SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) Force India remains “very confident” of extending the contract of Sergio Perez despite the Mexican driver’s threat that he will be forced to consider changing teams if a deal is not reached this month.
The deal was being held up by negotiations over the commercial terms of the sponsorship between team, driver and the Mexican telecommunications companies Telmex, Telcel and Claro.
“The driver contract has been completed for some time,” Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley said Friday at the Malaysian Grand Prix. “We are literally dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on the commercial side and if it takes a week, that is fine, if it takes a couple of weeks, so be it – it will happen.
“We are very confident ‘Checo’ will be with us next year, and we have never deviated from that.”
Perez had expected the deal to be finalized before the current Asian swing of the season in Singapore-Malaysia-Japan, and said he was losing patience with negotiations.
“At the moment I’m just concentrating on one team,” said Perez, who is eighth in the drivers’ standings with two podium finishes this season. “There are some other options on the table, quite interesting options.
“I hope that it works out with one team, and if it doesn’t, then by next week obviously we will have to look at something else.”
Perez has been linked with moves to Renault – which is in the market for an experienced driver and is yet to finalize either race seat for next season – and Haas, which has close links with Ferrari, which would be the Mexican’s dream move.
“I want to keep my career in F1 going. I cannot wait much longer,” Perez said. “I expect everything should be done by next week.
“Thankfully there is a lot of interest out there, makes you feel in a good position. If things don’t work out as you want, you have to look at somewhere else.”