Force India have confirmed that driver Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi will drive for the team in 2010.
The team, which is due to test with drivers including American J.R. Hildebrand over the winter described how the confirmation gave the team “consistency” with Sutil remaining with the team for a third season and Liuzzi rewarded with a race seat after taking over from Giancarlo Fisichella when the latter made his move to fill the second Ferrari.
Together the pair bring five seasons of experience, Sutil having debuted in 2007 with Spyker, Force India's predecessor, while Liuzzi drove two seasons for Toro Rosso, his best finish being a sixth in China in 2007.
‘It was always my goal to be back racing in 2010 and I’ve finally achieved it,” said Luizzi. “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.”
The desire to ride the momentum of a successful 2009 season, which saw the team score their first pole position, podium and points (and come within an Italian KERS unit of a win) is something that is clear throughout the team.
“Next season I want to be in the points on a regular basis,” said Sutil, who recorded a best result of fourth in 2009. “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.”
And if they are to add to their points haul in 2010, team owner Dr. Vijay Mallya believes they are in the best position yet to do so.
“We are very pleased to retain the services of both Adrian and Tonio for another season. 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.”