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Vijay – Stop Pussyfootin’ Around

Vijay Mallya, owner of Force India F1 and a lot of other things

Vijay Mallya, owner of Force India F1 and a lot of other things

Toward the end of the 2008 Formula 1 season, then current drivers Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) and Adrian Sutil (GER) said that they had solid contracts for the 2009 season. And management stated to the same, from Colin Kolles, team managing director, and Vijay Mallya, team owner.

Now, however, Mallya has gone on the record that he has not made up his mind about who will sit behind the steering wheel of the 2009 Force India F1 racecars. What’s the deal here?

Right after the end of the season race in Brazil, Mallya canned technical director Mike Gascoyne (who was brilliant when he was at Toyota F1, but not so brilliant at Spkyer F1 / Force India F1) and managing director Colin Kolles (not brilliant at Midland F1 / Spyker F1 / Force India F1) for lack of results, I would presume. I believe that Mallya was correct in canning these two, as they couldn’t figure out what to do with the brillian Ferrari V8 engine.

Now that Force India F1 has a technical partnership with McLaren Mercedes, they will reap the rock solid Mercedes powerplant and transmission related components from Woking. So perhaps sensing that 2009 might turn out to be a semi-competitive year (if they get the chassis and aero into proper shape), Mallya is perhaps seeking drivers with more clout. Or perhaps McLaren has dictated some sort of a driver swap as a part of the technical partnership. Will old Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa get a chance to race once more? Will young Gary Paffett get the chance to drive some races? Who knows.

But what we do know is that Fisichella and Sutil do have contracts. And for Mallya to pull the plug on existing contracts is the same old driver shuffle bullshit that we’ve grown to know and love – recall the Jenson Button Honda – Williams contract fiasco? I guess when you are filthy rich and have billions at your disposal, you can flip the middle finger at anyone and pay ’em off if necessary to shut them up. I guess he really doesn’t give a shit that the Italian / German duo did what they could with a crappy car all season long and even showed some promise in the latter half of the season.

And to cap it all off, Mallya stated:

“One McLaren test driver has already tested our car.”

“They bring the McLaren experience with them.”

“We haven’t finalised anything on the race seat. I will discuss this issue with McLaren and take this decision at an appropriate time.”

Looks like Ron Dennis has a puppet at his disposal in the F1 paddock. Hate to say it, but this is resembles English colonialism in India just a tad too much for my tastes.

December 12, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, Formula 1, General, Motorsports, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments