Adrian Sutil has admitted he would relish the opportunity to return to F1 with Sauber.
Strong rumours in recent days – particularly in the wake of his podium in Malaysia – have linked Sergio Perez with Felipe Massa’s race seat at Ferrari. That would create a vacancy at Sauber.
Sutil, the Force India refugee who is sitting on the sidelines at the moment in the wake of his criminal assault conviction, hopes he would be near the top of the Swiss team’s shortlist.
“I want to go back – hopefully very soon,” he is quoted on Tuesday by Bayerisches Fernsehen. “You have to look around at where the opportunities are.
“I’ve always thought very, very well of Sauber, and this year they are doing a great job. They are one of the strongest private teams. Definitely that would be a nice place.”
Some media engagements aside, the German has left his 2012 calendar completely open in the event an opportunity to return to F1 arises.
“I’m keeping in top shape and I’m very motivated,” he explained. “I had wonderful years with Force India, but now I’m really looking forward to a new challenge. I’m really ready – at any time.
“Right now I won’t race somewhere else (other than F1) because I see great opportunities to be back soon.”
Sutil said he is happy that Eric Lux has publicly forgiven him for their Shanghai altercation of a year ago, but the German driver admitted a “bitter aftertaste” remains.
“I hope it’s really all finished quickly – that it would go on for this long, I never would have expected. I’m glad it’s over but most of the damage is already done.”
It would be on the way to being mended, however, if he was reunited with the F1 grid.
“In sport, people forget very quickly – especially in Formula One, where you’re only ever as good as your last race,” he concluded.