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'Second chance' for Sutil at Force India as he joins di Resta in 2013 line-up

updated 1:24 PM EST, Thu February 28, 2013
Adrian Sutil has been given a second chance at Force India for the 2013 season.
Adrian Sutil has been given a second chance at Force India for the 2013 season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Adrian Sutil confirmed as Force India's second driver
  • The German will join Paul di Resta for the 2013 season
  • Sutil is rejoining the team after a one-year's absence
  • He was convicted of assault in 2011

(CNN) -- Adrian Sutil was confirmed Thursday as Force India's second driver for the 2013 Formula One season, pledging to make the most of his "second chance" after being sacked by the British-based team following a conviction for assault.

The German will join Scot Paul di Resta at Force India, who finished seventh in the constructors' championship last season.

The 30-year-old Sutil is returning to the team he drove in from 2007 - 2011, originally Spyker, until Force India took over.

Sutil sat out last season after being replaced by compatriot Nico Hulkenberg, who has subsequently moved to Sauber.

He had been involved in an altercation in a Shanghai bar after the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix with Lotus co-owner Eric Lux.

I want to thank Force India for giving me a second chance, having been away from the sport, I'm even more determined to achieve my goals in Formula One
Adrian Sutil

He was later given an 18-month suspended sentence by a Munich court after Lux filed assault charges.

Read: Sutil confident he will return to F1 after assault conviction

"I want to thank Sahara Force India for giving me a second chance," he told the official F1 website.

"Having been away from the sport, I'm even more determined to achieve my goals in Formula One.

The decision to rehire Sutil in favor of the team's 2012 reserve driver Jules Bianchi of France was not an easy one said team principal Vijay Mallya.

"It was a close call, but ultimately we felt that Adrian's experience and historic links to the team gave him the edge, and will provide us with the best possible chance of realizing our ambitions for the coming season.

"If he can rediscover the exceptional form he showed in the second half of 2011, I'm confident that we can pick up where we left off at the end of 2012."

Sutil, who has made 90 Grand Prix starts, has a best finish of fourth at the 2009 Italian GP.

All the F1 teams are in Barcelona this week for the final round of testing ahead of the start of the season in Australia in a fortnight's time.

Thursday's rain-hit session at the Catalunya circuit saw Australia's Mark Webber record the fastest time after conditions dried out in the afternoon.

The Red Bull star was timed at one minute 22.693 seconds, nearly two seconds quicker than Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes.

Hamilton was fastest in the morning in the wet and completed 113 laps as he fine tunes his new car ahead of the opening race.

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