Force India team boss Vijay Mallya has welcomed news of compatriot Narain Karthikeyan's return to Formula 1 with HRT. Karthikeyan's deal with the Hispania squad ensures that there will be an Indian driver on the grid for the nation's inaugural grand prix later this year.
"I'm delighted that Narain is able to make his F1 comeback with HRT and I wish him every success in the coming year," Mallya wrote in a message on Force India's Facebook page. "India should be proud that it will be fully represented in its inaugural Grand Prix by an Indian team and now an Indian driver."
Mallya confirmed that Force India had held discussions with Karthikeyan – who drove for the team when it was still known as Jordan – in the past, though it had decided against signing him.
"We have spoken to Narain over a period of time about returning and it just wasn't the right time for us in this stage of our development," Mallya said. "We're currently closing our driver lineup and I'm really excited about what's to come."
Force India is expected to run Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta this season, although Tonio Liuzzi is also still under contract.