Tuesday’s news from the Williams factory was another serious blow to the F1 career of German driver Adrian Sutil. Having lost his Force India race seat and with a grievous bodily harm trial imminently looming, the 29-year-old was hoping to keep his career alive by replacing Rubens Barrichello at Williams.
Instead, that job has gone to Bruno Senna, making 2012 a “transitional year” for Sutil, according to his manager Manfred Zimmermann.
“The negotiations with Williams were already over in mid December, because there were different opinions,” Zimmermann, apparently referring to the desired length of a contract, is quoted in German by Sport1.
It is also rumoured Medion, Sutil’s sponsor, has reduced the value of the deal.
Williams’ chief operations engineer Mark Gillan said on Tuesday: “I don’t want to talk about individual drivers. Adrian was part of our plans, but based on everything that was on the table, Bruno was the best choice.”
Zimmermann continued: “We still believe that we will be in formula one in 2012. It will be a transition year for us as we are planning long-term. Right now we will concentrate on the trial on January 30 and 31,” added Zimmermann, referring to the case of Sutil’s alleged assault last April on Lotus team executive Eric Lux.
As for Tuesday’s news, DPA news agency quotes Zimmermann as adding: “We were not surprised. We have not tried anymore with Williams for weeks.”
So what’s next? “Either there will be a surprise or we will do a plan-B,” said Zimmermann coyly.