Mallya: Perez and Hulkenberg signed to Force India for 2017

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Sergio Perez and Force India will remain with Force India for the 2017 Formula 1 season, according to team owner Vijay Mallya.

Perez and Hulkenberg joined Force India at the beginning of 2014, working together to take the team to its best finish in the F1 constructors’ championship last year.

Both drivers were linked with moves away from the team for 2017, Perez being tipped as a possible replacement for Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari.

However, Mallya confirmed in Friday’s FIA press conference at Silverstone that both drivers had been firmed up for next year.

“We are very happy with Nico and Checo [Perez]. Both are signed for 2017 and really I haven’t thought about it beyond that,” Mallya said.

“We are very early, much earlier than normal, because usually we wait until the winter before announcing our drivers.

“This time we signed both for 2017 well in advance and of course today’s announcement from Ferrari [confirming Raikkonen] put to rest a lot of speculation that has been taking place in the last few weeks.”

The British Grand Prix marked Mallya’s first appearance in the paddock this season, as he is unable to travel due to legal issues in his native India.

“I’m absolutely delighted and over the moon to be here in Silverstone. It’s a very special race track for Force India,” Mallya said.

“I’m personally delighted to be here as all the other races I have virtually experienced them [because] sadly I am currently unable to travel.

“Since I am now spending my time in England, it’s far more regulated, less hectic. I’m doing what I’m passionate about and one thing I’m passionate about is Force India.

“I get a lot of pleasure out of it and the team is delivering results.”