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Mallya considers Sutil as Hulkenberg's replacement

ESPN Staff
October 29, 2012 « 'We have the luxury of Fernando' - Domenicali | McLaren now aiming for second in constructors' »
Vijay Mallya: "Never forget I always have the potential of considering Sutil again" © Sutton Images

Force India team principal Vijay Mallya says he will consider Adrian Sutil as a race driver in 2013 if Nico Hulkenberg leaves for Sauber at the end of the year.

Hulkenberg is thought to have signed a deal with Sauber for next season, but neither team nor driver has confirmed the news. Mallya revealed to Reuters in India that Hulkenberg has been offered a contract by Force India, but said his team would not stand in the German's way if he wants to leave.

"I offered an extension to both drivers," Mallya said. "I hear from the media that Nico has signed with Sauber. Well, if he has then good luck to him.

"I have not been officially notified by Nico of anything. He hasn't sat down with me and told me that. I would expect that he would if he was on his way...I have an excellent relationship with him, he's a wonderful guy. He's done well for us."

Mallya dropped a big hint that Sutil, who drove for the team for five years from 2007 to 2011, would be next in line if Hulkenberg goes to Sauber.

"Never forget I always have the potential of considering Sutil again," he added. "Sutil is always quick. So there are many options. I would certainly consider him."