Force India hint at retaining current driver line-up

Vijay Mallya believes that Force India will have a more competitive second season in F1 and looks set to stick with the same driver line-up.

“Force India have clearly demonstrated that we have caught up and improved,” Mallya explained. “One realises how tough Formula 1 really is and it reinforces the challenge that I have before me for 2009 to be really competitive. I’m not only catching up from last season, but from the last three seasons. And we have caught up, even though F1 has become so competitive, which is good.

“I am quite optimistic, however, that my experience so far has pointed us in the right direction. I now know precisely what I’m up against, so I can plan better. Maybe I learned the hard way, but it’s good to learn. So 2009 will be much more competitive for the Force India team.

“We didn’t use the seamless shift gearbox in Budapest but we will introduce it at Valencia and as far as I’m concerned, that’s it for the development for 2008 and all the focus from now on will be to develop a really competitive car for 2009.”

Although there is no official confirmation, Mallya appears happy with his current driver line-up and despite some believing that Chandhok also stands a good chance of driving for the team next season, both Fisichella and Sutil look set to retain their current positions.

“I have two good drivers,” Mallya continued.”The experience of Giancarlo is invaluable and Adrian has lots of talent – I think he is improving race by race, becoming more consistent.

“I am quite happy with them and, more importantly, they have a great attitude that will help me to face the challenges of tomorrow. I think they will be very satisfied driving the 2009 car, which I am sure will be a significant improvement and a big surprise.”