All change at Force India as Perez joins Hulkenberg

2014 F1 season

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Force India have confirmed Sergio Perez will race for them in 2014 after signing a “multi-year deal” with the former McLaren driver.

Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya said he was “very impressed with his recent performances”.

“He already has several podium finishes to his name and being chosen by McLaren last year was a clear indication that he is a driver to watch for the future,” Mallya added.

Perez will partner Nico Hulkenberg, whose signing was confirmed earlier this month, as the team changes both its drivers for the new season.

“By pairing Sergio alongside Nico, we enter the new season with an extremely competitive line-up, which will go toward helping us achieve our goals for the new season,” said Mallya.

“Coming here was always my first choice and I’m really happy everything has now been confirmed,” said Perez.

“This is a young team with a lot of determination and they’ve produced competitive cars for the last few years. It’s all change for next season with the new regulations, but I already have a good feeling about 2014.”

The news means both Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil have lost their seats.

See the updated list of 2014 F1 drivers and teams

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Image © Force India

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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137 comments on “All change at Force India as Perez joins Hulkenberg”

  1. I’m sad to see Paul di Resta leave the team and hope he still gets a seat at Sauber. Di Resta has been one of the best rookies since 2009 when the in-season testing was completely banned, he made further progress in 2013 and he definitely deserves to be on the grid on merit.

    Nevertheless, I think Force India have made the best of their financial situation. Just like Lotus, they seem to have taken one excellent driver and one decent driver with some sponsorship money and good potential.

    I don’t think Perez would be hired if he didn’t bring any funding with him but he’s still a good driver, who has been able to deliver very strong performances now and then. Now it’s up to the Mexican to prove that he can do that constantly and that McLaren made a mistake by dropping him.

    1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      12th December 2013, 14:17

      +1. I don’t like the man but he deserves to be on the grid.

    2. I think he said he’ll most likely be racing in DTM next year.

    3. I don’t think Perez would be hired if he didn’t bring any funding with him but he’s still a good driver, who has been able to deliver very strong performances now and then.

      I agree with that @girts, I think that if not for Perez becoming available, they could have had Sutil in the other car, who also brings a bit of a budget with him but is a dependable mid field runner

    4. @girts meh, I’m not sad to see Paul go. His attitude maybe spoiled my views towards him, but I don’t think he “deserves” a seat. His 2011 was strong, but that’s in comparision to Sutil, who for me is just mediocre. And then put against a proper star, he was shown the way. Hulkenberg was mixing with the top guns late in the season, while Paul was struggling for points.

      And then again this year, he was way too closely matched with Sutil. Given the way Kobayashi and Kovalainen left the sport, Paul’s had it.

      As for rookie since 2009, Bianchi, Hulkenberg, Grosjean (in first-lap-nutcase form too) and even Perez stand out in comparision, IMO…

      I like Force India’s prospects now. Proper line-up, good for them !

      1. @fer-no65 I agree that everything suggests that Hulkenberg is better than di Resta. But it should also be noted that Hulk got the upper hand over the Scot only in the last six races of the 2012 season, until then both were evenly matched.

        I don’t see how Perez is better than Di Resta. The fact that McLaren replaced him with a rookie after just one year speaks volumes.

        Fans always love to see changes in driver line-ups and Perez is also good looking and fun to watch but I believe there is no reason to think that he is capable of scoring more points per season than Di Resta.

        1. The fact McLaren picked Perez and may not have even considered di Resta, and now Force India have done likewise, must speak volumes as well then?

          1. @deej92 As for Di Resta and McLaren, there can be several reasons why a team ignores particular drivers. For instance, McLaren also don’t seem to be interested in Hulkenberg even though team principals rate him even higher than Button. But if a team like McLaren signs multi-year agreement with a driver and then fires him after one season, it must mean they’re pretty disappointed with his performance. For sure, we don’t know if Di Resta would have done a better job there but he has never had a chance to prove himself in any other team than Force India.

            As for Di Resta and Force India, it’s pretty obvious that money is an important factor here, AUTOSPORT reports that Perez brings around 15 million euro.

            Perez is not a bad driver, he deserves to be in F1 and I won’t be sad if he performs well next year but I don’t believe that he deserves that seat more than Di Resta does.

          2. @girts It’s true that Perez is bringing a hefty bit of money with him to Force India, but he isn’t a Max Chilton. The money is just a very nice bonus as he is a good driver. I think Force India just wanted some new blood as they haven’t progressed with the old. It’s difficult to say who is better out of di Resta and Perez, but Perez has had some giant-killing performances (Sauber) while being a consistent points-scorer for McLaren. Di Resta has had a couple of 4ths and 6ths but it just isn’t enough without sponsorship and portraying a negative image hasn’t helped.

        2. @girts McLaren replaced him after just 1 season on a woeful car and, according to them only, because Magnussen was just too good. Which is perfectly valid. I still think McLaren chose the wrong youngster, they rushed the decision and signed the first guy that came across them. But at Sauber, he showed a lot of promise. It’s sad how things ended up for both parties.

          Hulk and Paul were closely matched but in those last 6 races, it wasn’t a match anymore. Maybe it had to do with Hulk lack of racing the year before, but he moved a step further up. Di Resta never did the same while against Sutil…

          Again, I might be biased because I totally hate Paul di Resta (and Sutil). But I don’t think either of them set the world alight. A bit like the Buemi-Alguersuari situation a couple of years ago…

        3. I must say Di Resta failed to impress me at all. I don’t watch the British broadcasts, so I barely heard his name throughout these 2 years. I think what Perez did in the Sauber was more interesting than anything Di Resta has shown in Force India. And well, Hulkenberg has shown he can deliver in the Force India, Sauber and Williams cars, no minor feat if you ask me.

        4. @gifts – McLaren have said that their first preference was to keep Perez and give Magnussen a year’s worth of experience with a junior team, but there were no takers and the team felt that placing Magnussen in another series would be a waste of time and his talent. You can bet they had a hand in placing Perez at Force India.

          1. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was FI that McLaren were going to place Magnussen with, and they rather cunningly pulled out of the deal seeing that Macca would pop Magnussen in their car and could thus sweep up Perez with his Mexican monies.

            Crazy enough to be true in F1.

    5. It’s time to be more competitive for Force India team. I’ve been very happy with Nico’s return. Now with Sergio I think they will take the team to s higher level.

    6. Does Paul deserve the seat over Perez? Don’t think so. Is Paul one of the best rookies since 2009? Only if you do a yearly rookie rating. It’s sad that he got to leave during the only year in which he beat a team mate, but he beat Sutil.
      On the other hand, Perez has shown he has the ability to score podiums, which something even Hulkenberg has not managed.

  2. Very good line up at Force India now

    1. Now they just need a good car!!

    2. Definitely strongest line-up in the midfield

      1. +1, and I’d like to see the Williams in it too, that could produce nice fights :)

      2. Yess. I have never been a fan of this team so far . But , now , oo it’s to strong to ignore ,
        Kudos to the guys at Force India . Now , they need a good car and then it’s going to be fun .

    3. I really think this is a major improvement over Sutil/di Resta. For the upcoming season FI did the job just right.

      One very good/close-to-elite driver in Hülkenberg that delivers in 9 out of 10 cases on a multi-year-contract and one quick driver in Perez whose career went sideways for a year. Nonetheless I still consider Perez to be the best among all pay drivers and he does have some room for improvement. Perez’s money is the icing on the cake for FI. Easily the best lineup of all midfielders yet.

      One concern for Hülkenberg is how to get out of his contract in the years to come if another top seat happens to be vacant. Business wise a smart move from FI if Hülkenberg needs to be bought out of the contract. We will see.

    4. Perfectly said, @callum
      Hoping FI get some strong results on the board
      and/or a few podiums.

  3. Chuffed to see him confirmed. FI have turned their team over on it’s head with this driver line up, they’re looking pretty keen for next year based on just this. Hopefully they can provide, they haven’t been wide of the mark for the last few years so I have faith!

    Very excited to watch this pairing fight it out. Bravo Force India.

    1. W (@yesyesyesandyesagain)
      13th December 2013, 0:29

      It would be amazing if FI pulled a Brawn GP and came out of the gate way ahead of everyone, heck it would be amazing if any of the mid-field teams pulled that off. I really hope the deck gets shuffled next year.

  4. I love this move by Force India. Both drivers are in the crop of young and talented and both will want to show how good they are: Hulkenberg for not getting a seat at a top-team and Perez for being let go by McLaren after one season(injustly, imo). There might be fireworks next year at FI, but at least it will be a very interesting battle to watch.

    1. @gicu I agree: Looking at the list of previous Force India F1 drivers I’d say it’s the strongest line-up they’ve had so far.

      I can understand why some found Di Resta’s attitude made him hard to like but he is a good driver and he had the beating of Sutil this year. It would be good to see him find a place in F1 next year if he can.

      Sutil I think has had a good run and we’ve seen the best he has to offer.

      1. Strongest line up for the Silverstone squad since their Jordan days off course @keithcollantine!

      2. I always had the feeling that Sutil had more in him than most people could see, but I have to agree with you – after so many seasons, he’s had enough time to show it. Others were far more impressive in the very same team. Now, this pairing is amazing: both are really fast drivers, and though Hulkenberg has more finesse and defensive skills, Perez is more aggressive and surprising. If their car performs in any race like it did in Spa 2009, these drivers will be more likely to get a win than Fisichella. I’d love to see FI take some silverware home in 2014.

      3. David not Coulthard (@)
        12th December 2013, 15:02

        I’d say that Hill-Scumacher or Frentzen-Hill (well, especially the latter) was probably better :p

        1. I’m pretty sure that Eddie Jordan testing Jos Verstappen to potentially replace Damon says a lot about his 1999 season. Strong on paper, yes, but in reality Hill wore the team down that year.

          Not to mention Ralf’s frequent shunts in 1998.

        2. @davidnotcoulthard As I’m sure you know they were Jordan then.

        3. Frentzen was incredibly underrated in my opinion. Very talented driver in most respects, shame he got duffed up a bit by Villneuve in 97.

      4. the first time in years that Mallya sign both drivers quite early-ish. good job Vijay, if the car were fantastic, they would be explosive!

        1. That’s very true. I remember they only confirmed Sutil last season a few weeks before Melbourne!

      5. Wow, Sutil already 5 seasons in F1!

        And he just failed to impress me all these years, why is this guy still in F1?

      6. @keithcollantine, given that Sutil said he definitively would be on the grid in 2014 (whilst implying it was w/ FI), do you think that was just braggadocio on his part, or did he have a signed contract that’s been either bought out or broken?

      7. Agreed that this is the strongest FI lineup ever. It reminds me of the 1997 Jordan lineup of Ralf and Fisi. They were both young and quick and did great things in that bright yellow Jordan. Perez is not your average pay driver either, as some have said. His 2012 results in the Sauber and his performances in a frankly rubbish car in 2013 against a solid benchmark like Button have prove he’s a worthy driver. Unlike PDR or Sutil, both of whom I think were ordinary. I just cannot believe that Sutil is still in F1. I think Bianchi deserves a better seat and has more potential than Sutil taking a reasonable spot in the Sauber for next year.

        But good on FI. I hope they ‘do a Jordan’ next year and become a real thorn in the side of the big boys!

  5. This could well be the 3rd or 4th strongest line-up on the grid. Very promising. A strong car (which FI did have before the tyre change) could mean a seriously competitive season for the team!

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      12th December 2013, 15:17

      I agree. Alonso/Kimi and Hamilton/Rosberg are the top 2 lineups (as both drivers are capable of winning the WDC)followed by Vettel/Riccardio (because Vettel is likely to win the WDC!). I think Hulk is the next best driver on the grid though and Perez has shown that he is more than capable of a decent result. If Force India have a good car next year, they could definately pull a few surprises!

  6. Expect Hulkenberg to be on top next season there.

    1. Also, shame about Di Resta, but he never set the world alight…

      1. That would make him an arsonist at the best

        1. or not an arsonist, you mean… lol

  7. That’s great line-up for Force India! Let’s hope they will build good car next year :-)

  8. Excellent news. Surely this gives Force India its best ever line-up. Possibly the best line-up for the Silverstone-based team since the days of Frentzen and Trulli.

  9. Third strongest line up, I think. It’s a shame for Perez, really. He left Ferrari for McLaren, so that door is probably closed. McLaren had him and they dont want him anymore, that leaves Red Bull, who pick from their young drivers, and Lotus, who have no guarantee of success in the near future.

  10. Force India may now finally be worthy of the first part of their name.

    1. However it’s too crowded with the amount of talents in the team, thereby it’s also worthy of the second part of their name.

      1. I see what you did there…..;)

  11. Good Job Vijay Mallya!

    See you around….Paul….

  12. Great to see Checo completing the line up. Any news about the sponsorship?

    1. Well I guess Telmex will be sponsoring them, which means my phone bills will now have pictures of a Force India all over it instead of a Sauber :p

      1. Fernando Deutsch (@)
        12th December 2013, 17:22

        Strong rumors dictate Quaker State will be his second sponsor

    2. Checo brings 15 million, that’s less than Maldonado if I’m right

      1. Pastor brings around 29million if m not wrong

  13. About time we got rid of that moaner & crasher. Brazil 2012 did it for me. Hulk fighting for 1st place while di resta casually hits the wall in 10th place or something like that.

    1. Firstly, Hulkenberg caused an avoidable collision in the same race, too. Secondly, how can you judge a driver by just one race? Would you call Button useless just because he finished 16th in the 2012 Canadian GP, while Hamilton won the race?

      1. Hulk was fighting for the lead and attempted an overtake in difficult conditions with backmarkers involved in the process and blew it, true. Still he had the pace to win while di resta was nowhere. And its not just one race i’m talking about, di resta had more than enough time to show his worth. 3 years to be precise. He showed next to nothing. Just as rubbish as sutil.

        1. He showed he is better than Sutil, who got 5 years to show what he is capable of.

          The worst is: Sutil will have a seat next year but di Resta not :(

      2. @girts – your sporting defense of Di Resta is admirable, but surely it’s a lost cause? Many people here simply don’t like him, and whilst he merited the seat at FI for the time he had it, now he no longer does and it’s as simple as that.

        I agree ppl shouldn’t slag him and make the ridiculous claim that he didnt deserve the time he’s had in F1 b/c obviously he earned it, but now it’s just over and trying to fight for him here seems futile.

        I’m much more interested in what you think he can do now, from here? Can he return to the DTM? Will a team pay him a wage to drive there for them? What’s up w/ his court case? Is he going to be prosecuted for entrapment?

        1. @joepa For sure, nothing will change the fact that Di Resta’s days in F1 are numbered (or so it seems) but I think we’re still having a good discussion here (I always try to avoid calling any driver “rubbish” or “a moaner” though).

          I’m talking about this because I’m a Di Resta fan but also because I believe that this is just another example of “money over talent”, while a lot of fans seem to believe that FI have actually improved their driver line-up. Yes, we’re not talking about a driver of Vettel’s calibre here but it doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. I’m definitely going to move on soon but right now it’s appropriate to discuss the FI decision.

          As for Di Resta’s future, it seems that he will most likely return to DTM and get paid for it. DTM cars are very specific so being good in both series is no mean feat. The court case… Hamilton’s arguments don’t sound convincing but we cannot really know what happened between them. It’s just sad that any driver has to go through this, no wonder Vettel has no manager at all.

          1. cheers @girts for the response.

            It’s just sad that any driver has to go through this, no wonder Vettel has no manager at all.

            true, and also worth noting that it’s a unique situation made much easier for Vettel given that he’s the most successful active F1 driver right now, meaning he has all the power right now (or at least most of it) in negotiating, which is a very different dynamic to a driver who has to convince a team to sign him, or a sponsor to back him.

            I’m sure you understand what I mean, in that Vettel is in a very unique and enviable position. And so why spend 10% of his contract value on a superfluous manager who may not add value to the situation, when he can just pay as needed to an attorney to review the legal documents to ensure they’re properly drawn-up…

    2. Di Resta is a good driver. He just has very, VERY weak character.

  14. I like this line up Force India have, it’s definitely the best line up they have had so far.

  15. Yes. Thats what i was looking for. A really strong line up. Paul never gave a feeling of a strong driver, just consistent at the most. Sutil has been very disappointing IMO with average performance. And to insult your team by calling it names just a year after they gave him a lifeline when he his career was almost over was disgusting. I see this new pair with great potential and some interesting results next year.

    Also its easy to see how much Mallya wanted to drop Paul and Sutil. Not even a word about them after signing Nico or Perez. Honestly, nothing much to thank them for IMO.

    1. @1abe

      to insult your team by calling it names

      I’m not sure what you’re referring to here.

        1. @1abe Got a link to the original story?

          1. Thanks @Girts – will grab my German dictionary and give it a go when I’ve got a minute…

          2. @keithcollantine Sorry for the delay. Thank you @girts for the link and @joepa for the translation.

          3. cheers @1abe my pleasure. it was a nice exercise to learn the context of Sutil’s remarks. have a good one!

    2. @Girts @keithcollantine @hohum @1abe guys, here is a link to the original article but please read what I say about the interviewer’s question b/c the context to AS’s response was so important and not really given fair hearing:

      Adrian Sutil exklusiv
      “Das Auto ist einfach eine Möhre”

      Adrian Sutil hat die Saison 2013 auf Platz 13 der Fahrertabelle beendet. Im Interview mit auto motor und sport spricht der Force India-Pilot über Probleme in Brasilien, die verpassten Chancen in der abgelaufenen Saison, den Ärger mit südamerikanischen Fahrern und den Ausblick in die Zukunft.

      While they’re leading w/ headline that makes it seem like Sutil said the FI car was total crap, his response was actually to a very specific question about a very specific issue, the challenge of setting up the car for dry-running during actual GP (Sunday):

      Wie schwer war es, das passende Setup für den trockenen Sonntag zu finden? [How hard was it to find the right setup for the dry Sundays?]

      Sutil’s full response:

      “Mit dem der Übersetzung waren wir gut dabei. Der 7. Gang hat perfekt gepasst. Auch mit DRS bin ich nicht in den Begrenzer gefahren. Dadurch konnte ich auch relativ problemlos überholen. Ansonsten war das Auto aber nicht besonders gut. Wir hatten jedes Problem, das man haben kann: Untersteuern, Übersteuern – in langsamen Kurven, in schnellen Kurven. Man konnte auch durch die Verstellmöglichkeiten im Cockpit nicht viel machen. Letztendlich ist das Auto einfach eine Möhre. Da geht einfach nichts.”

      What Sutil is saying (not an auto-translation):

      “With the selection of gear ratios for the transmission we were doing well. The 7th gear has fit perfectly. Even with DRS I have not ridden in the delimiter. Thus I was able to overtake relatively easily. Otherwise, the car was not particularly good. We had every problem that you may have: understeer, oversteer – in slow corners, fast corners. You could not do much with the adjustment via the cockpit. Ultimately, the car is simply a carrot. Simply because nothing works.”

      So yes, in response to the question about setting up the car for dry running, Sutil starts out by saying that the transmission was great (that the gear ratios were perfectly selected for dry Sunday running) and even w/ the DRS open in 7th he was not on the rev limiter. But then he chronicles the problems they experienced w/ the car in dry running during Sunday’s race, specifically w/r/t what he could manipulate or control via cockpit adjustments, and there wasn’t anything in his opinion that he could fix/improve while behind the wheel in those dry conditions…

      And it’s then that he describes the car as being simply a carrot, in German the idiomatic expression equivalent of “the car was simply a lemon” in English…which we know implies that it was not functioning correctly.

      so the car was a lemon in dry running b/c none of the adjustments available to him via cockpit could overcome the non-gearing-related set-up difficulties.

      Das Auto ist einfach eine Möhre” … it’s hardly insulting as much as it’s just honest criticism…saying the car was not very adjustable or very driveable under those conditions, descriptions that emerge from the context of the idiom Sutil used.

  16. Fantastic line-up. If Force India can build a good car next year (certainly possible if the rumors about the new Mercedes engine is true) then I expect a lot of fireworks from the team.

  17. I’m really glad to see Perez get the seat. This is one of the best midfield line-ups I’ve seen for a few years. Both drivers flourished at Sauber, and will have points to prove.

    I’ve never routed for Force India before because their line-ups were just so uninspiring, but I will now as I’m a fan of Perez and you can’t help but appreciate Hulkenberg’s ability. It’s quite a coup for them to have both drivers and it’s a big improvement on their last line-up.

    I don’t want to sound callous, but I won’t be ruing F1’s loss of di Resta. Let’s be honest, it’s doubtful he’ll get a Sauber seat considering they couldn’t afford to pay their last non-pay-driver, and they’ll be relying on two pay-drivers, i.e. Sutil and one of Gutierrez and Sirotkin. Di Resta isn’t that much better than Sutil to forego the money Sutil brings considering they’re struggling financially.

  18. David not Coulthard (@)
    12th December 2013, 15:05

    So…will they try to better EJ’s 3rd place in the WCC a few years from now, if not next year?

  19. Next year certainly sees a lot of interesting pairings now.
    Red Bull now have 2 drivers from their YDP in the team, and Vettel gets his first chance to prove himself against another driver since he’s come to form.
    Ferrari have 2 World Champions in Alonso and Raikkonen, and they couldn’t be more different out of the car.
    Lotus have Grosjean and Maldonado. This time last year that could have been considered the nightmare team, but Grosjean has come good and there’s some hope that the team may be able to control Maldonado. Time will tell.
    Mercedes have Hamilton and Rosberg, who were close last year and look to be close again, hopefully fighting for the championship.
    McLaren have Button and Magnussen, 2 completely different ends of the spectrum. 1 driver who has just about done it all and had all the ups and downs, and new blood with Magnussen as he tries to make an impact.
    Williams have a similar situation though not as extreme in Massa and Bottas.
    Toro Rosso have given Kvyat a chance to jump GP2/FR3.5 and get straight into F1, lets hope he can get to grips with it.
    And now we’ve got Perez and Hulkenburg in Force India, a line-up of drivers that can be incredibly good on their day and have proven that at several points. My money would be on Hulkenburg to edge Perez next season, but it’s certainly going to be an exciting line-up.

    So even if the 2014 cars are so different to each other in terms of performance, the inter-team battles should easily keep us interested!

    1. You certainly have done the research, my friend @keeleyobsessed…. :)
      I do believe Force India can win a race next year and I would lke that a lot as I am an Indian…:D

      1. @major-dev The announcements are all there, just needs someone with a bit of memory. The way I tend to do it is to make chains such as Webber-Ricciardo-Kvyat or Massa-Raikkonen-Maldonado-Massa-Raikkonen etc. Then it’s a lot easier.

        Hoping Force India get a good result next year, I wanted Hulkenburg to do well in Brazil last year, and it’s always nice to see a different team on the podium at least..

  20. Excellent, and if the Mercedes engines are as good as they are rumored to be then FI might even manage to get that elusive win.

  21. I sense a disturbance in the force. It seems to get stronger every passing day. Superb news! Bring on 2014, minus the last race.

    1. +1
      May the Force (India) be with you

  22. nice line-up… lets hope FI is capable to give them a decent car so these boys can show us what they are really worth !

  23. I will miss seeing Sutil’s super-hot girlfriend in the Force India garage.

    1. True. As long as Fernando is racing, though, there will be at least a few guaranteed shots of Dasha at each race. Having sat through many televised races, it’ll probably cut to her while there’s a fantastic battle on track, leaving you horribly conflicted as to whether you want to gawk at two men fiercely battling for position on track, or to gawk at a blonde bombshell of a supermodel.

    2. …and that said, there’s hope yet that you will continue to see her, just in another garage. ;)

  24. I think it’s the best they could do under the circumstances. Di Resta and Sutil have both had their moments, but I think are nothing more than solid midfielders. Hulkenberg is an obvious strong choice, Perez has largely been damaged by his McLaren stint, but I’m glad to see he’s been given another shot.

    That said, I don’t think that Di Resta or Sutil don’t belong in F1 at all, either. What’s the only remaining seat? A Sauber? Maybe a backmarker seat? It’d be difficult to say whether you’d be better off with one of these drivers or a determined, talented rookie (à la Da Costa or Frijns, etc.)

    1. Perez has largely been damaged by his McLaren stint, but I’m glad to see he’s been given another shot.

      @steevkay Maybe his reputation it’s a bit damaged at the moment but he definitely improved as a driver when you compare how he started and how he ended the season. If he beats Hulkenberg convincingly then he’s back in the frame for a top team.

      1. Yeah, that’s what I had meant. The latter half of his season was definitely better, and for someone of his experience matched with Button, the teammate battle wasn’t as heavily in Jenson’s favour as one would have thought. Perez did well in qualifying compared to Button (near 50/50 split between the two) but Button was always ahead on total points, laps spent ahead, and finishes ahead of his teammate.

        It’ll be really interesting to see the FI intra-team battle, since these are two highly touted drivers (each has a pretty strong group of supporters and detractors) and these are two names you see thrown about whenever a top-tier race seat opens up.

        That said, in terms of which drivers were available, I think FI made good decisions.

  25. To be completely honest I never warmed to Paul even though I’m Scottish. I’m sure there were a few good performances by him but most of the time I was overwhelmed. Whereas Perez stood out to me. Maybe it was only because of good tyre strategy but that’s completely alright.

  26. This is a great bit of news, I think many F1 fans needed some after this week! Force India now have one of the strongest driver pairings in the whole sport. Both Perez and Hulkenberg are talented and want to prove themselves. They’ll push each other and the team forward. My hat is off to Vijay Mallya. I know Perez has strong backing but in my view Mallya has consistently gone for drivers that are young and talented. We seldom see this kind of attitude in the paddock these days, especially among the smaller teams.

    As for di Resta, it’s unfortunate that he’s lost his seat but I think he fell short of expectations, and his attitude probably didn’t help endear him to anyone in the team.

  27. I have no problem with Perez being in F1, he’s a good driver, but I feel bad for PDR. I know I’m biased because in 2011 when I started watching F1 he was MY guy, and I’ve been impressed with his speed, if not his bluntness, but feel he deserves a spot in F1. If Sutil gets the Sauber seat over him it will be a crime to be honest, Adrian’s had his go, over 100 grand prix, and Di Resta easily dealt with him this year. If Paul doesn’t keep his seat, he can still have a fantastic career, and he should be proud that he made it to F1 with zero personal backing, and beat Hulkenberg a lot last year, plus being an extremely fair and correct driver in combat. If he goes to DTM (One of the strongest series in the world for driver talent) he’ll kick ass, just like he did before, I’d quite like him to go there actually!

    1. I feel bad for PDR

      Somewhat confusing, it can refer to Paul di Resta or Pedro de la Rosa :P

  28. I like this. Now I’m looking forward for 2014.

  29. PR ******** aside, this is a very good drivers line up for FI.

  30. Think of where Force India were a year ago at this time. Bankruptcy rumors, stories of Vijay Mallya not having enough money, the team passes on Jules Bianchi to take Adrian Sutil – a familiar hand, yet one without a lot of upside – to partner Paul Di Resta, a driver who showed glimpses of a future star with very productive (if also unspectacular) points finishes, only to crumple in the second half of a season and let his emotions get the better of him so often. The fact that they finished 6th in the WCC was a testament to their early-season form.

    Now they have the two best rising stars on the grid, in my opinion – a driver that in many people’s eyes should already be at a top team (Hulkenberg) and a driver that deserved better at McLaren (Perez). Both are younger than either Sutil and Di Resta. Each has their strengths that will benefit the team – Hulkenberg is a better qualifier and a more consistent points producer, however, Perez also showed that he is no doormat on Saturdays, raced competitively, and even the criticism that tyre conservation and opportunism is his “only strength” plays into his favor at Force India – who were one of the better teams on long stints in 2013 before the tyre compound changes! Not only that, but with a rumored beast of a powerplant being offered to them by Mercedes-Benz for 2014…I’m extremely optimistic about their chances at a Top-5 WCC berth, leapfrogging Lotus, McLaren, or even Ferrari for all we know. They haven’t looked this good since they were in yellow and black cars and Eddie Jordan was on the pitwall.

    1. Not only that, but with a rumored beast of a powerplant being offered to them by Mercedes-Benz for 2014…I’m extremely optimistic about their chances at a Top-5 WCC berth, leapfrogging Lotus, McLaren, or even Ferrari for all we know. They haven’t looked this good since they were in yellow and black cars and Eddie Jordan was on the pitwall.

      You couldn’t be more right….just because Force India have been a Mid-Fielder team doesn’t mean that their driver’s can’t Out-perform the rich-spoilt drivers (I’m looking at you, Maldonado). I just can’t wait for 2014 to start and end this SILLY SEASON!!!!! Maybe even FI- WDC, WCC!! :P :D

  31. I think this is a really good line-up for Force India. Nico Hulkenberg has been massively impressive in both 2012 and 2013 and is likely to continue growing, while possessing a great natural ability. Sergio Perez needs to re-capture his early 2012 form to really be any better of a prospect than Paul di Resta, but has more potential as well.

    Hopefully Adrian Sutil is out of F1. He did what he could and was not enough. Paul di Resta the person I wouldn’t be sad to see leave the sport, but the driver is skilled and mature enough to be in F1, but had a lot of potential – to be the next Adrian Sutil. I’d prefer him to stay in F1 over Adrian Sutil.

    Still, I’m glad to see Force India doing well enough to take on two drivers based on talent, AND them being high-potentials. Not a fan per se, but I’m sure F1 fans could use this news after Maldonado to Lotus and an eerie silence surrounding Sauber.

  32. Michael Brown (@)
    12th December 2013, 17:36

    Well that’s the first piece of good news in weeks

  33. Finally some good news from the F1 world…Kudos to Mallya..give them the car and results will come..

    2014 is shaping up to be a cracking season with some interesting pairings minus the last race of course :)

  34. No disrespect to Force India but when you look at the strength of their line up you’d think it was for McLaren or Lotus!

    Glad to see Perez and Hulkenberg both in F1 for next year and I hope they can both get Force India on the podium.

  35. Am i correct in guessing, that McLaren wanted Magnussen in Force India in 2014, that fell through cos maybe Force India wasnt interested in getting a rookie, McLaren were pretty determined in getting him into F1 and so got him the McLaren seat, and kinda swapped Perez in the process?Just guessing here people, somehow remember Whitmarsh talking abt getting Magnussen a seat in some other team originally.

    1. Very smart move by FI then, instead of a rookie, they get an experienced driver coming from a top team :D

  36. I’m sorry but for me Perez has had his time to shine. Yes the car was not good at McLaren the past year. But even so he didn’t even once impress or stood out against Button.

    1. @deurmat Did we watch the same 2013 season?

    2. He won the qualifying battle, had some really good performances at the end of the season when Button was in the wars and beat him in a dual in Bahrain. So he did have impressive moments…

    3. Did you wath the races?…Perez did outperform/outraced Button on many occasions!

    4. Oh no! The young driver in his second ever team failed to destroy one of the most experienced drivers on the grid, a world champion and a driver who got the better of Lewis Hamilton one year. What a train wreck. Perez should just go back to mexico and start a Taco delivery service.

      1. @theo-hrp Pls, Button was consistently a second slower than Hamilton. If it wasn’t for the freak Brawn GP year Button would never have won a championship and would have been without a seat years ago.

  37. Really happy for Checo. Deserved another shot at racing in F1. Would be cruel if he fell into obscurity after such poor fortunes

    1. And quite a formidable FIM lineup

  38. Force India have just won themselves a load of fans, myself included. I have no sympathy for Di Resta – even if he was quite quick, his attitude to his own team was inexcusable. Shame Calado had to miss out though.

    With this pairing, hopefully more sponsors will get on board and it will show that 2 decent drivers (not just 1) can add value to a team.

  39. Ok engine change, check, driver line up, check, now less orange on the car, get Brawn and the competition wil be seriously scare before even starting.
    Mmh without Di resta I think I can start liking FI.

  40. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    12th December 2013, 21:33

    A shame the teams are looking at their best after many years, exactly the same year FIA screws the show with the double points.
    I’m still begging for a micracle so that rule is scrapped off before Australia starts. :(

  41. mallya made 2 great choices with what he had left to choose from! glad he removed “complaining di resta” and Sutil to start fresh. tyes di resta is a great driver but he complains way too much in my opinion…

    this will be interesting pairing, I think sergio will be a great gauge for nico to prove and show the top teams what he can do, even with a weight disadvantage as sergio is of the smaller stature which is more desired by a most teams and probably one of te reasons nico was left out to dry by the top teams for next year due to the minimum weight limits on the cars.

  42. Good news for Force India, its a far more dynamic line up.

    Sutil had a couple of decent races in his career but he’s had a good run and its probably time for somebody else to have a go.

    Di Resta for me has shown to be very ordinary, I think he’s had plenty of time and to be brutally honest he’s brought nothing special to the table at any grand prix he’s been to, I think back to Anthony Davidson, that guy showed more potential in an f1 car but had far less of an opportunity. I think his career in f1 is over and with some justification, there is much talent out there that will do more with that opportunity, drivers can’t cruise through there careers now and keep getting drives (Nick Heidfeld anyone?!).

    It does leave Sauber with the only recognisable decent seat. They need somebody established, Kovalinen?

    1. Kovalainen will go to Caterham, along with Gutierrez…Sauber will end up with Sutil paired with Sirotkin!

      1. Sauber are screwed!

  43. The question is: what will Sauber do?

    A Sutil-Gutierrez duo is weak, a Sutil-Sirotkin duo even weaker.

    Come back Kobayashi! :D

    1. I love KK! Great driver. Great to watch!

  44. I think thats a brilliant line-up, so much better than sutil and di resta

  45. They tried conservative last year, so to see this kind of decision from FI is refreshing! I think they’ve done a really good job getting this lineup.

  46. heres a question for everyone, if you were the boss at mclaren, would you rather have the confirmed line-up of Maggnussen & Button, or Force indias confirmed line-up of Perez and Hulkenberg? presumably thats a line up Mclaren could have made happen, i know which pairing i think is stronger

  47. Di Resta and Sutil were a great combonation. I don’t even know why Force India took in Perez, he’s a pay driver, just like Maldanado, always has to buy his way in. There is some good talent going to waste all because of this stupid trend. I think it is all rubbish and that anyone who has to buy their way into something that you have to work for shouldn’t be allowed to compete. But on the flip side, Hulkenburg is a good driver with a thing called “talent”, so he deserves a drive somewhere like Force India, or even a higher up team like Ferrari or McLaren

    1. Last time I checked Perez had more podiums than Hulk, or Di Resta or Sutil, what are you talking about?

      1. Exactly, @Tur
        @Kiefer Hopkins, you are wrong!
        I dislike Di Resta but I still hoped he would get the Sauber seat, same for Sutil but really FI can’t afford a pair of mediocre low-points scorers.
        FI have done a great thing here, a driver with great potential and a driver with some potential and a lot of cash!

  48. It just occur to me that Perez and Hulk are getting the seat Martin Mclaren was seeking for Magnussen, thumbs up for Vijay calling his own shots, it actually manage to reverse the line up with Mclaren…I mean if this line up is mouth dripping good for any team !
    Hope Mercedes engine is much faster than renault !

  49. Force India maintains their record of never entering an F1 season without a German Driver

  50. Now i hope they change their livery to the official Indian sports colour rather than the tri colour.

  51. It became my favorite team now.
    Very strong line up, hope they can develop a good car to fight for podiums.

    for me, until today, the worst line-up is McLaren…

  52. Think the statement is wrong, should be:

    Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya said he was “very impressed with his financial backing”.

    (I don’t paid drivers is nothing new, but really does annoy me…having said that, must rather see Perez in the seat than moody “never my fault, always the team” Di-Resta)

  53. Great news for FI! A driver like Hulk who has great potential and a driver like
    Checo who has a lot of skill and bags of cash! I really hope they do well!
    Teams I am supporting for 2014:
    Force India,

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