Force India driver line-up to receive McLaren input

Although McLaren have insisted that they will only recommend their preferred drivers for new partners Force India next year, Vijay Mallya says he will be hard pressed not to act on the Woking squad’s advice.

Force India entered into a substantive technical collaboration with McLaren on Monday that will see the team enjoy the use of Mercedes-Benz engine power, as well as the team’s KERS system, gearbox and other operational assistance.

Less clear in the joint announcement was the extent that McLaren would be able to influence Force India’s driver line-up with speculation that Mercedes-Benz DTM and McLaren test driver Paul di Resta could be in the frame for a drive next season.

When pressed on the issue by autosport.com, McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh said that the team had no intentions of taking over the Anglo-Indian outfit, though he acknowledged that they would submit recommendations on issues such as drivers.

Force India team Boss Vijay Mallya has admitted that he will have to take those recommendations seriously.

“They will recommend what they believe to be in the best interests of my team and I have to decide. And I would be hard pressed to ignore their advice,” he is quoted as saying by Reuters.

But the Indian billionaire affirmed that he has not yet discussed the details of next year’s driver arrangements.

“I haven’t gone into any details on drivers yet,” he said, “I am going to do whatever it takes. There are no emotions involved.”