Mallya: Stable line-up key for Force India ahead of technical changes

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Force India owner Vijay Mallya believes that a stable driver line-up will help the team to tackle the challenge of the new Formula 1 technical regulations for 2017.

Mallya confirmed over the British Grand Prix weekend that both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg would remain with Force India for 2017, ending speculation about possible moves away.

While Perez has scored two podiums so far this season, Hulkenberg has struggled to match his teammate for pace. But this does not concern Mallya.

“Some things that happened to Nico should not have happened, but that’s what you know in hindsight,” Mallya told the official F1 website.

“I am very happy with both my drivers – Nico is every bit as good as Checo.

“He will stay with us in 2017 – and Checo as well. We will race with the same driver line-up again next season.

“This stability is good in the view of the big technical changes.”

Mallya also believes that Force India can catch Williams for fourth place in the constructors’ championship with half of the 2016 season remaining.

“The target obviously is to catch Williams. Nineteen points ahead should be manageable when you consider what Force India bagged in Silverstone,” Mallya said.

“Of course, a good result in Austria would have blended in perfectly – but we have to focus on what is and not on what could have been.

“Having said that, we are also not blind to the other side. Toro Rosso is improving. We cannot take them for granted. At some races they’ve come very close and sometimes they’ve finished ahead of us, so we have to be on our toes.”