Force India announced on Thursday that Adrian Sutil would be returning to the team as their second driver.
Sutil previously raced for the team for five years but was dropped in 2011 following his conviction for grievous bodily harm after an altercation with Genii Capital Chairman Eric Lux.
Australia will be Sutil’s first race since the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix. He tested for the team in Barcelona last week setting a faster time than teammate Paul di Resta and Jules Bianchi, whom he beat to the seat.
Sutil said: “ I’m delighted to be back in Formula One, especially with a team I know so well. I’m very happy and I want to thank Sahara 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.”
Team principal Vijay Mallya said the driver line-up decision had been difficult.
He said: “ 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 realising our ambitions for the coming season.”
Mallya said he hoped the team could still help Bianchi realise his future as a Grand Prix driver.
Sutil will test for the team at this week’s pre-season test in Barcelona on Friday and Saturday before Di Resta takes over on Sunday.
Sutil is a known quantity to the team and his performance in testing last week showed that he still has potential to produce the results that Force India need.
His knowledge of the structure of the team and his performance in 2011 no doubt helped his cause as did rumoured financial backing.
We should expect consistent point scoring from him and it will be interesting to see how he fares against teammate Di Resta whom he beat in 2011.