• Force India

Past conviction won't limit travel - Sutil

ESPN Staff
February 23, 2013 « Gutierrez enjoys 'perfect' conditions | Boullier keeping expectations in check until final test »
Adrian Sutil is hoping to drive for Force India this year © Sutton Images
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Adrian Sutil has reiterated that he will not face any visa issues relating to his past conviction of grievous bodily harm if he returns to Formula One this year.

Sutil is in the running for the second Force India drive and tested the new VJM06 on Thursday to get back up to speed and try to prove his worth. He last raced in F1 for Force India in 2011 but was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg after being convicted of grievous bodily harm against Lotus co-owner Eric Lux in late January 2012.

Sutil was handed a suspended 18-month jail term and a €200,000 fine and it was thought that might mean gaining access in to certain countries on the calendar - including China where the incident occurred in 2011 - could be a stumbling block to any return to Formula One. But Sutil insists it is not an issue and Force India is aware he is free to race wherever he wants.

"It's all good," he said. "I tried to get everything done already and last year I informed myself so it's definitely not a problem. It's all sorted so it's really about their [Force India's] decision. I think they've seen I'm able to drive the car still, so maybe next week we'll have a decision and we'll go from there."

He said he had also been keeping himself in good physical condition in case he landed another race drive.

"I prepared myself of course and even though the call was quite late for the test, a better preparation would have been if I already knew I had to be in the cockpit, but I've working fully on my condition in the last couple of months and of course you never know. During the last season I was expecting someone maybe dropping out and maybe I get the seat, so since a year I got quite a lot of time for normal training but it's always different to go in the car."

He also confirmed that he is only interested in a race drive, not a reserve role.

"I'm a race driver, not a test driver, so I want to race. This is my only chance here, it's the last option so we try and fight for it. If that doesn't work, let's look for something else in different categories that is interesting. But yeah, test driver? I don't know if it's the right thing for me."

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