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Mallya: Force India in no rush to name drivers for F1 2013
12 November 2012
Sahara Force India F1 boss Vijay Mallya has said he is in 'no rush' to confirm the teams' driver line-up for F1 2013.
Following Nico Hulkenberg's decision to defect to rivals Sauber, there is at least one vacant seat at the Silverstone-based outfit, and while Paul di Resta is thought almost certain to be retained, the identity of his team-mate remains a mystery.
A number of drivers' have been mooted however in recent months, including the team's current test and development driver and Ferrari Academy man, Jules Bianchi, as well as Toro Rosso reject Jaime Alguersuari, Adrian Sutil and Kamui Kobayashi.
“We have traditionally waited until the end of the season to confirm our line-up and I expect we will stick to this schedule,” Mallya stated prior to this weekend's inaugural US GP at the Circuit of the Americas. “With the state of the driver market at the moment there is no rush to make an announcement.
"We have a shortlist and will take our time to make sure we have the fastest drivers.”
Meanwhile, looking back on the previous race in Abu Dhabi, where di Resta finished eighth, Mallya admitted the race at the Yas Marina Circuit was bitter-sweet.
“I have mixed feelings because we extended our run of points finishes, but on the other hand our two main rivals were ahead of us and scored well,” he explained. “With two races to go Sauber are almost out of reach and Williams are just 22 points behind us.
“The opening lap was frustrating [given Hulkenberg retired immediately], but we all recognise that these things can happen in racing. The important thing is to look forward and make sure it doesn't happen again. Without the problems at the first corner, I'm convinced we could have been up there fighting for some bigger points.”
As for this weekend's race, Mallya is happy to see the United States rejoin the F1 fold: “It's such an important market for the teams and the brands associated with the sport so it's a very welcome return to the calendar. It will be the first time Sahara Force India has raced on American soil and the whole team is excited to be going there. Visiting a new venue always presents us with new challenges, but from what I've heard we can expect a first class facility. Austin is a friendly place with good hospitality and I'm sure we will receive a very warm welcome,” he added.
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