A year ago next Monday Force India announced its driver line-up for 2012, and said goodbye to Adrian Sutil, who had been with the team for the four previous seasons. Sutil was facing criminal charges at the time after attacking Eric Lux, who is a partner in Genii Capital, the owner of the Lotus F1 Team, in a Chinese night club in April 2011. He was found guilty by a German court of causing bodily harm by stabbing him in the neck with a champagne glass and he was given an 18-month suspended sentence and a fine of $260,000. The prosecution asked for a more severe penalty, arguing that a professional sportsman is a role model and should not act in the way in which Sutil acted. While it seems that team boss Vijay Mallya has no qualms about employing Sutil again, there is a question about whether or not the German driver will be allowed to visit all the countries involved in the Formula 1 World Championship. There have been suggestions that he would run into trouble with visas in China, Canada, the United States and Australia, where entry may be refused for those who have been sentenced to more than 12 months in prison, whether served or not. It is possible that the team might decide to use Sutil and then put test and development driver Jules Bianchi at the races when Sutil cannot compete and it is really down to the team to decide whether this will give them more Championship points or not, as this is really the only criterion, given that the team does not have any real sponsors who might complain.
The others who are believed to have been talking to the team include Bruno Senna, Kamui Kobayashi, Hekki Kovalainen and various GP2 graduates.
It will be interesting to see what the team decides to do.