Mumbai, Jan 11: Indian business baron Vijay Mallya has announced his team for Force India Formula One. Italian Giancarlo Fisichella was confirmed as Force India Formula One team's second driver for the 2008 season along with Germany's Adrian Sutil, and another Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Fisichella, who drove for Renault last season, will team up with Sutil, who was a rookie last year with the Spyker team that Mallya bought into and renamed as Force India. The team also named Vitantonio Liuzzi as the test and reserve driver. Liuzzi raced for Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso in 2007 but has been replaced there by France's four-times ChampCar champion Sebastien Bourdais. Mallya said that though the Force India F1 team would feature in grand prix circuits, he was aiming for a shot at the first Indian grand prix in 2010.
"My objective is that by 2010, when India will host the first ever Indian Formula One trophy, that first India Formula One team will rightfully occupy a place on the podium," said Mallya. Fisichella has 194 races under his belt and is expected to bring some much needed experience as well as technical feedback to the Ferrari-powered team in what is likely to be his swan song at the highest level of the sport.
Fisichella has won three F1 races in his career and his highest championship placing was fourth in 2006. He finished eighth last season. The confirmation of the Force India line-up means there will be no Schumacher on the grid this year, with Ralf, who tested for Force India in Spain in December, following older brother Michael out after the seven-times champion retired in 2006.
Narain Karthikeyan became India's first Formula One driver in 2005 when he signed for Jordan. India is due to stage its first grand prix in New Delhi in 2010.