Maybe they need someone to spice up sponsor enenings…..

  3. Stan says:

    It would have been a shame not to see hi’s stunning girlfriend in the paddock. A few people started listing her the only reason they watched F1 after Vettel started dominating. Sad about DiResta though.

    1. Delgado says:

      Oh yes, the wonderful Jennifer Becks. Might Monisha be thinking how to…er…leverage some sponsorship through Jenn’s presence?
      Seems like the smart thing to do.

      1. Stan says:

        Who knows? She might be the one bringing the money after all, Sutil just taking the credit and the drive. Imagine the Sauber next year, sponsored by L’Oreal.

  4. James says:

    Bild say Van Der Garde or Gutierrez will partner him.

    1. Luke says:

      We can rule them out then :-)

  5. Alexander Supertramp says:

    He’s lucky he has some financial backing, otherwise he would be out. P–P–pay driver.

  6. Andrew M says:

    Hard to determine whether Sutil is more deserving of a place in F1 than some of those who will miss out. He’s had 6 years in F1 now and doesn’t really look any closer to making a step forward.

    Am I right in thinking Sutil brings some budget with him?

    1. ManOnWheels says:

      He’s got “Capri Sun” as a personal sponsor and Medion is the sponsor that you would find on the cars that he drives, while you can’t really expect that Medion is paying a lot. Medion’s electronics products are usually sold in supermarkets, most notably Aldi, Lidl and Interdiscount or online. Their products are usually customized and relabelled electronics from the usual suspects. Germany and Switzerland are their main markets, not sure about Britain (as Aldi and Lidl are growing more popular there as far as I’ve heard), so it’s not that they are seeking world wide attention; their advertising budget should be correspondingly limited.
      I guess the main point is that Sauber won’t have to pay him a lot, if any, as he’s got his personal sponsors, plus he’s a fast and reliable driver.

  7. Jeremy smith says:

    Good choice for Sauber to sign Adrian ..

    I think he will do well there … : )

  8. Jeremysmith says:

    Good choice by Sauber to sign Adrian … : )

  9. yassin says:

    Paul took more points than Sutil at FIndia, Strange decision.

    1. Jamie Cottage says:

      Sauber need money and sadly Di Resta doesn’t bring home the cheddar…

      1. yassin says:

        Paul scored 19 more points than Sutil. FIndia would have come in behind Sauber in the constructors title had they scored 20 less points this year which would have lost them $20m.

    2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Sauber seem the most desperate for cash. It also seems they need the cash up front, not at the end of the year through doing well in the Constructors Champ.

  10. goferet says:

    Hmm… This signing plus Massa’s at Williams have had me scratching my head considering both drivers have had difficult seasons.

    I would understand if they brought sponsorship to the table but this is not the case and so one can only guess that teams aren’t keen to take chances on new blood which just goes to show, like in the business world, connections are everything.

    Anyway, congrats to Sutil for holding onto a drive in these precarious times and best of all with the headquarters in Switzerland, he can finally get to work close to home.

    1. Jamie Cottage says:

      Both Massa and Sutil bring money to their new respective teams.

      1. James says:

        Massa is bringing no backing to Williams as per Claire Williams.

      2. TimW says:

        but he does increase the chance of landing a Brazillian sponsor…

    2. Random 79 says:

      “I would understand if they brought sponsorship to the table but this is not the case”

      Both have sponsors.

    3. Wade Parmino says:

      Experience helps with car development. Even if they are only reasonably OK drivers, they may be very good at conveying technical details to engineers. This will be very important next season.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Wade Parmino

        Oh I see

    4. Gudien says:

      Difficult seasons aside I understand both Sutil and Massa bring needed and substantial financial backing to their new teams. Add Williams to the list of teams which require pay drivers.

      And what is Jean Todt’s FIA accomplishing to improve the financial climate in Formula One …..devising additional safe motoring programs no doubt.

      1. Woody says:

        Massa brings no sponsorship but has said if he can help attract sponsors then of course he will do that.

        Williams had been taking a pay driver in the shape of Maldonado and now don’t have one, although Bottas brings a couple of minor deals with him. It could be argued they’re a team who’s financial position is improving as they don’t need a driver to bring money.

      2. Torchwood Five says:

        On the contrary, Williams will be fighting to get compensation from PDVSA for the remaining two years on their sponsorship.

        The team still need the funds that Maldonado brought.

    5. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      Yes, as a F1 fan, I do not understand Massa and Sutil staying in 2014.

      I believe the Managers work here is essential, it’is where Di Resta fails, doesn’t he?

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        By the way, last year many fans were saying XIX Entertainment work was not good or whatever, but at the end -an taking in consideration McLaren had the maybe the worst results in decades- the hiring or Lewis for Mercedes was very worthy and profitable for everybody…
        What do you think?

    6. Raymond Yu says:

      Sutil and Massa actually are bringing sponsorship

  11. Stephen Taylor says:

    I thought Vitaly Petrov might be in the running at Sauber James. Is that not the case?

    1. Bart says:

      Let’s hope not! I’d prefer to see a driver with some talent

  12. Quade says:

    “Adrian is not only very fast, but also brings a lot of experience, which is very important looking at the new regulations for next year. We welcome Adrian to the Sauber F1 Team and look forward to a successful collaboration.”

    Haha! Maybe they mean fastest to burn his race chances.

  13. Martin says:

    I found a few things that were interesting with this. Firstly how much spare time does Kaltenborn have on GP weekends to have regular social catch-ups? Obviously there are the curfews and the race engineers and mechanics being under more time pressure, but Kaltenborn would have to entertain the commercial interests and potential partners.

    Sutil isn’t a personality that I know much about. Interviews with him on Australian TV are rare. The way he has been able to cultivate a group of personal sponsors in fashion, mainstream IT and fruit juices, no one which are strong sellers at race tracks is potentially relevant to a go-getting nature.

    The merits of visiting the Sauber factory would be interesting to get Mark Gillan’s opinion on. IP would have been easy to control, so a show and tell would have been easy, but I wonder if the interest was more to see if Sutil’s eyes would glaze over or if he showed good technical understanding.

    Since Sutil is the most experienced available driver in terms of GP starts, brings money and has a good feel for driving in the wet, I can see why he’s attractive to Sauber. He is on the heavy side at 75 kg, so that could be a problem for him. Hopefuly he does well, so that we’re not wishing someone else got the drive. There seems to be no mention on the length of the deal, so I presume it is for one year only.

  14. Steve Zodiac says:

    He’s nearly as good as PDR

    1. Me says:

      It’s good to see that there are still people with a sense of humour around here.

  15. Torchwood Five says:

    Adrian Sutil has not really impinged on my radar this year, outside of his interactions on the track with Lewis, or journalists speculating on whether the two will shake little fingers to make up.

    So, apart from sponsorship with Capri Sun, which I pretty much only learned off in the last fortnight, I wonder if what he “brings to the party” is the way he adapted to this years’ car after a full year out of any kind of racing.

    Given the troubles of adapting to a new team/car, which Heikki highlighted for us over two races, Adrian’s adaptability might be what has swung it for him over Di Resta. That and he did not criticise the team.

    1. James says:

      Medion & Capri Sun backing and in this brave new turbo era, a lot of experience is what he brings to the table. That experience will be vital if paired alongside Gutierrez, Van Der Garde or Nasr.

  16. Voodoo man says:

    Was hoping this clown was going to get dropped from f1 then perhaps Hamilton wouldn’t be purposely blocked all the time because of sutils personal vendetta.

    1. Seized Up says:

      Former buddies fall out in their private and then have to accommodate each other [or not] in their professional roles. This is just part of the rich tapestry of F1. Anyways there are penalty points for shenanigans [assuming the stewards are competent + consistent] in 2014.

    2. Torchwood Five says:

      To my knowledge, Sutil blocked Hamilton on just the one weekend, though for that alone, I too wouldn’t have been sorry for the F1 door to hit his **** on the way out.

  17. eddie hovercraft says:

    makes sense. if they had hired one of the available british drivers he would be forever interviewed on whats it’s like working with ‘all these crazy foreigners’ Sutil will just blend in and do the maximum possible every race.

  18. Warren G says:

    Good to see this from Sauber – was really worried they would end up with Guiterez and Sirotkin, so a really sensible option. He’s got experience and is quick enough plus seems adaptible enough. Hope Sauber turn up with another half decent car, they really are one of my favourites.

  19. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    It seems a few influential journalists are suggesting that PDR is difficult to work with and not the best at inspiring his team.

  20. JB says:

    Good for him.

  21. gollino says:

    I think if smaller teams want to have a budget cap, they should have it.
    Why not to give something they want so bad and let them keep it?

  22. Jim says:

    I still fail to understand why Sutil was allowed back into F1, not after his nightclub antics. What kind of message does that send out :-(

    1. Rjd1802 says:

      Totally agree. His off-track antics should have seen him banned from F1. Plus he is the most average and uninspiring of drivers ever.

  23. BrawnGP says:

    Fantastic Adrian is definitely talented, and his experience will certainly help with new regulations. It was also be good for him to experience a new team, im a bit over seeing him in orange white and green. Oh yeah and just keep him away from the champagne flutes at the sauber Christmas party.

  24. Tyler says:

    Sutil’s signing makes sense with his sponsorship money, but as a pure drivers go Sauber should re-sign Kobayashi.

  25. shri says:

    So all the drivers with 2-3 + years of experience is employed except guess who ?????DiResta…No one wants him.

    Yes he has no budget but he was never considered / selected at top teams. Most of mid field teams have one non-paying talent.

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