Lucas Auer, Force India, Hungaroring, 2017

Force India could run more Friday drivers – Mallya

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya says the team could run different Friday drivers in the final races of the season after clinching fourth place in the constructors’ championship.

Mallya also said the team is prepared to take a riskier approach now that Williams cannot beat them this year.

Nikita Mazepin, Force India, Hungaroring, 2017
Mazepin also tested for Force India
“With fourth place secure, we have the freedom to take a new approach into the remaining races,” said Mallya, “perhaps by trying some different things or different Friday drivers in the car to see what we can learn for next year.”

“We can also be more aggressive with strategies and take more risks,” he added.

Force India has run test driver Alfonso Celis in Friday practice on three occasions this year already, including at the last race in Mexico. It also gave test chances to DTM driver Lucas Auer and Formula Three racer Nikita Mazepin earlier this year at the Hungaroring.

Current drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez are already contracted to race for the team again in 2018.

Mallya described clinching fourth place in the championship, which repeats the team’s best-ever result from last year, as a “wonderful achievement”. The team has also exceeded its best-ever points haul of 173, having reached 175 with two races still to run.

“I’m incredibly proud of the entire team and delighted we have done so with two races in hand. It’s already been our strongest season yet in terms of points scored and we are just 25 shy of the 200 points mark. It shows how consistent we have been all year.”

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 20 comments on “Force India could run more Friday drivers – Mallya”

    1. Pretty damning indictment of the state of money distribution in F1 that the fourth best team has to resort to these measures. Drivers like Celis are F1 unworthy.

      1. Too bad that if the current levels of unequal income distribution continues, then this year will probably be Force India’s best ever performance. :(

    2. I love this team, first they get midfield championship, then two best drivers avaliable, then even better upcoming drivers for the future..

      They are on it. Sauber, Williams, Haas, STR can only dream of being this good.

      1. It’s a continuation of this team’s heritage. Midland and Spyker screwed them up good, but Jordan had a long and illustrious tally of results including a 3rd in the WCC in 1999, and they debuted both Schumacher brothers, Zanardi, Barrichello, Irvine, and Glock. All in 15 years.
        And Eddie Jordan is simply the man.

      2. @jureo And McLaren unfortunately..

        1. Well McLaren are higher tier team not performing to standards. They dream of championships etc. P4 is not an awesome position for them.

      3. this is important. i think it shows the potential false economy of having pay drivers. i’ve probably ranted about this before on here, but force india are showing the way.

        i realise today’s pay drivers aren’t all jean-denis deletraz or taki inoue, but the max chiltons or jolyon palmers of this world are miles off the best when it comes to maximising what you’ve got and taking opportunities. stroll has been ok this year, but think of all the missed scoring opportunities early on. that could well have cost them millions.

        sauber is an interesting case because werhlein has not wiped the floor with ericsson (though over the course of the season he has been ahead). however, when the opportunities to score points were there, werhlein took them, kind of how bianchi did at monaco in 2014.

        1. Also, with the super tight budget Sauber had, can we be sure that Wehrlein always got equal equipment @frood19

    3. So Liberty’s proposal to stop Friday sessions altogether would damage the prospects of all potential new F1 drivers. As well as removing an income stream for the team.

      This latter suggests that Liberty are looking at continuing a “Bernie” policy of making the teams more dependant on prize money by gradually removing their other sponsorship income. As the current FTA content ends, with the switch to pay tv only, the huge reduction in tv coverage will hit more significantly as sponsors withdraw and look for better exposure in other areas.
      The proposed cost cap (if ever implementable) would reduce the team’s demand for prize money and allow more profit to be taken each year by the current rights lessees. (Note the FIA owns the sport)

    4. Could BWT pay them to run Maxi Gunther in one of the sessions? He’s sponsored by BWT as well, so I can possibly see that happening. He ran Norris fairly close before the last few rounds of the season, and Norris did very well at the Hungary test.

      1. Is he eligible for a super licence? I believe all practice drivers need one.

        1. Huh true. Well, they need to have completed a certain amount of km I believe, because Gelael definitely doesn’t have enough superlicence points, but he did do the Bahrain test.

    5. Maybe they can try putting someone who’s actually talented in the car on Fridays. Just a thought.

    6. I’d like it if every team had to field a young driver in FP1 for at least 10 GPs per season. At least a few talented ones would slip through every now and then.

      1. Or maybe an extra practice for the official reserve drivers? Teams have nothing to lose and the costs wouldn’t increase so much.

    7. These last two races are zero about this year and all about next year for the other teams too. They essentially get six days of testing for free. You’d have to be a fool not to take advantage.

    8. Mallya ! the real question is why aren’t you in prison yet !

    9. Force Indias two guys, Checo and Ocon are worth the price of admission. Ocon in my opinion has better years ahead in a Constructors car with titles to fight for and Checo is a solid midfield driver. Fun team to watch ever weekend.

    10. Liberty should arrange young drivers races, perhaps in year-old machinery or what-have-you. Imagine having Leclerc, Norris, Joel Eriksson, Giovinazzi, Sirotkin, Rosenqvist, Oliver Rowland, Pietro Fittipaldi, and Maximilian Günther battling it out in year-old F1 cars on the Fridays, or on off-race weekends at various circuits. Sort of a Formula 1.5 where drivers must either be under a certain age, or must not have raced in F1 for more than XX races. Perhaps this could be a venue for drivers like Kubica, and maybe André Lotterer too.

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