Force India deputy team principal, Robert Fernley has confirmed the Silverstone-based outfit won't make a decision on its 2014 F1 driver line-up until Lotus decides on its pilots for next season.
Lotus is said to be considering signing either Nico Hulkenberg or Pastor Maldonado to partner Romain Grosjean, although no announcement has been made as yet, as the Enstone-based outfit has still to conclude the investment deal with Quantum Motorsport
Force India are also understood to be keen to sign Hulkenberg and the squad has been linked with former McLaren driver, Sergio Perez as well. Current FIF1 drivers Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta remain possibilities too, although the former could end up at Sauber, while the latter is expected to be the odd one out.
“The stumbling block at the moment is who's going with Lotus and until that's resolved it's very difficult to know what's available,” Fernley told ESPN
“At the end of the season, we've got two very good drivers and there's got to be a compelling reason to change one or both. We don't really know which drivers are available yet.”
The German media reported recently that Hulkenberg had already signed
for 2014 with Force India, however, Fernley was non-committal when quizzed on those stories.
“There have been stories like that for a few weeks now and Nico is one of the drivers we'd like to look at,” he added.
Force India finished 2013 as the best non-manufacturer team and Fernley reckons this puts them in a strong position when it comes to attracting drivers'.
“As long as we're not diluting the performance, because the shareholders are very clear about what they are looking for and that is performance. It's always going to be on talent [in terms of which drivers we sign], if we can get money it's a bonus,” he continued. “I think we deserve to be a main target. I'm very optimistic for 2014 considering the work we've done this year.
"The fact that we've not only managed to get the development working for next year, but hold onto sixth place is a great achievement for everybody here.”