Money not key to Force India seat – drivers

Tue, 1 January 2008, 01:33

Two candidates for a 2008 race seat with Force India have rubbished suggestions that the job will be handed to the highest bidder.

Recent media reports have indicated that Giancarlo Fisichella, the Roman veteran, and Spanish rookie Roldan Rodriguez, are high on the Silverstone based team’s short-list because they can both apparently offer multiple millions in sponsorship euros.

But Rodriguez, the 22-year-old GP2 driver, insists to the news agency EFE that he is “sure” that money matters “will not affect” new team co-owner Vijay Mallya’s final decision.

An announcement about Force India’s 2008 driver lineup is reportedly scheduled for January 11.

“The team wants to improve and achieve higher grid positions,” Rodriguez said, “rather than think about its wealth.”

Austria’s Christian Klien, meanwhile – another candidate for the spare race seat alongside Adrian Sutil – told that he is still in the running “even though I don’t have a sponsorship budget” for 2008.

The former Jaguar and Red Bull racer, and Honda test driver, also seemed to rule out reverting to a testing role next year if he fails to seal his return to the grid.

“For me, it is important to race in formula one in 2008,” Klien, 24, said emphatically.

“Only in a race cockpit can I evolve according to my potential. In the testing mode, because of the dramatically reduced mileage, I feel challenged too little,” he added.

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