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Indian racer Narain Karthikeyan, currently representing his country in A1GP, has launched a surprise attack on Force India, effectively claiming that the team is going nowhere.
Talking to the Hindustan Times, Karthikeyan, when asked if he was interested in the Silverstone-based outfit, said: "I spent a frustrating time with Jordan, where I had a car that just could not perform. I have no desire to be with another pedestrian team that's low on performance and loud on talk."
Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya bought the Spyker team in 2007 as its latest incarnation ran into problems, as had it predecessors, Midland and Jordan. While Mallya is determined to put his country on the F1 map, both in terms of a race team and a race - the country hopes to host a round of the World Championship in 2011 - he has shown little interest in his country's current crop of drivers, claiming that neither Karthikeyan nor Karun Chandhok are good enough for his team.
"I never even approached Mallya," Karthikeyan hit back yesterday. "The vibes from the camp have been extremely negative and I want to make it clear that I am not interested in driving for Force India.
"Spyker offered me a drive in August 2007," he continued. "I declined as the team was going nowhere. Except in F1, where machine matters more than man, I have won races in every championship that I have participated in."
Meanwhile, Bernie Ecclestone claims that Chandhok, who finished 10th in the 2008 GP2 Series with iSport International, is ready for F1, telling the Hindustan Times: "The time is getting closer for F1 to be in India, which is something I am really enthusiastic about, and hopefully Karun will be part of it. His place is in F1."
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