Force India vow 2010 podium finish
Formula One owner Vijay Mallya says his team will be a force by 2010.
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2008 12:33 GMT

Vijay Mallya, Force India owner, wants a podium finish  before F1 hits his home country [GALLO/GETTY]

Vijay Mallya, owner of Formula One team Force India, urged the cricket-mad nation to have faith in his new team in its debut season, and promised a podium finish when the country hosts a Formula One race in 2010.
"We will be on the podium by 2010 for sure," Mallya, a liquor baron and federal lawmaker, told reporters a day after unveiling the new Force India in Mumbai.
The gold and white car has been christened VJMO1 after Mallya and Dutch co-owner Michiel Mol, and Force India will make its debut when the Formula One season opens in Melbourne next month.

"I urge all the cricket-loving fans in India to support the new team. I promise that you will not be disappointed," said Mallya.

"I urge all the cricket-loving fans in India to support the new team."

Vijay Mallya,
Force India team owner

"The task ahead is challenging. It will need a lot of hard work, sweat and tears to make an impression.

"But I am sure with your blessing, prayers and good wishes, Force India will be on the podium when India hosts a race in 2010."

New Delhi, the Indian capital, has been provisionally awarded a Formula One race in 2010.

Big budget for first year

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil of Germany will be the Force India drivers in the opening season with another Italian, Vitantonio Liuzzi, serving as the test driver.

Fisichella, a veteran of 196 Grand Prix races, was eased out of the Renault team at the end of the previous season to make way for former teammate Fernando Alonso, who moved from McLaren.

Sutil, who finished 19th with Spyker last season, will be the number two driver.

Mallya said a budget of $120 million had been earmarked for the team for the 2008 season.

India became hooked on Formula One when home-grown Narain Karthikeyan raced for the Jordan team in 2005 and test drove with Williams over the past two years.

The 18-race season in 2008 starts with the Australian Grand Prix from March 14 to 16 at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne.

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