Force India want Chandhok as tester

Force India's owner Vijay Mallya says he would like to hire Indian Karun Chandhok as a test driver for next season

Force India want Chandhok as tester

The Indian reckons, however, that the GP2 driver still needs more experience before he can race in Formula One.

"I would love to give Karun a go as a test driver first," Mallya told Reuters at Spa.

"The race seat I think he is a year away from. I need to see him winning GP2 consistently, not an odd one here and there.

"He has it in him to do it and when he does it, sure I would love to have an Indian driver in the car if I could. But at the end of the day, on the one hand I cannot be encouraging the team's performance and then doing something that might compromise the result.

"I don't believe that Karun is there yet. I'm not saying he won't get there. I am hoping he will."

Twenty-four year-old Chandhok has won once in GP2 this year and is currently 10th in the standings with just one round left.

Force India are yet to confirm their drivers for 2009, but Mallya suggested veteran Giancarlo Fisichella was likely to be retained.

"This team desperately needs the experience of Giancarlo, has needed it, and as we design a brand new car for 2009, needs it even more," he said.

"This team has never had the benefit in the last three or four years of an experienced driver.

"I breed and race horses, and what the jockey tells you, nobody else can. You can have the best trainer in the world, but you need a jockey to tell you how good or bad the horse is.

"Similarly, I firmly believe driver feedback on a car is invaluable and that is where Giancarlo is performing a very valuable role for us."

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