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Force India retain Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi

Vitantonio Liuzzi and Adrian Sutil
The team hope the stability they will get from retaining their drivers will bring performance

The Force India team are to retain Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi as their drivers for the 2010 season.

German Sutil will be entering his fourth season with the team in F1.

And Italian Liuzzi's performances after being promoted to the race team from test driver for the last five races of last year have earned another chance.

Team owner Vijay Mallya said he hoped the stability provided by retaining his drivers would enable the team "to build on our strong 2009 performance".

Force India is the former Jordan team, which went through four changes of ownership in as many years from 2005-8.

And after several seasons at the back of the grid, they made real progress in 2009, emerging as a force in the top 10 in the latter part of the season.

Next season I want to be in the points on a regular basis, maybe even challenging for the podium, and the team has exactly the same goals

Adrian Sutil

Italian veteran Giancarlo Fisichella finished second in the Belgian Grand Prix, his final race for the team before moving to Ferrari for the end of the season.

And Sutil followed that up with a career-best fourth place in the next race in Italy, where he started from the front row.

Sutil said: "I feel good here, it feels like family, and when you feel at ease you can focus your energy 100% on getting it right on track.

"Next season I want to be in the points on a regular basis, maybe even challenging for the podium, and the team has exactly the same goals.

"We are going massively in the right direction so with our combined energies I'm confident we can achieve even more than last season."

Liuzzi, who had not raced in F1 since 2007 when he was promoted for Monza, said: "It was always my goal to be back racing in 2010 and I've finally achieved it.

"I feel the five races I did in 2009 were a bit of a warm-up; get back racing, learn the car, get the feeling back.

"Now I've done that I feel ready to really push next season. We were pretty strong in the last part of the 2009 season so if we pick up where we stopped I think we could be in for a good year. For sure points are the aim and showing everyone what we can do.'

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Mallya added: "We have always maintained that consistency is key at this stage in the team's development and for the first time in many years we will have the continuity of not only the same drivers, but also the same engine and senior management.

"With this stability now in place I truly believe we have an excellent platform to build on and move forward on our strong 2009 performance.

"I am sure we have one of the most dynamic line-ups on the grid and I hope this will stand us in good stead in what we all hope will be a transitional year for the team."

Force India said they would decide on their reserve driver after their young driver test involving Scot Paul di Resta and American John Hildebrand at Jerez in Spain next week.



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see also
Force India hand test to Di Resta
24 Nov 09 |  Formula 1


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