|© Force India
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Adrian Sutil will not race at a Silverstone-based outfit for the first time in his Formula 1 career after the German agreed to drive for Sauber next season.
Having been with Force India for five seasons, excluding in 2012 when he was forced to take a sabbatical, and a year at Spyker when he made his F1 debut in 2007, the 30-year-old will now operate from his new team’s base in Hinwil.
“I am very happy that we found common ground," Sutil said. "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."
In effect, Sutil replaces compatriot Nico Hulkenberg who switched to Force India for next year’s championship. The decision came a day after Sergio Perez was named as the second driver at Force India.
It was the second time since the end of the 2011 season that Sutil has been dropped by the Vijay Mallya-led squad.
"After six good years driving for Force India, with a lot of highlights, it’s now time to embark on a new challenge," he said.
Sutil was revealed to have already visited the Sauber factory at the end of September to have a look at the infrastructure.
The identity of the second Sauber is still an unknown; with candidates including retaining Esteban Gutierrez, Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde and Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin, who was announced to race in 2014 before his backers delayed funding to the team.
Paul di Resta too had admitted that he was in talks with Sauber, but it’s unlikely that the Scot who bag the seat.
"The second driver for the 2014 season will be announced at a later date," the team said in a statement.