Force India F1 Team Reveal An Exciting Driver Line-up For 2011

Adrian Sutil, Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg have been confirmed by Force India F1 Team for the 2011 F1 season.
I think it’s a very challenging line up with di Resta getting a promotion from a Friday role to a full time racer. Adrian’s services ought to be retained after his good performances last season. Nico Hulkenberg is an extremely difficult prospect to neglect if available on the driver market. I think the Indian F1 team has the strongest driver line up amongst all mid-grid teams.
Adrian Sutil performed extremely well last season with some brilliant performances in the first half of the championship. He consistently out-performed his team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi and was clearly the better of the two drivers. It is good to see him retained by the team. I always wondered, had Liuzzi performed as expected, would Adrian have done better? They lacked a clear team-mate vs team-mate battle all of 2010.
Paul di Resta, the team’s 2010 reserve driver has been promoted to a race seat. His Friday testing times must have impressed the team management for him to have been awarded a promotion. His 2010 DTM Championship win would also have been an important factor as would Mercedes’ support in securing a race drive. His return also means the return of Anthony Hamilton to the F1 Paddock, as Paul’s manager.
Nico Hulkenberg’s signing was expected and important for the team. Nico’s performances in the WilliamsF1 team in 2010 didn’t go unnoticed, but he was relieved of his race driver duties as Williams had to opt for a pay driver for 2011. Nico’s third driver role would mean that he will be waiting in the wings should any of the race drivers slip up. The pressure to perform on the race drivers will be much higher as Nico is rumoured to be on a long-term contract with the team and a race drive for 2012.
I think Force India were in the best position (as compared to the other mid-grid teams) to choose their drivers for 2011 season given the talent pool they had access to. Their 2011 driver lineup is a good step forward to becoming a stable mid-grid team.

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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