Force India to pick drivers by Indian Grand Prix

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Force India will make a decision on their driver line-up for next year around the time of the Indian Grand Prix at the end of the month.

Deputy team principal Bob Fernley told Autosport: “Our decision process is one that takes place around the Indian Grand Prix, it’s a shareholder decision and that’s always the timing for us.”

Both its current drivers have been with the team for several years. Paul di Resta joined in 2011 and Adrian Sutil has started every season Force India has competed in since it joined the sport in 2008, with the exception of last year. GP2 driver James Calado made his F1 debut for the team in practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

Force India are currently sixth in the world championship and are within range of fifth-placed McLaren which Fernley says makes them an attractive option for competitive drivers.

“You would be surprised how many good quality drivers there are but if you are being realistic,” he said, adding “there are probably three seats for four quality drivers”, referring to Force India’s two seats and the vacancy at Lotus created by Kimi Raikkonen’s move to Ferrari.

However he indicated the change in regulations next year will make it more attractive for teams not to change their driver line-ups: “”But nobody is going to be looking at a massive change for 2014.”

Sage Karam, Tony Kanaan fastest in Monday’s practice for Indy 500

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In the second-to-last practice session of the week, Sage Karam paced the 33 drivers qualified for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 on Monday.

Karam had a field-best speed of 226.461 mph, followed by Tony Kanan (225.123 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (224.820), Charlie Kimball (224.582) and Alexander Rossi (224.507).

Sixth through 10th fastest were Will Power (224.445), Helio Castroneves (224.368), Marco Andretti (224.148) and rookie Zachary Claman Demelo (224.91) and Scott Dixon (223.966).

Power and Castroneves ran the most laps of all drivers at 120 and 118, respectively.

Two other Team Penske drivers struggled to get speed out of their cars. Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden was 28th-fastest (221.982 mph) and Simon Pagenaud, who was the slowest (220.902 mph) of the 33 cars on-track.

Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th-fastest with a best speed of 223.573 mph in a 100-lap effort.

Most drivers were in race trim or were testing things for Sunday’s Greatest Spectacle In Racing such as fuel mileage, chassis setup and more.

Rookie Matheus Leist missed most of the session with an apparent electrical problem that kept him to just 19 laps.

There was one incident of note during the 3 ½ hour session: IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens crashed coming out of Turn 2 during the first hour of practice.

Wickens appeared to skim the outside SAFER Barrier, went left and then violently turned hard back into the outside retaining wall.

MORE: Wickens wrecks during Indy 500 practice

The Honda-powered machine for the Canadian driver suffered heavy damage to the right side, particularly the right front tire and the right side of the front end.

There will be no further on-track activity for the Indy cars until Friday’s final practice to fine tune things for Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

We’ll have the full practice speed chart, as well as What Drivers Said, shortly. Please check back soon.

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