Hulkenberg vs Sutil for 2012 race seat 4 September, 2011 Prediction: Nico Hulkenberg back in a F1 hot seat with Adrian Sutil Sep.4 (GMM) Adrian Sutil has revealed his “first contact” about the 2012 season will be his current team Force India. The 28-year-old German has always raced in F1 for the Silverstone based team, through its various guises since 2007 as Spyker, Midland and now Vijay Mallya-led Force India. But for the 2012 season, with Mallya openly saying he wants Paul di Resta to stay on board, Sutil is regarded as being in direct competition for the other seat with Nico Hulkenberg. “He did very well at Williams last year and deserves another chance,” Sutil, referring to countryman Hulkenberg, is quoted as saying by Auto Bild Motorsport. 24-year-old Hulkenberg is currently Force India’s reserve and Friday practice driver but he wants to move into the race seat next year. “I have settled in well at Force India and I definitely have a realistic chance of racing again in 2012,” he said, “and even some other teams are showing interest.” Sutil, meanwhile, is also keen to stay. “We (the team) are well on our way, we are currently the fifth best team and with an extremely small budget,” he said. “Why should I go? “Of course I hear things about me (going) somewhere else, but I’m a loyal person and my first contact will be Force India,” added Sutil, who carries the sponsorship of the German computer brand Medion. Evel Sutil has proven his critics wrong over the last few races and is now consistently outperforming Di Resta. Let’s not forget he is ahead in the standings too. Although he experienced a dip in form for a while and Di Resta was able to outqualify him for a few races, Adrian got the better of him in the races, which is the only part that really matters. Adrian has far more experience than the other 2 FI drivers and has been incredibly loyal through the years. He is a great driver and I’ll be really disappointed with FI if they drop him. They are in a bit of a tough spot though – both Di Resta and Hulkenburg show loads of promise and look set to become great drivers. I would love Hulkenburg to get a race seat in 2012 but it should definitely not be at Sutil’s expense – I just don’t think anyone is going to do a better job in that car than Adrian. So while it will be a great shame for Nico not to race next year I think the team should hold back another year before deciding the the outcome of these men’s futures. By then we’ll have a clear indication of whether or not Paul was just experiencing a bit of beginners luck against Adrian or if he is indeed better. Perhaps they could loan Nico to another team for a year for him to get some more experience. I also feel in a way that it’s up to Nico to really get out there and make something like this happen, getting some sponsors behind him so that he has something more to offer a potential employer, instead of just waiting for something to happen. It just seems so unfair to me that after years of excellent and loyal service, Sutil, the man until very recently deemed worthy of taking over from Schumacher is cast to the wayside after only a few unusual sub par performances. Come on Adrian – keep proving your critics wrong!