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Mallya still stalling on driver decision

ESPNF1 Staff
November 7, 2011 « Williams talks leave Barrichello in limbo | 2012 will be 'key' to Massa's future - Domenicali »
Vijay Mallya: "I have a big decision to make!" © Sutton Images

Force India team principal Vijay Mallya says he is not yet ready to make a decision on his drivers for 2012, but insists will let them know as soon as he has decided.

At the Indian Grand Prix Mallya was asked if he would make a decision before this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and replied: "I would expect so."

Current driver Adrian Sutil, who is in the mix alongside team-mate Paul di Resta and reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg for a place at the team next year, has made clear that he would appreciate a decision sooner rather than later, but Mallya is not yet ready to make an announcement.

"All the drivers have asked me to make an early decision, and I respect that," he said. "I have a big decision to make! But it's not made yet - I'm not the type of guy who's going to make a decision and string people along. When I decide I will just tell them the way it is and that's it."

Force India is currently sixth in the constructors' standings, just ten points ahead of Toro Rosso and Sauber with two races to go. With a significant amount of prize money at stake, Mallya said securing sixth is the team's main focus at the moment.

"Formula One becomes more and more competitive with each passing day," he added. "Toro Rosso has clearly made a huge step since Japan. We've also made a bit of a step with the upgrades we brought to India. But at the end of the day you never know until the last race is over. We found that out painfully last year when Williams pipped us by one point, but now I think we're comfortably in sixth position, ahead of Toro Rosso as well as Sauber. But it's never done until it's done."