Sutil still has Sauber contract for 2015, says announced line-up may not race


Adrian Sutil has said that there is no guarantee Sauber’s 2015 line-up of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr will be racing next season as he is still under contract with the Swiss team.

Ericsson was announced ahead of last weekend’s United States Grand Prix, whilst Nasr got the green light last night, appearing to leave both Sutil and current teammate Esteban Gutierrez out in the cold.

Whereas Gutierrez will be out of contract at the end of the year, Sutil has said for some time that he does still have a firm deal with the team for 2015. It appears that this would be paid off using some of the financial backing that Nasr and Ericsson bring to the seats.

Speaking in the Thursday FIA press conference in Brazil, Sutil said that firm talks needed to be held with the team to work out where he stands for 2015.

“There are certain things to talk about, definitely,” the German said. “They confirmed two drivers but that doesn’t mean the drivers are going to drive, and it doesn’t mean the team is going to drive.

“There’s no real change from last weekend to this weekend. It’s just an announcement. Now, of course, in my situation I think I have to do some talking to sort out the things.

“I’m not frustrated. It’s just how it is in Formula 1 since many years. It’s a little bit of a different business.”

Sutil’s girlfriend, Jennifer Becks, also tweeted her thoughts following Nasr’s announcement.

After seven seasons racing in F1, Sutil will be hoping to find another seat on the 2015 grid, but he has shown few signs of desperation over the past few months. Instead, he has insisted that Sauber’s decisions do not change his outlook for next year, and it is unlikely they will until a resolution with his contract is found.

This news also leaves reserve drivers Giedo van der Garde and Sergey Sirotkin without a drive for 2015, and they will also be considering their options to further their chances of a place on the grid next season.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).