Abu Dhabi: The disappointment of just missing out on the sixth spot in the constructors' championship didn't dampen the mood in the Force India camp. Neither did the fact that Vitantonio Liuzzi crashed into a spinning Michael Schumacher on Lap 1, or that Adrian Sutil was lying sixth before his late pit stop pushed him out of the points. Team owner Vijay Mallya was his cheerful self at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and as he soaked in the glitzy evening at the Yas Marina Circuit he told XPRESS exclusively plans to unearth an Indian driver behind the wheel in the near future.
"We will begin a project called the young drivers' identification scheme whereby we intend to find young Indian drivers for the Force India team," he said.
Asked why he still didn't consider Hispania driver Karun Chandhok despite the fact that the Indian was keen to drive for his team, Mallya said: "Well...everyone out there wants to drive for Force India. [Giancarlo] Fisichella drove for us last year and he left and we didn't miss him. There is no hard and fast rule that an Indian team has to have an Indian driver. The drivers we have now are really good and we are happy with them," he said, adding: "However, we sit with the team and decide in the next couple of weeks who our new drivers are going to be for next season."
So, how has this season been?
"It's been wonderful by any yardstick. Collecting 68 points is amazing, since this is just our third year. As Spyker this team never saw any points. Things are looking quite good for next year."
Mallya added he was also looking forward to the Indian Grand Prix come next year. "That's something to be really proud of, an Indian Grand Prix. It will be incredible with all the home support. And from what I have heard, the venue will be completed three months in advance," he said.