Force India’s Bob Fernley: “We are keen to keep both drivers”


Bob Fernley talks about the future of Sergio Perez

Sahara Force India team boss Bob Fernley is hopeful that Sergio Perez’s sponsorship stays with the team and they can continue to work with the Mexican.

Force India plan to take up Perez’s contract for next season but negotiations with his sponsorship has stalled proceedings. The Mexican said that he wants the deal to be done by the end of the summer break but negotiations will continue.

“I think we have got to make that decision as difficult as it possibly can be,” Fernley told Motorsport.com about the Perez situation.

“We are keen to keep both drivers, so if we can haul in Williams and take fourth place, there are only three manufacturer teams ahead of us. So you are going too sideways or backwards.

“The thing for us is to work hard and limit the choice.”

Perez brings a huge Mexican sponsorship deal to Force India and it is hugely valuable for a team battling in the midfield.

“It is a pretty straightforward process but it gets complicated,” he explained.

“The drivers are both contracted for next year. Then you are talking the commercial side, because we have significant commercial arrangements with Checo [Perez]’s supporters and sponsors. Those are separate decisions and separate discussions. But in essence the decision to keep the driver pairing was there.

“So I would dearly hope we can keep all of his people on board. But that wasn’t the priority. The priority was to keep the driver pairing. It is purely commercial. It is nothing to do with anything else.”