sport

Force India turning to Sutil?

Adrian Sutil is in the running for a Formula 1 comeback with Force India next season.

The 29-year-old German was dropped by the team last December pending criminal charges relating to an accusation of assault at the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix.

Sutil was subsequently convicted of bodily harm after Eric Lux, a partner in the Genii Capital company which owns the Lotus team, was stabbed in the neck with a champagne glass in a Shanghai nightclub. He was handed an 18-month suspended prison sentence and fined $260,000.

A source at Force India told the Indo-Asian News Service that owner Vijay Mallya will announce a replacement for Sauber-bound Nico Hulkenberg next week.

With Paul di Resta expected to stay on for a third season, Sutil is contesting the second seat against the likes of Bruno Senna, Kamui Kobayashi, Heikki Kovalainen as well as Force India's reserve driver Jules Bianchi.

"The announcement should take place next week," the source was quoted as saying.

"Adrian looks the best bet to partner di Resta as he has got the required experience in Formula One. At the same time, Mr. Mallya also considered all other available options."

Sutil joined the team, then named Spyker, as a reserve driver in 2006 and went on to race for them for five seasons.

Of the decision to retain di Resta, the source added: "He was always expected to carry on. He has delivered so far and it makes sense to retain him."