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Mallya: Chandhok needs to prove he deserves F1 shot

Force India F1 team boss Dr Vijay Mallya has defended his decision to replace Giancarlo Fisichella with Vitantonio Liuzzi for the remainder of the 2009 F1 season, instead of drafting in home-grown star Karun Chandhok.

Mallya was left with a free seat after Fisichella was released to Ferrari. However the Kingfisher Airlines billionaire has come under criticism after plumping for test and reserve driver, Liuzzi. Indeed F1 boss, Bernie Eccelstone is amongst those to have expressed his 'disappointment' along with F1 fans in India [see separate story click here.]

In an attempt to appease his fellow countrymen though, Mallya has now revealed that he has offered the man from Chennai a go in the team's F1 simulator to see how he performs.

However, Mallya added that in his view Chandhok still needs to deliver consistently in GP2, F1's feeder series, before he can be considered for an F1 seat. Karun has scored 10 points this year in GP2 with Ocean Racing Technology and he currently lies joint 16th in the standings.

"The entire issue has got too dramatised," Mallya told PTI (Press Trust of India). "I have been discussing the issue with Karun Chandhok and have already agreed to put him in the driver simulator to see how he handles the F1 car.

"At the end of the day, Karun must win some [more] GP2 races and come out good in F1 simulator in which I put him in. And if he is competitive in the simulator, I would be the first one to offer him a position in Force India."

Meanwhile, following his team's inaugural points and podium finish at the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago, Mallya is in a buoyant mood about their prospects at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

Indeed while he doesn't expect the Silverstone-based outfi to do quite so well, he will be looking for Liuzzi and Adrian Sutil to get some more points.

"We went to Spa with a continuation of our Valencia upgrade, which we knew would give a big step up," he continued. "We genuinely believed we would get two cars into Q2 and be at the top of this session, but pole was beyond even our hopes!




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Karun Chandhok talks with Force India F1 boss Vijay Mallya at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 leads Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race,  Sahara Force India mechanics
27.11.2016 - Race,  Sahara Force India mechanics
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 fans
27.11.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09

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Alan D - Unregistered

September 10, 2009 1:35 PM

Quite right too. Bernie Ecclestone is entitled to his opinions, but in his position he should know better than to express those opinions to the press. He should know he has to be strictly neutral in all matters concerning F1. No other sport would tolerate the organisers being seen to try to influence the participants in the way that Max and Bernie spout off their pronouncements about F1.

richard

September 10, 2009 4:54 PM

a simulator is grand for learning atrack, but actually being in a race with other cars aroundyou, and with the real dangers of crashing and injury, is a hell of a lot different. a simulator wont prove much. pilots will tell you that their reactions in a rteal emergency (adrenalin rush) are totally different to simulation, and that the simulator only trains them on what steps should be taken in event of failures in systems. they dont mind crashing in a simulator,----- but in a real plane???????



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