Sutil on the pace

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Silverstone’s Sahara Force India team have confirmed that their former team driver, Adrian Sutil, will be joining Paul di Resta as a race driver for the 2013 season, writes James Beckett.

The announcement was made prior to the last pre-season F1 group test at the Circuit de Catalunya last week and the German quickly found his rhythm by clocking fast lap times just two weeks before the first race of the season.

Absent from the F1 grid last year, Sutil was signed by the Silverstone team ahead of their regular test driver Jules Bianchi, who has since replaced Luiz Razia at Marussia for the 2013.

Sutil joined di Resta in Spain to conduct tests on the team’s new Mercedes-powered VJM06 car and reported himself happy with proceedings.

He said: “I am very happy that I have managed to conclude an agreement to race for Sahara Force India this season.

“The new car feels very good and I am comfortable in it.

“During last year I kept myself in good physical condition with the aim to return to the grid this season.

“I am very happy to have been able to do this and my aim is now to score points on a very regular basis.

“The VJM06 car offers Sahara Force India a real opportunity to score podium finishes and the field looks so close together I wouldn’t rule out the opportunity of a podium finish. This year will be very good.”

Paul di Resta will lead the team for the 2013 season with the Australian Grand Prix the first race to take place later this month.

The young Scot said: “There was much talk of who would join me at the team for the new season. I am pleased that Adrian will race with me.

“He has much experience and I believe we will be able to both carry the team forward during the year.”