Formula 1

Force India Aiming to Lock Down Perez to New Contract

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Force India want Sergio Perez to stay with them for a fifth season - Credit: Sahara Force India F1 Team

The Sahara Force India F1 Team has commenced talks with Sergio Perez about extending the Mexican’s contract with the team, with team principal Vijay Mallya keen for the twenty-seven-year-old to remain.

Perez was linked with a move to the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team ahead of the 2016 season before deciding to remain with Force India, but whereas a move to Enstone is unlikely this year, the Mexican has been linked with other teams, with Scuderia Ferrari amongst those thought to be interested.

However, Mallya would love Perez to stay alongside Esteban Ocon into 2018, with the Mexican having given the team four podium finishes in his four seasons with the Silverstone-based outfit.

“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 returning a 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.”

Mallya admits that should a drive with Ferrari or the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team become available, it would be hard for Force India to stand in the way of Perez leaving, but he hopes that he does stay for a fifth campaign.

“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?”

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