McLaren adds Sergio Perez to 2019 Formula 1 driver shortlist

McLaren has added Sergio Perez to its shortlist of Formula 1 drivers for 2019, even though the Mexican is understood to have signed a deal to remain at Force India

The team is undecided over who it wants to partner Carlos Sainz Jr next season and has been open that it is weighing up several options.

Incumbent Stoffel Vandoone, reserve driver Lando Norris and Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon have all been openly talked about before, but McLaren CEO Zak Brown says that Perez is a fourth contender.

"We think Sergio is a good race car driver," said Brown. "He's raced here before.

"The driver market is fluid and you need to keep all your options open. We've really got a shortlist of about four drivers.

"We think Sergio is an excellent driver and deserves to be on that list.

"Sometimes you're in a position where you can make the decision and other times some decisions are made for you.

"Maybe someone will announce someone on our list tomorrow morning, so you need to be prepared and keep your options open.

"And we consider Perez as someone who would consider driving for us."

Perez has been clear that he has already signed his deal for 2019, with sources suggesting that a new contract with Force India was agreed prior to him helping put the team into administration over the Hungarian GP weekend.

Force India has since been effectively reincarnated as Racing Point Force India amid an ongoing saga over the team's rescue.

Brown made it clear that Perez's reference to signing with a team were not related to McLaren, but he said the Mexican's contractual situation was not strictly clear.

"We have not signed with anybody and my understanding is that the situation with various ownerships going on, I am not sure who he has signed what with," added Brown.

"But he is someone that we have had a conversation with, but we have not signed a piece of paper with anybody."

Previous article F1 grills Mika Hakkinen
Next article Raikkonen beats Vettel and Hamilton to pole in Monza qualifying