Vijay Mallya has flagged Abu Dhabi in two weeks as the accelerated deadline for the announcement of Force India’s 2012 driver lineup. The billionaire had intended to hold off the call until mid December, but reports in the last week strongly suggest he has already settled on pairing Paul di Resta with Nico Hulkenberg.
That has worried Adrian Sutil, who – if he is ultimately to lose his seat – wants the time between now and the end of the year to find a new one.
“I am happy that he has understood this (need) now,” German Sutil is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
Mallya told the SID news agency: “I have three top drivers, but only two can sit in the car. This is a difficult decision for me.”
He went on to hail Force India’s 2011 Friday and reserve driver, Hulkenberg.
“He has done his job very well, and the fact that he put his Williams on the pole position in Brazil (2010) says it all,” said Mallya.
Sutil, however, argues that he too has done a good job recently alongside his rookie teammate di Resta.
“I am doing the best job possible,” insisted the 28-year-old. “That should be quite obvious to people. But ultimately they must make the decision.”
With his sponsors Medion and Capri-Sun in tow, Sutil’s main alternative for 2012 is Williams.
“I will look around a bit, of course,” he admitted. “But I will behave loyally to my team that I have been together with for so long. Let’s wait for the decision.”