Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya says he wants to keep the team’s current Formula 1 driver line-up next year.Esteban Ocon is in his second season at the team alongside Sergio Perez, who has driven for Force India since 2014.
The pair had an often fraught relationship in their first year together last season. They clashed on several occasions, prompting the team to forbid them from racing each other.
However Mallya told RaceFans he is hopeful of retaining them for next year.
“I want to,” he said. “I’m very happy with them. They seem to be very happy with us, and basically, you know, unless they get offers that they cannot refuse, I would be surprised if they didn’t stay with us.”
Force India’s future has been a focus of speculation due to Mallya’s ongoing legal problems. Mallya stepped down as the team’s managing director in May.
However he said loyalty to the team among its staff remains high.
“We are a very tight-knit unit,” he said. “The last two years, as you well know, we have been punching well above our weight, finishing fourth in the world championship two years running. It has certainly caught everybody’s attention.
“There have been efforts that I know of to poach our people, but they have refused and they have stayed, because they like our culture and the environment.”
Read our full exclusive interview with Vijay Mallya tomorrow on RaceFans
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