F1 boss endorses Mallya`s view on Indian driver in Force India
New Delhi: Having an Indian driver in Force
India just for the sake of it would have been
counter-productive for the Silverstone-based outfit, said
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Clamour for an Indian driver in the only Indian F1 team
grew last year with Karun Chandhok`s name forwarded by some
quarters but Force India chairman Vijay Mallya maintained he
would do what is best for the team, even if it meant having
Mallya subsequently retained both Adrian Sutil and
Vitantonio Liuzzi while Chandhok joined rookie team Hispania
for the 2010 season.
Ecclestone reckoned having an Indian driver just for the
sake of it would have affected Force India`s performance.
"...(it) would be extremely negative. In this case Vijay
would have achieved the exact opposite of what he wanted to,"
the F1 boss told the offical Formula One website.
"To choose an Indian driver who just runs after all the
others is no use to anybody. It would be counterproductive,"
said the 79-year-old Formula One Management chief, who is
close to the Chandhok family.
Mallya, on his part, said that he too would like to have
an Indian driver but hardly has any option.
"I would love it. I`m not a fool and can see the enormous
publicity potential which would come from it," Mallya said.
"The downside at the moment is that there is not one
Indian pilot who has the potential to battle the best on the
track," said Mallya, also the Force India team principal.
Since its quiet 2008 transition, Force India in fact
bettered it`s promise of points in 2008 and in fact had the
distinction of a podium finish when Giancarlo Fisichella came
second in the Belgian Grand Prix.
This year, Force India is going steady at the sixth place
in the constructor`s championship, trailing the Big Four and