Driver Market

Di Resta faces F1 expulsion as Force India sign Perez – Sutil joins Sauber

Scot Paul Di Resta’s F1 future is in doubt after Force India announced on Thursday that McLaren refugee Sergio Perez will partner Nico Hulkenberg at the team in 2014.

Di Resta, who has driven for the Anglo-Indian outfit since 2011, is understood to be without a drive elsewhere as the openings in the driver market increasingly dry up.

Perez, who completed only a single season for McLaren before being fired by the British team, is understood to have been endorsed for the seat by former Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh. The Mexican also takes a sizeable chunk of money with him, estimated to be in the region of several million dollars. Di Resta, by comparison, has relatively little sponsorship support and may face being forced out of F1 altogether.

The announcement also signals the exit from Force India of German Adrian Sutil who, aside from an enforced sabbatical in 2012, has driven for the team since it was Spyker in the 2007 season. An announcement on Friday afternoon confirmed the German will swap seats with compatriot Hulkenberg and fill the lead driver role at Sauber in 2014.

This leaves Sergey Sirotkin as his provisional team-mate, but the young Russian is understood to be in doubt after questions were raised over his ability to earn a superlicence before the Australian Grand Prix in March.

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