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

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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.”