Force India expect Perez to stay

Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:28am EDT
 
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Force India are confident Sergio Perez will stay with them next season, despite rumored Ferrari interest, after another stand-out performance by the Mexican at Sunday's European Grand Prix in Baku.

"I think he'll be with us next year," Force India's deputy principal Bob Fernley told Reuters. "In this business you can never be 100 percent sure about anything but I would be comfortable to say that he will be with us."

Perez, 26, finished third in Azerbaijan's debut race and, for the second time in eight races this season, was named Formula One's driver of the day.

It was Perez's second top three placing in three races and the Mexican has now taken four of the five podium finishes in Force India's history.

German team mate Nico Hulkenberg has yet to finish higher than fourth in 102 starts.

Perez is a former member of Ferrari's academy -- brought in by the Italian team's current principal Maurizio Arrivabene -- and started out with Ferrari-powered Sauber in 2011.

He then made an ill-fated move to McLaren, just when the former world champions were entering a downward spiral, before joining Silverstone-based Force India in 2014.

Ferrari's 2007 world champion Raikkonen is out of contract at the end of the season and they have yet to announce who will partner Germany's Sebastian Vettel in 2017.   Continued...

 
Formula One - Grand Prix of Europe - Baku, Azerbaijan - 19/6/16 - Third placed Force India Formula One driver Sergio Perez of Mexico celebrates after the race.    REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov