Force India owner, Vijay Mallya, has confirmed that the team will evaluate both Karun Chandhok and Neel Jani in McLaren’s F1 driver simulator next week.
Chandhok, 25, is currently competing in the GP2 series with Ocean Racing Technology, where he currently lies in 18th position in the series rankings. The Indian received a vote of confidence from Bernie Ecclestone last week when the F1 supremo said that wished for him to take the then-vacant Force India seat.
“Karun is like a son to me. I have known him from when he was a little boy in shorts. If I can give him a chance, I’d be delighted,” Mallya told Reuters.
“But he has to prove that he is also capable. So I’ve told him I’ll put him in the McLaren driver simulator and let me see what you do. And based on that we’ll talk further.”
Mallaya also revealed that former A1Gp champion, Neel Jani, would also be tested on the F1 simulator. Jani, who is half-Indian, has recently expressed his desire to race for the Silverstone-based team in the future.
“He and his dad have been after me for the last one and a half years and he came to see me again,” said the team boss. “The guy is saying give me a chance. I can’t deny him a chance in the simulator so yes, he will also go in.”
However it is thought that Force India will retain both Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi for next season, after both drivers impressed at Monza.
“They are loyal and hard working.” Mallya added, ” They are with the team and part of the team, they are doing their best. Unless I have some compelling reason to change, I ask myself why should I change?
“As of now I am very happy with what I have and the only role open is a test driver role and we’ll see where we go from there.”