Renault F1 team wants to sign Force India's Perez for 2017

Renault is hoping to sign current Force India driver Sergio Perez for the 2017 Formula 1 season during this year's summer break, Autosport has learned

Renault F1 team wants to sign Force India's Perez for 2017

Perez stated on Thursday ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix that he could leave Force India at the end of this campaign.

That is despite team principal Vijay Mallya's declaration over the course of the race weekend at Silverstone that a deal with Perez for 2017 had been done several weeks earlier.

Behind the scenes, Perez is understood to be unhappy with Mallya's remarks, particularly as any decision on his future is made in conjunction with the group of sponsors that support him.

To that end, Perez's backers have held discussions with Renault as they believe manufacturer backing for the 26-year-old is vital in the next step of his career if he is to become a future world champion.

Renault re-entered F1 as a full works teams from this season after a protracted takeover of Lotus, making clear its goals were long-term.

It has struggled so far, claiming just one points-scoring finish from the 11 grands prix, but progress is being made on- and off-track.

Perez is believed to see Renault as a great fit for his ambitions and feel that he has gone as far as he can with Force India, which is unable to offer him the championship chance he craves.

With the weight of a car manufacturer behind the F1 programme, Renault is willing to spend compete with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, with the stated aim of gunning for wins and titles over the next few years.

While Renault has a considerable budget, Perez's financial support would still be welcomed as it seeks to make good on its targets.

Should the Mexican sign on as its number one driver, that would then allow Renault to bring in reserve Esteban Ocon.

Ocon is highly-rated within Renault and it is believed the French manufacturer is keen to promote the Mercedes junior into a race seat for 2017.

However, there are understood to be concerns about pairing Ocon with either Kevin Magnussen or Jolyon Palmer, with either potential combination not seen as strong enough to push forward next year.

Ocon's case could be strengthened if he secures a temporary seat with Manor for the final nine races of this campaign.

Although Renault has its sights set on securing Perez over the summer - and is in pole position to do so - it faces competition from Williams, which has also held preliminary discussions with the driver's backers.

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