© Getty Images

No deadline for Force India to decide on second F1 seat for 2017

Leave a comment

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says there is no deadline to make a decision on its second Formula 1 seat for 2017 following Nico Hulkenberg’s departure.

Force India had planned to retain both Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez for 2017, only for the German to recently decide on a switch to Renault.

With Perez firmed up, Force India is now on the lookout for a new teammate for the Mexican, holding what is arguably the most attractive free seat on the grid for 2017.

Pascal Wehrlein, Esteban Ocon, Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr, Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen have all been linked with a move to Force India for next season.

However, Force India is not going to rush into a decision, with Fernley explaining that team owner Vijay Mallya will make the final call after talks begin next week.

“I’m not close at all,” Fernley said when asked if he was close to making a decision.

“It’s Vijay’s decision and we’ll start those discussions probably when we get back next week.”

Fernley was asked if there was a deadline for Force India to make a decision, but said: “No, I don’t think so.

“I think we’ll take our time, have a look at what offers are on the table.

“Vijay will make his decision and then we’ll announce it.”

IMSA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration: Why Sebring is so special to Bobby Rahal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bobby Rahal has driven in some of the biggest races in the world, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 Hours and, of course, winning the Indianapolis 500 as a driver in 1986 and in 2004 as a team owner.

But winning the 12 Hours of Sebring two years in a row (1987 and 1988), Rahal feels, is right up there in terms of his greatest accomplishments as a race car driver.

As IMSA celebrates its 50th anniversary, Rahal reflected on what racing at Sebring International Raceway has meant to him:

“To me, Sebring is the ultimate endurance race. Not as long as Daytona or Le Mans, but the demands put on a car and driver at Sebring are highly unusual.

“My father raced at Sebring in the late 60’s. To win that race two years in a row really meant something to me.

“While we’ve won a lot of other races, we’ve won just about everywhere, you name it. But for me personally, winning at Sebring those two years in a row was very special.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski