Lauda wants Sutil, Hulkenberg at Force India
"On sporting criteria alone"
Force India is now the last significant team with driver vacancies for the 2011 season.
With HRT likely to select a pair of well-financed racers much closer to the start of the season, a handful of highly rated candidates are clamouring for the two Mercedes-powered seats at the team run by Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya.
Adrian Sutil insists he has agreed in principle a new deal with the Silverstone based team, while the fate of the under-contract Vitantonio Liuzzi is reportedly less clear.
Also in the running are the likes of 2010 reserve driver and new DTM champion Paul di Resta, Williams refugee and Interlagos pole sitter Nico Hulkenberg, and the highly experienced Nick Heidfeld.
Karun Chandhok and Narain Karthikeyan have also been linked with the drives and would be heavily supported by Bernie Ecclestone, who would like an Indian to be on the grid when Delhi hosts its inaugural grand prix next October.
"On sporting criteria alone, Force India should have Sutil and Hulkenberg in 2011," Niki Lauda is quoted by the Swiss newspaper Blick.