Force India starts talks with Sergio Perez for 2018 Formula 1 season

Force India has begun contract talks with Sergio Perez about extending his stay with the Formula 1 team into next season

Force India starts talks with Sergio Perez for 2018 Formula 1 season

Perez left it until last October to confirm he would be staying at Force India for a fourth consecutive year, after the conclusion of commercial agreements with the team.

The Mexican was heavily linked with a move to Renault for this season but committed to Force India, partnering Esteban Ocon who joined for 2016 on a multi-year deal.

Perez is believed to be on the radar of at least two other teams on the grid for a seat next season, but Force India team boss Vijay Mallya is keen to retain him.

"We have already commenced talks with him for the renewal of his contract," said Mallya.

"When I have to take a new driver I like to leave it late, when I have a returning driver I like to do it early.

"Checo is a highly talented and experienced driver. There's no question about that and I'm glad Esteban is pushing him."

Seats at Mercedes and Ferrari are potentially up for grabs in 2018, with Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen out of contract at the end of the season.

Mallya said he would not stand in the way of his drivers if a top team came calling, but if such an offer is not forthcoming, he sees little reason for them to want to leave.

"I like to believe that my drivers are happy in this team," said Mallya. "We give them a good car to race.

"If there is a Mercedes or a Ferrari seat, they'll obviously jump at the opportunity.

"I'm not going to stand in there way but other than that I think we have the best car.

"We give them an atmosphere where they are comfortable, they enjoy the team, their colleagues and they enjoy working together. What's the reason to move?"

Mallya echoed the thoughts of chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer that Ocon has delivered quicker than expected since joining the team.

Ocon completed nine races for Manor last year before joining Force India, scoring points in nine of the 10 races so far this season, leaving him eighth in the drivers' standings.

"Esteban has come up to speed really well and is quicker than I thought - it's fantastic," said Mallya.

"We had a tough call to make over the winter about who our driver was going to be.

"There were only rookies available and we made the right choice. He's only going to mature and get better.

"You know that experience is hugely important, and the more experience he gets the better he's going to become.

"He has the talent, which has showed already. I'm happy we have him signed up on a multi-year contract, so I'm expecting regular point-scoring finishes from him."

shares
comments
Mercedes' F1 gearbox troubles explained
Previous article

Mercedes' F1 gearbox troubles explained

Next article

McLarens added to complete line-up of F1 2017 classic cars

McLarens added to complete line-up of F1 2017 classic cars
Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge Plus

Why Albon won't be "throwing around laptops" to gain a 2023 F1 edge

OPINION: At the Williams 2023 Formula 1 season launch, Alex Albon’s easy-going nature was again a point of focus. But does being “too nice” really matter in modern F1? Albon’s own expressions put that in an intriguing new light

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues Plus

How the last Sauber-built Alfa offers F1 2023 evolution clues

Alfa Romeo has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal a new car for 2023, in addition to a fresh livery. This offered a first look at some of the understated changes produced by the revised regulations, along with points of convergence in the second year of the ground effect rules

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023