| AP Photo/Manish Swarup
Force India has slammed the door shut on Narain Karthikeyan questioning the Indian driver’s abilities to race with a competitive team.
Lewis Hamilton stated at the Indian Grand Prix that it was unfortunate that Karthikeyan was “driving a slow car” suggesting that it would do wonders if he raced with a mid-field team like Force India.
"I am a Brit driving for a British team in a British car and it has done wonders for us so I hope it would be the same for him and India," reckoned the McLaren driver.
Even Pedro de la Rosa believed that Karthikeyan was “terribly underrated” but Force India deputy team principal Robert Fernley ruled out any possibility of the 35-year-old stepping up into the squad, despite the suggestions.
“But with all due respect to Narain, can he compete with and outperform our drivers?” Fernley told AFP. “It is not his fault because he's not had the opportunity that our drivers have had.”
"Now we have a dedicated team of professionals. We have the best drivers that we can afford and who push the car to its limits. Teams can't develop if you have drivers with limitations," Fernley explained.
"We have an academy which is involved in spotting raw and young talent. The whole process could take five to six years because these are 14-16 year old boys. We are trying to provide them the right platform," he pointed out.
Karthikeyan, who de la Rosa reckoned had “a few more seasons of F1 left in him,” is hoping to continue with HRT next year.