Perez keen to remain at Force India for 2016 season


Sergio Perez is keen to remain with Force India for the 2016 Formula 1 season, and expects to make an announcement about his plans before the Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

Force India announced at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that Perez had signed a new multi-year deal with the team, but is yet to confirm him for the 2016 season.

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that Perez’s teammate Nico Hulkenberg had signed a new two-year contract with Force India, ensuring he will remain with the team until the end of 2017.

Perez had been linked with a move away from Force India for 2016, with Renault – who is set to take over Lotus F1 Team in the coming weeks – being tipped as a possible destination.

Speaking to reporters in Monza ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, Perez revealed that he was keen to stay with Force India and expects a new deal to be announced soon.

“The news is coming quite soon,” Perez said. “I have a contract with the team, as you know I have a group of sponsors and we’re trying to make the announcement altogether.

“We are getting to the point where very soon things should be announced, my plans should be announced hopefully before the next race.

“I am not looking at options anywhere else. I have a contract with Force India, my priority is to stay here.”

Perez joined Force India for the 2014 season after an ill-fated one-year stint at McLaren as Lewis Hamilton’s replacement that saw him struggle to adapt to life with the British team.

However, the Mexican driver has since excelled at Force India, scoring the team’s second-ever podium finish in Bahrain last year. He currently ranks 11th in the 2015 drivers’ championship.

Should Force India retain Perez, it would mean that at least five of the teams on the grid will be racing with the same line-up as 2015 for 2016.

Roger Penske discusses flying tire at Indy 500 with Dallara executives: ‘We’ve got to fix that’


INDIANAPOLIS – Roger Penske spoke with Dallara executives Monday morning about the loose tire that went flying over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway catchfence and into a Turn 2 parking lot.

The left-rear wheel from Kyle Kirkwood’s No. 27 Dallara-Honda was sheared off in a collision at speed as Kirkwood tried to avoid the skidding No. 6 Dallara-Chevrolet of Felix Rosenqvist on Lap 183 of the 107th Indianapolis 500.

No one seriously was hurt in the incident (including Kirkwood, whose car went upside down and slid for several hundred feet), though an Indianapolis woman’s Chevy Cruze was struck by the tire. The Indy Star reported a fan was seen and released from the care center after sustaining minor injuries from flying debris in the crash.

During a photo shoot Monday morning with Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden at the IMS Yard of Bricks, Penske met with Dallara founder and owner Gian Paolo Dallara and Dallara USA CEO Stefano dePonti. The Italian company has been the exclusive supplier of the current DW12 chassis to the NTT IndyCar series for 11 years.

“The good news is we didn’t have real trouble with that tire going out (of the track),” Penske, who bought Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2020, told a few reporters shortly afterward. “I saw it hit. When it went out, I saw we were OK. I talked to the Dallara guys today. We’re going to look at that, but I guess the shear (force) from when (Rosenqvist’s) car was sitting, (Kirkwood’s car) went over and just that shear force tore that tether. Because we have tethers on there, and I’ve never seen a wheel come off.

“That to me was probably the scariest thing. We’ve got to fix that. We’ve got to fix that so that doesn’t happen again.”

Asked by NBC Sports if IndyCar would be able to address it before Sunday’s Detroit Grand Prix or before the next oval race at Iowa Speedway, Penske said, “The technical guys should look at it. I think the speed here, a couple of hundred (mph) when you hit it vs. 80 or 90 or whatever it might be, but that was a pinch point on the race.”

In a statement released Monday to WTHR and other media outlets, IndyCar said that it was “in possession of the tire in Sunday’s incident and found that the tether did not fail. This is an isolated incident, and the series is reviewing to make sure it does not happen again. IndyCar takes the safety of the drivers and fans very seriously. We are pleased and thankful that no one was hurt.”

IndyCar provided no further explanation for how the wheel was separated from the car without the tether failing.

IndyCar began mandating wheel suspension tethers using high-performance Zylon material after a flying tire killed three fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway during a May 1, 1999 race. Three fans also were struck and killed by a tire at Michigan International Speedway during a July 26, 1998 race.

The IndyCar tethers can withstand a force of more than 22,000 pounds, and the rear wheel tethers were strengthened before the 2023 season.