It's official: Adrian Sutil joins Sauber for 2014
German driver swap seats with Force India-bound Nico Hulkenberg
By Pete Gill
Last Updated: 13/12/13 5:18pm
The 30-year-old will effectively swap seats with Nico Hulkenberg, who was confirmed as returning to Force India from Sauber at the start of December.
Sutil was both out-pointed - by 48 to 29 - and out-qualified last season at Force India by team-mate Paul di Resta. With the Scot set to leave the sport having failed to secure a seat for 2014, Sutil can arguably consider himself fortunate to have kept his place on the grid.
The identity of Sutil's team-mate in 2014 is as yet unconfirmed, but it's expected that Mexican youngster Esteban Gutierrez will stay on for a second season with the Swiss team.
Despite his modest performances in 2013, Sutil's transfer to Sauber has been mooted for several months with the German first visiting the team's headquarters in September after the Singapore GP.
"We have been wanting to work together with him for a while," said team boss Monisha Kaltenborn. "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."
Sutil's Sauber move represents a clean break in the German's F1 career, with the 30-year-old having only driven for Force India - or its two previous incarnations - since first appearing as a Friday driver for the then Midland team in 2006.
After five unbroken seasons in the Silverstone-based outfit's race line-up, Sutil was dropped for 2012 but returned to partner Paul di Resta last season, scoring 29 points and claiming a best result of fifth in the Monaco GP.
"I am very happy that we found common ground. Although I have known for a while where I wanted to go, in the end the negotiations took a bit longer than planned. However, now I will have all the more reason to celebrate during the Christmas season. I've been in contact with Monisha for a while and she always gave me the feeling my qualities are valued," said Sutil.
"After six good years driving for Force India, with a lot of highlights, it's now time to embark on a new challenge. I am determined to do my part in order to have a successful future together with the Sauber F1 Team. The long and successful tradition in motorsport, combined with an impressive factory and one of the best wind tunnels in F1, have been fascinating me for a long time.
"Thank you to Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn for your trust in me."
The announcement leaves just four of the 22 seats for 2014 still to be filled with vacancies only remaining at Caterham, who have yet to name either of their two drivers for next season, Marussia, who have confirmed Jules Bianchi, and alongside Sutil at Sauber.
At present, just one team - Mercedes - are set to field an unchanged line-up.
How the 2014 grid is lining up
Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.
Ferrari: Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Lotus: Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.
McLaren: Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen.
Sauber: Adrian Sutil and to be confirmed.
Force India: Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.
Williams: Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
Toro Rosso: Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat.
Caterham: To be confirmed.
Marussia: Jules Bianchi and to be confirmed.