Forced India will be no good

Force India have made up their mind on Nico Hulkenberg's replacement should the talented German driver leave for Sauber. It won't be an Indian.

"I always have the potential of considering (Adrian) Sutil again. Sutil is always quick," team principal Vijay Mallya told Reuters in an interview. The German Sutil lost his racing seat last year having been in the team for five years.

Mallya's statement isn't a populist one. It's not likely to go down well with the people who believe an Indian team should have at least one Indian driver. This sentiment was fanned by former world champion Lewis Hamilton when he said before the Indian Grand Prix: "It would do wonders if Narain were in Force India. I am a Brit driving for a British team in a British car (McLaren) and it has done wonders for us so I hope it would be the same for him and India."

Ironically, Hamilton will be joining Mercedes-AMG next year which is a German team and his replacement at McLaren is a Mexican, Sergio Perez.

Desi drivers in an Indian team is potentially a killer combination, which could boost the F1 brand in the country. Unfortunately, it's not quite time for it yet.

Karthikeyan is a pay driver (those who raise enough sponsorship to get themselves a seat) for a back-of-the-grid team, Hispania. And while the affable lad from Tamil Nadu, India's F1 pioneer, is still fairly quick, at 35 years and 10 months, he has a past but not a particularly encouraging future.

Force India, on the other hand, have been making consistent progress over the past five years. An established mid-table team, they are now eyeing to overtake big players such as Sauber and Mercedes. For that to happen, they need the very best talent.

... contd.

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