I have made no secret of the fact that I believe the decision to take Nico & Sergio is illogical. If it were me, I would have taken Nico and retained Paul. However, that doesn't necessarily mean I am disappointed at this announcement. As I have stated at numerous stages during this 'silly season', Force India are in a very strong position regardless of which drivers they pick. There is so much talent available that the team could essentially do no wrong! Anyhow, now that the announcement has been made - I wanted to give my take on the new recruits.
2010 - Williams
2012 - Force India
2013 - Sauber
That's his CV as a race driver in F1.
Look at the top drivers though; Vettel has been at Red Bull five years, Alonso has been at Ferrari four years - and they are both the clear number one drivers at their respective teams and that means that they have greater influence in the development process. In order for Nico to succeed in Formula One he needs to show that he can get the whole team behind him, just like Sebastian and Fernando have done. This means staying at a team for more than one season, and showing a little commitment - not just jumping ship to a car that could be better each season. Nico is signed on a multi-year deal, but inevitably a "top team" will come calling for him in 2015 - in my opinion it is crucial for his career that he stays, regardless of if we are at the back or the front of the grid in 2014.
In 2013 though, I think he made a big mistake. He signed for McLaren which is great, a massive opportunity! However he did an interview before that season began saying that now he's at a "top team" he needs to be more aggressive in the car. My question is, why? He did a great job in 2012, why change your attitude in 2013? This aggressiveness is exactly what cost him in 2013 - he had a few incidents with his team mate (Button), he lost his edge with tyre conservation and he seemed to be simply trying too hard; ultimately finishing 29 points behind Button in the championship. Now he has left McLaren, I hope he'll go back to his more relaxed attitude that he had at Sauber. Our team principal, Vijay Mallya, appears to be developing a reputation for developing young talent (di Resta, Hulkenberg, Calado) and now he will work his magic with Sergio too.
The cynics say that the move for Sergio was motivated by the sponsorship money/opportunity he brings. That is a perfectly understandable point of view but Dr. Mallya rubbished these suggestions. Now of course, even if the move was motivated by money, of course that would be denied so we'll never know for certain. However, I do think I believe Vijay actually! In this interview with Sky Sports F1, the boss is asked about this very topic and his facial expression when the question is asked leads me to believe he is telling the truth ... either that or he's a very good actor!
Adrian & Paul
Nevertheless, we wish the pair of them the very best of luck :-)
Would love to know if you agree or disagree with my views here, feel free to comment!
Thanks for reading,