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Force India to retain drivers for 2009

October 18, 2008 16:10 IST

Force India will keep the same lineup of Italian Giancarlo Fisichella and Germany's [Images] Adrian Sutil next season, the Formula One team's owner Vijay Mallya [Images] said on Friday.

"I've made it quite clear I'm quite happy with Adrian and Giancarlo and they will continue through 2009," he told a news conference at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

Ferrari-powered Force India have yet to score a point this season and Sutil said although it has been a disappointing year, he has learnt a lot.

"I am really disappointed with this season and I think it is just time to finish this season and hopefully we will do a better one next one," the highly-rated 25-year-old said.

"With Giancarlo I had a good team mate...he was pushing me all the time and I really saw myself progressing and growing, so right now I am feeling very, very good."

Fisichella, 35, joined the team from Renault at the end of last season. He has won three races in 12 years in Formula One.

Mallya said he has been talking to Mercedes about the possibility of replacing Ferrari [Images] because he wants an engine, gearbox and Kinetic [Get Quote] Energy Recovery System (KERS) in one package from his supplier for next year.

"That's our requirement and we can't do without any one component," he said.

"So negotiations continue and I'm hoping that we will be able to finalise something sooner rather than later because we need to finish this season, get on with testing and be prepared for a significantly improved performance by the team in 2009."

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