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Szafnauer confirms Force India is nearing Perez contract

  • Published on 18 Aug 2017 17:53
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Force India say that it is nearing a deal that will see Sergio Perez stick with the team for a fifth season. Perez joined the Silverstone based squad back in 2014 after an underwhelming year at McLaren. Since joining Force India, the Mexican has built back up the reputation he had before joining McLaren when he claimed a number of podiums for Sauber.

Perez stated at the Hungarian Grand Prix that he hopes his future will be sorted before the Belgian Grand Prix which gets underway in just one weeks time. With Ferrari looking like it will be retaining its current line-up, others have linked him to partner former teammate Nico Hulkenberg at Renault.

Williams is also another possibility for him, as he very nearly joined the team for this ongoing season. However, Force India's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer declared that a deal for Perez is on its way: "We haven't quite signed Sergio yet but we're not far off," Szafnauer said. "I think we can get it done by Spa. The high likelihood is that we're going to stick with our two drivers but I can't say that 100% because not both of them are signed."

Szafnauer also spoke about a Plan B, if Force India was to lose Perez. With Pascal Wehrlein's seat at Sauber looking in major doubt for 2018, Szafnauer was asked about the possibility of running with the Mercedes junior driver - partnering him with the other junior racer of the Silver Arrows, Esteban Ocon: "There's always got to be a plan B. So, if for some reason we don't sign Checo – but I believe we will – then you've got to look around, including Wehrlein. He's not so bad!"

"I think the drivers will get better because they'll learn more, I think the engine will get better because Mercedes upgrade every year. The pink - I don't know how much more pink it can be because it's pretty pink! But we're working hard on getting the car to go quicker. There's some things we can do in the short term which we will do and I hope that relative to the top three we'll be closer next year."

 

Fergal Walsh

Replies (3)

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  • Share Perez probably will never get a chance in a proper race winning car really

    • + 0
    • Aug 18 2017 - 18:59
    • Alonzo

      Posts: 66

      Agreed, too bad, he could win races with one of the 3 top teams, even compete for the championship, no doubt... But I do think NOT going to Renault last year was a Big mistake, I hope he had a different reason for not going than just hoping for the Ferrari seat this year, that is not happening ever, his sponsors were with Ferrari last season, I haven't seen them with Ferrari this year, it was a long shot any way...
      Not the first or the last to not get a shot a winning car in F1....

      • + 0
      • Aug 18 2017 - 19:38
  • Barron

    Posts: 625

    Perhaps he didn't want to partner Hulkenburg again, who knows? He must have thought he was in the running for Ferrari, who turns down a factory drive for a team with a shady background? I'm quite astonished at the pace of that FI and I just wonder if they get 'special' engines over Williams...

    • + 0
    • Aug 19 2017 - 18:36

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