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Two good GP2 years before I consider Chandhok for Force India: Mallya

March 03, 2009 19:33 IST

Force India owner Vijay Mallya on Tuesday said he would consider promising motor race driver Karun Chandhok for his Formula One team if he can finish inside top three in the GP2 Series for a couple of years.

"Chandhok has tested for Formula One and he is now running in the GP2 Series. If he finishes in the top three in the GP2 Championships I can seriously consider him for Force India," Mallya told Indian reporters at the Jerez de La Frontane circuit where Force India is testing its new Mercedes-driven VJM02 car.

"If we have a driver who has five to eight years of experience in international karting, GP2 Series. One year in GP2 is not enough. He should be at least have two or three years in the GP2 and should secure first, second or third place in the Championships. Only then the driver can graduate to Formula One," he added.

Asked about any possibility of former Jordan race driver Narain Karthikeyan making it to Force India, Mallya said, "He (Karthikeyan) may have been the most successful Indian F1 race driver. But if we put him in the car today and compete him with the other drivers I don't know how he would measure upto.

"Anyway, he has said he has no interest in Force India and I have no interest in hiring him," Mallya told foreign journalists.

With a new VJM02 car fitted with Mercedes-McLaren engine, Mallya said he would now "demand" results from his drivers even though he does not expect miracles immediately.

"We made improvements last season but that was not enough. Now in 2009, the car has completely changed and it is a brand new car with a new design. There are no excuses any more. I have made investments, given them what they want in terms of resources.

"Apart from the technical changes, the management have been completely overhauled so I am going to demand points from my drivers. It is not that they (the drivers) should start to get the points immediately but I expect them to be consistently finishing races and earning points after the first four or five Grand Prix which I would call settling down races".

"Moreover, I want points on merit and not earning them on default. For example, last year there were races in which only half of the cars remained towards the close of the race because of mechanical problems or weather conditions I don't want that," he said.

Mallya criticised the media for focussing only on points in the first season, saying owning a team in Formula One Championship was an achievement in itself.

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