Sutil confirmed at Sauber for 2014

Leave a comment

Adrian Sutil has been confirmed as Sauber’s first driver for the 2014 Formula One season. The move marks Sutil’s first switch of teams after six prior seasons (2007-’11, 2013) with the Spyker/Force India operation.

“I am determined to do my part in order to have a successful future together with the Sauber F1 Team,” he said in the team’s release. “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.”

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn added that Sutil has been on the team’s radar for a while, when it became apparent Nico Hulkenberg’s chances of returning would diminish.

“Adrian had already visited the factory at the end of September to have a look at the infrastructure,” she explained. “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 has never finished on an F1 podium and has four career top-five finishes, with his best result in 109 starts fourth coming in the 2009 Italian Grand Prix. Still over his last three years at Force India paired with Vitantonio Liuzzi and Paul di Resta, Sutil has emerged as a consistent points scorer, which is something of value to the midfield.

As a lead driver, Sutil is likely to be paired with a younger driver who can bring a budget. Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin remains the leading candidate alongside, although the team could still opt to bring back Esteban Gutierrez for a second year for consistency’s sake.

Di Resta, Sutil’s Force India teammate, has admitted talks with Sauber but with him unlikely to provide any financial support, is a less likely candidate at this stage.

Either way, the second driver announcement will follow at a later time.

Al Unser Jr. to race Pikes Peak Hill Climb for first time in 29 years

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is coming out of retirement to race again.

Unser Jr., who turns 56 on April 19, will compete in the 96th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24. It will be the first time Unser has raced at Pikes Peak in 29 years, since the 1989 event.

Unser won the Hill Climb and was named “King of the Mountain” in the 1983 event.

Unser said in 2007 that he was retiring from racing and had no plans to race in the future. However, he has taken part since then in some selected vintage racing events.

Speaking of vintage cars, Unser is slated to drive a 1936 Chevrolet Sedan in this year’s Hill Climb, according to race organizers.

He’ll compete with a number of luminaries including eight-time Hill Climb winner Paul Dallenbach; Layne Schranz, who will be competing in his 25th “Race to the Clouds”; 23-time champion Clint Vahsholtz; 25-time Hill Climb competitor David Schmidt II and three-time Climb winner Spencer Steele.

Unser recently returned to IndyCar racing as a consultant with Harding Racing, which is beginning its first full season in the series with Gabby Chaves behind the wheel.