The Sahara Force India Formula 1 team will consider all available driver options as it weighs up its 2014 campaign, team principal Vijay Mallya has confirmed.
The team currently fields Adrian Sutil and the Mercedes-backed Paul di Resta in its line-up, while Mallya describes this as a “competitive pairing”, the alcohol mogul confirmed that his team won’t make any driver line-up announcements before its home race, the Indian Grand Prix, later this month.
“We are considering all available options and we never take these decisions in haste,” he confirmed ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
“We have a competitive pairing at the moment, but we will sit down with the team management and discuss the way forward for next year. It’s unlikely we will make any decisions before the Indian Grand Prix in any case.”
The team has suffered a massive dip in form since Pirelli’s mid-season decision to alter its tyre construction following a spate of failures at the British Grand Prix.
After featuring regularly in the top-ten qualifying shootouts and in the points, the team has only registered the occasional points finish and slipped to sixth in the Constructors’ Championship behind McLaren.
After again qualifying poorly at last weekend’s Korean Grand Prix, the outfit registered its third double-DNF in the last five races, with both drivers crashing out of the Yeongyam race.
“It was a very difficult race [in Yeongam] and we certainly didn’t get the reward our race pace deserved,” Mallya added.
“We are making small steps forward on the one-lap pace and working hard to recapture the race pace we showed earlier in the season. Unfortunately, we can’t convert our performance into points. In Korea we could have had one or two cars in the battle for points that developed at the end of the race.
“The final five races offer some very different challenges now. Some tracks will suit us more than others, but it’s vital that we get back to scoring regular points to secure our position in the championship.
“Suzuka is a big challenge for us, but it’s important we keep our heads up and try to put the disappointment of Korea behind us.”