Perez deal "a matter of days... or weeks"

20/08/2018
NEWS STORY

With a nice touch of humour, Force India returned to social media this morning as the enforced summer break came to an end and the 2018 Formula One World Championship season resumed.

"Hello everyone, we’re back after our summer break!" declared the Silverstone-based outfit. "Did we miss anything while we were away? Drivers’ market, big announcements... surely not? Everyone was on holiday anyway."

Fact is, since the news two weeks ago, due to said summer break nothing of substance has been heard, leaving onlookers to speculate over all manner of things from new team name to driver line-up.

Speaking to Fox Sports, Sergio Perez, the man who kick-started the legal process that led to the team being put in administration and subsequently being picked-up by a consortium of billionaires and millionaires led by Lawrence Stroll, claims that he is certain to be retained for 2019.

"It's a great opportunity to continue with the team," he said. "When you don't have a chance at Ferrari or Mercedes, I think Force India is a very attractive option.

"We are almost there," he said of a deal for next season. "In fact, it's just a matter of days or weeks. It's just about clearing up the situation with the team.

"My contract doesn't need signing," he added. "The renewal option is there and it's just about seeing what position the team is in to continue."

Asked about the move which saw the team placed in administration, he admitted: "It was a very complicated situation. I was in a position I never expected as a driver and I had to act... there were 400 jobs at risk.

"Fortunately everything has been rescued and everything looks great," he continued. "It looks like an incredible future for the team, with a good investment that above all gives the team a lot of stability, which is what it struggled with during the past years."

With Lance Stroll certain to move from Williams to the team now owned by his father, it is the destination of Esteban Ocon that is of interest.

The French youngster, who made his F1 debut two years at the Belgian Grand Prix with Manor, has given Perez a run for his money since joining Force India and would be a prize asset for any of its rivals. However, following Daniel Ricciardo's shock switch to Renault his option are severely limited, with the two under-performing British teams, McLaren and Williams the most likely destinations.

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Published: 20/08/2018
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