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Force India still weeks away from 2014 driver line-up decision according to Vijay Mallya

Driver announcement ruled out for before Indian GP

By James Galloway.   Last Updated: 08/10/13 4:07pm

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Sutil and Di Resta: Experiencing a difficult run of races

Sutil and Di Resta: Experiencing a difficult run of races

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Force India chief Vijay Mallya has made clear the team won't rush the decision over their 2014 line-up, with an announcement unlikely before the end of this month.

The identity of Kimi Raikkonen's replacement at Lotus aside, Formula 1's midfield has become the hot bed for driver market speculation with Force India a keen team of interest given they are yet to confirm either of their drivers for next season.

Both Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil's futures remain uncertain, with the former's position at the team into 2014 having only started to be speculated about in recent weeks in wake of five successive retirements.

Mallya's team have traditionally been one of the last to finalise their plans for the following season, the outfit only confirming Sutil's return for this year in March, and speaking ahead of their attempts to return to points-scoring form in Japan this weekend, the Indian has indicated that such a calm approach is unlikely to change.

"We are considering all available options and we never take these decisions in haste," Mallya said.

"We have a competitive pairing at the moment, but we will sit down with the team management and discuss the way forward for next year.

"It's unlikely we will make any decisions before the Indian Grand Prix in any case."

Having held fifth place in the Constructors' Championship at the expense of perennial front-runners McLaren up until the August summer break, Force India now head to Suzuka having scored just three points in six races.

The Silverstone-based outfit's fortunes have nosedived since Pirelli introduced beefed-up tyres from Hungary but Mallya is spotting small signs of progress again despite the disappointment of a double DNF last weekend in Korea.

"We are making small steps forward on the one-lap pace and working hard to recapture the race pace we showed earlier in the season," the Team Principal insisted.

"Unfortunately, we can't convert our performance into points. In Korea we could have had one or two cars in the battle for points that developed at the end of the race.

"The final five races offer some very different challenges. Some tracks will suit us more than others, but it's vital that we get back to scoring regular points to secure our position in the championship. Suzuka is a big challenge for us, but it's important we keep our heads up and try to put the disappointment of Korea behind us."

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