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Force India keen to find Indian talent

Force India team Vijay Mallya has admitted that he would love to run an Indian driver as part of his team's Formula One challenge in future, although such a move 'isn't right at the current time'.

The Silverstone-based team will go into 2009 with an unchanged line-up after electing to stick with Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil for the season ahead.

That has led to questions in some quarters as to why Force India hasn't looked to employ Indian driving talent, with the likes of Karun Chandok and Narain Karthikeyan being possible options, but Mallya insisted that it could still happen in future.

“Much has been made of our decision not to employ an Indian driver, but it was my feeling that, although there is great talent out there, it is not right for Force India at the current time,” he said. “Of course at some point, from a patriotic point of view, I would love to see an Indian driver driving an Indian car and I have always said that with 1.2 billion people there must be a Lewis Hamilton in there somewhere! We will keep our eyes peeled and if, or when, the time is right, you'll see it happen.

“Giancarlo and Adrian worked well for us in 2008. We certainly benefited from having Giancarlo's experience and Adrian is a hungry, upcoming driver who also knows the team well. It was the best driver combination available at the time.”

Despite the lack of a 'home grown' driver in the line-up, Mallya said the reaction back in India continued to be positive, with the team continuing to hit the headlines.

“I think the prospects are bright, challenging and exciting,” he said. “India has a strong, young and upwardly mobile middle class. The Indian economy is expected to grow at seven per cent despite the global economic meltdown and the quest for entertainment is growing.

“Force India have partnered with MTV to produce a reality show called 'Fast and Gorgeous' to identify four speed divas who will represent Force India during race weekends. This is expected to add great excitement amongst the youth and add further to the exponentially growing F1 television audience in India. There is also great media interest with national newspapers, whose circulation is amongst the highest in the world, regularly featuring the Force India Formula One Team.”


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rich ard

March 01, 2009 1:36 PM

there is nothing wrong in mallya looking for talent, indian or otherwise, but if one was to choose a driver solely on his nationality, than he would be guilty of racism. the two drivers mentioned in previous posts are handy drivers, but not outstanding, and if mallya is still looking, then that is also his opinion. there is nothing stopping him in giving either or both of these , a testing role.

the real force - Unregistered

March 01, 2009 2:15 PM

This clown in the suit apparently doesn't realize quite what it takes to be 'successful' in F1. In my opinion, one of the most successful teams in F1 was Sauber, which is what he should try and emulate. He comes across as every wannabe F1 owner has in the past- looking for advertising for 3-5 years in a bottom of the barrel bargain F1 team. He should have hired Narain who has shown himself to be as good as any, while he had the chance. Instead of spouting against Narain's talent whenever anyone even asked this guy about the weather in India. Fittipaldi got it right 'non F1 drivers' really aren't in a position to pass judgement on F1 drivers.



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