Force India set to announce second driver on Thursday
Sergio Perez is expected to join Nico Hulkenberg in an all-new line up
Nico Hulkenberg is set to find out who his 2014 team-mate will be at Force India on Thursday.
It is believed the announcement will be made after the team sent out a message on Wednesday via Twitter saying Vijay Mallya will be in attendance at a special media event in London.
Correspondent for The Times newspaper, Kevin Eason, believes young Mexican Sergio Perez is set to get the nod.
“(Paul) di Resta expected to hear that his Force India career is over,” he said on Twitter. “(Sergio) Perez favourite for his seat.”
Dutchman Giedo van der Garde was also a late contender following increased backing from his sponsor Marcel Boekhoorn.
Last week the 28-year-old said he was looking at three options, his 2013 team Caterham, Force India and Sauber.
While the news on the track could be settled at the Silverstone based team, all may be not so serene behind the scenes as Mallya’s business empire continues to struggle.
His Kingfisher airline will be wound up following an order from an Indian court and Heineken has reportedly upped it’s stake in his United Breweries firm meaning Mallya is now not the majority shareholder.
“It is yet another sign that Mallya’s empire is crumbling one company at a time,” a report in the Financial Times said.
While Force India are seemingly still unaffected by Mallya’s other business activities the last minute drop out from participating in next week’s Pirelli tyre test in Bahrain led some to jump to conclusions.
However a spokesman for the team said it was logistical issues that meant the team were unable to take part, ”time is just too short to get there, unfortunately,” the spokesman said.
Their newly appointed driver Nico Hulkenberg, who is well known for his lack of financial backing, is also confident in the financial picture at Force India.
“Force India was able to give me the answers and the information I needed and wanted, different to other teams,” he said.
“I also really felt that they wanted me back,” he told F1′s official website, “and that they were pushing for that, so coming back was an easy decision to make.
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