Force India: Perez re-signed but 'games played' amid Ferrari talk

Sergio Perez re-signed with Force India "several weeks ago" according to Vijay Mallya, during which time the team principal says "games" have been played over his Formula 1 future

Force India: Perez re-signed but 'games played' amid Ferrari talk

Perez had been linked with Ferrari, speculation he refused to play down himself when asked about the subject, until Kimi Raikkonen's new 2017 deal was announced on Friday.

Yet Mallya has confirmed to Autosport a contract for Perez to remain with the team next year was concluded much earlier this season.

"Sergio has signed for 2017, and we also have Nico [Hulkenberg] as well, as you know," Mallya told Autosport

"Checo knows, and I know, we have a signed contract. I would not be saying it if it was not signed.

"It's a signed contract, done several weeks ago."

Asked about all the rumours of late regarding Ferrari, Mallya replied: "He has a smart manager in Julian Jakobi.

"I guess it's a manager's job to play these games, to keep people guessing, to enhance his market value, or whatever.

"It's not for me to comment, but as far as the team is concerned, I can confirm he has signed."

On Perez fuelling the speculation himself by not knocking it back when given the opportunity, Mallya said: "What driver - in private - does not want to sit in a red car?

"Anybody who graduates into Formula 1, it's almost an aspiration to sit in that red car."

The deal means both Perez and Hulkenberg are contracted through to the end of next year, with Mallya unable to look beyond then and assess his line-up for 2018.

"I can only talk with what I have in hand. There is no point me counting the birds in the bush," said Mallya

"The 2018 season is a long way away from now, but they are locked in for 2017."

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