Sutil lands Spyker race seat

Japanese Formula Three champion Adrian Sutil has landed the second race seat at Spyker for next season, the team announced this morning

Sutil lands Spyker race seat

The German driver, who had initially only been expected to be Spyker's test driver in 2007, beat Tiago Monteiro to the race seat after weeks of speculation about who would be Christijan Albers' teammate.

Sutil impressed the team with several strong showings during Friday outings this year, and was known to have been a favourite of team principal Colin Kolles. He has signed a long-term contract with the team.

Although Sutil told autosport.com last month in Macau that he believed he only had a slim chance of securing a race drive, his management pushed hard and agreed a deal with the team earlier this week.

Speaking about the news, Sutil said: "I really enjoyed being in the F1 paddock this year and to be honest I thought I would be a test driver in 2007.

"Colin Kolles and (team owner) Michiel Mol have been fantastically patient and supportive while this package became reality. I look forward to repaying their faith in me but right now I'm just going to enjoy the best Christmas present ever."

Kolles added: "This is a great signing for team but also a proud one for me personally. Adrian made his F3 debut with Team Kolles in 2004 and quite obviously had huge potential when he scored his first pole position in his third race.

"He has driven for two great teams since then and matured very quickly. Everyone at Spyker was hugely impressed when he drove for us in 2006 which is why we have worked long and hard to get him in the race team."

Sutil won the Japanese F3 crown for TOM'S this year, and was Lewis Hamilton's teammate at ASM in the Formula Three Euroseries in 2005, finishing second in the championship. He finished third in the Macau Grand Prix this year.

His appointment to the race seat at Spyker brings an end to Monteiro's chances of staying in F1 next season. The Portuguese driver had believed he was close to a deal to remain for a third year with the team, but will now have to consider his options in the sport.

Mol claimed that Sutil's long-term contract with the team was indicative of the team's commitment to F1.

"Being able to sign Adrian on a long-term contract is yet another strong signal of Spyker's vision and commitment to rebuild the team around young and talented people," he explained. "Adrian will grow with the team and will be a major asset as we target success in years to come."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Adrian Sutil
Teams Spyker F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
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