Force India team owner Vijay Mallya is confident that he will retain both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg for 2015 following a successful first half of the year.
Hulkenberg has scored points in every single race so far, whilst Perez secured the team’s first podium in five years at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Currently, Force India lies fifth in the constructors’ championship ahead of McLaren, but Mallya believes that beating the British team is not the only target to have.
“I don’t want to only set the benchmark as McLaren,” he said. “They are a world championship winning team. We obviously are ahead on merit. They have the propensity to catch up but equally we have the propensity to improve even further. As I said, it’s quite competitive between three or four teams and I think the final race will be the final result.”
Mallya underlined his faith in both Hulkenberg and Perez, suggesting that they will not be leaving the team at the end of the season like Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil did at the end of last year.
“We have options on both,” Mallya said. “I’m very happy with both of them and I see no reason why we should be looking at any change.”
The team is just eleven points shy of its best ever season in F1, and it may well be that Mallya’s biggest challenge is fending off advances from teams further up the field for his drivers.