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Sutil learned a lot from year away - Force India

ESPN Staff
March 12, 2013 « You either love me or hate me - Hamilton | Perez 'desperate' for first victory »
Adrian Sutil returns to the cockpit in 2013 after a year away from the sport © Sutton Images
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Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley believes Adrian Sutil's year away from Formula One has had a positive effect on the driver.

Sutil returns to F1 with Force India this year after a season on the sidelines following a conviction for grievous bodily harm. It had looked as though Sutil's career might be over but his old team called on him during winter testing and eventually decided to give him a race drive over reserve driver Jules Bianchi.

"Adrian was exemplary," Fernley told Sporting Life. "He just ticked every box, which was no disrespect to Jules because it was a very tough decision.

"We just felt Adrian has that tiny bit more experience to deliver what we need to do this year, but it was a very difficult decision. If you saw the way Adrian carried himself after that test, he's learned a lot by being out for a year.

"Adrian has always been very fast. We had to make a choice at the end of 2011 whether to go for Adrian or Nico [Hulkenberg], and it was Nico. But now Adrian is deserving of a second chance, and that's why we are giving him one."

Fernley added that there should be no problems getting Sutil visas to enter countries despite his criminal conviction.

"I don't think there are any problems." he added. "It's just a matter of the management team clearing them all up beforehand. We don't expect any problems at all. I don't see any issues. I think it's about being transparent, and then it will be fine."