Adrian Sutil reckons he will stay at Force India next year after revealing in Brazil that he is close to a new deal with his current team.
The German has been linked with moves to both Renault and Williams in recent weeks, as he stalled on committing himself to a fresh offer from the Force India outfit that he has been with since he entered F1 in 2007. But although neither Williams nor Renault have yet officially confirmed their vacant driver slots for 2011, Sutil says his sights are now firmly focused on completing a new deal with Force India.
"I am close to Force India and although there is nothing signed yet, the direction is toward Force India at the moment," Sutil told AUTOSPORT ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix. "It looks good at the moment. I said already many times that I am happy to stay here another year, and I cannot say more at the moment. There is nothing signed at the moment but the direction is Force India."
Sutil declined to elaborate on the factors behind his decision, but said he was very happy to be continuing his career with Force India.
"I feel good here. I was born here, let's say. It's my first team and I still feel good in this one. For sure there is a certain time where you think you may need another challenge or to change teams, but I still feel good here and I still feel we can improve our performance. We can do better next year and thinking about that I have to continue another relationship and another partnership."
When asked for a time frame of when he expected to sign his new contract, Sutil said: "Probably very early after the Abu Dhabi race, maybe two or three weeks hopefully – but in F1 you never know."
Sutil's decision means that Force India's driver lineup for 2011 is theoretically settled, with Vitantonio Liuzzi already having a contract for next year. However, there has been speculation that the team could part company with the Italian and slot in Paul di Resta instead.