Sergio Perez, Force India, Yas Marina

Perez: This is the best team to be with outside Ferrari and Mercedes

2019 F1 season

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Sergio Perez says Racing Point (previously known as Force India) is his best option for the future outside the top two Formula 1 teams.

The 28-year-old will start his sixth season for the team this year, having joined them following a single season at McLaren. Perez admitted “I’ve been here a lot more years that I thought I was going to be.

“I’m comfortable here,” he added, “I’m very optimistic. I think if you cannot be in a Ferrari or a Mercedes then Force India is the right place to be.”

Last year Perez was involved in the proceedings which put the team into administration in July. However they returned to the championship after securing investment from a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll. Perez believes the team can now raise their expectations.

“I think there is huge potential in this team,” he said. “I’ve been the best of the rest the last two years [2016-17], very close to be for a third year in a row. There is the prospect to go forward. We’ll see how things look for the next year but definitely I’m very excited about the future of this team.”

“I’ve been chatting with very much the whole team from mechanics to engineers, everyone is really excited, really looking forward,” he added. “Lawrence is very enthusiastic about this project.

“We know it that it’s a long-term project and I feel we have great direction with our team bosses. Everything should be in place.

“But also we have to be aware that it takes time. We’ve seen it with other teams you know how long it takes them. But I think if there is a team that can go to the next step is Force India.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 19 comments on “Perez: This is the best team to be with outside Ferrari and Mercedes”

    1. Horner: “We’ve got a spare seat here if you fancy it?”
      Perez: “No thank you very much, I’m just fine here.”

      1. Indeed, I had the same thought.

      2. The way he phrased his statement is quite insightful actually. Red Bull are known to get their drivers from within their junior ranks and outsiders are seldom asked to join in unless that outsider has prodigious talent.

        1. Not sure if you see the humor ;)

      3. The website needs a “like” facility. I “like” John H’s post.

    2. Perez should be sponsored by Lurpak, the amount of buttering up he’s been doing lately.

    3. Aren’t you excited for the sugar juice (energy drinks) teams battle?

    4. Perez is like a mini Alonso, not the best out there in any area, but a very complete driver in all areas.
      When Alonso rates himself a 9.5 all around, Perez would be a 8.5 in all areas.

      1. Yes, that’s a good assumption.

    5. It would be great to see Checo in a top seat but I cant see that happening now.
      His timing to McLaren was similar to Ricciardo’s to Red Bull (but worse in car performance really)
      Checo & The Hulk are not young anymore so a drive in a top seat looks unlikely which I think make the Hulks decision to join Renault and hope they get back to the top again a much smarter move.

      With the younger drivers coming through now its seems Checo has nowhere to go, which is a shame.

    6. Wrong, Red Bull (pace-wise) without a doubt is the next best option after Mercedes and Ferrari, and the next best after them is Renault (especially in the long-term since it’s a full-manufacturer team, unlike RPF1 or Haas, for example), and then would be Mclaren if they just could get their act together.

      1. Ok, perez angered me enough to log (as I was offline while reading this)!

        Like you said, red bull doesn’t exist for him, they lap 1-1,5 sec faster than force india, but they don’t exist, after that, perhaps, given how force india seem to have been efficient so far, beating or challenging teams like renault and mclaren with much lower budget and renault doesn’t seem (until 2018 at least it didn’t give that impression) to catch up in the slightest to the top teams, then force india could be the 4th best place to be, but there’s no way to say it’s better than red bull currently and no matter how bad honda is, I don’t think they can drag red bull behind renault and force india.

      2. @jerejj, as others have noted, for a driver like Perez, Red Bull might as well not exist because the attitude of Red Bull seems to be to treat any drivers that aren’t employed in their young driver team as not existing.

        The only two drivers to have ever driven for Red Bull who had nothing to do with Red Bull’s Young Driver programme were David Coulthard and Mark Webber – every other driver since has been through their own internal programme (even Verstappen, before entering F1, technically had to join Red Bull’s Young Driver programme as a pre-condition for driving for Toro Rosso, ensuring that he was bound in to the team). The internal policies of the team, which is to only recruit from within their own programme, locks those two seats out to any other driver – it’s clear that you can forget about Red Bull if you are any sort of independent driver.

        On a secondary note, it seems that you are focussing just on the performance of the team alone, but I think that Perez is perhaps hinting at something else when he talked about how he was comfortable at Force India. I think that it isn’t just about the potential of the team, but also about the fact that he enjoys the working relationship that he has with the team.

        McLaren, for example, might be a reasonably well resourced team, but from what Perez has said in the past, it sounds as if there was quite a bit of infighting and internal politics going on – this was in the period when Ron was plotting to kick Whitmarsh out – and it sounds as if that sort of infighting has been ongoing over the past few years due to the way in which Ron took control of the team again.

        Renault might be in a position to start growing again, but there are now questions over Renault’s commitment to the sport as the battle over Ghosn’s arrest continues. Traditionally, there have also been questions over how even handed the team has been when dealing with its drivers – they’ve tended to default to a No.1 and No.2 driver arrangement quite often and, in the past, there has sometimes been friction between the senior management and the drivers over that policy.

        In that sense, going to another team might possibly offer more in terms of prizes, but the atmosphere within the team might make it less enjoyable overall.

        1. I agree with your comment, but you misunderstood what I meant about perez and red bull: I mean that he forgot to consider red bull, that’s what even prompted me to reply to this thread, as red bull is much better than anything else but ferrari and mercedes, not that it’s impossible to go there, although like you said, it’s very rare for them to take drivers who don’t come from their academy, which is a shame, I think verstappen-alonso would’ve been a crazy strong pairing.

    7. I hope Sergio has it clear that if he wants to take the fight for third against rb and Renault, he needs a teammate that can consistently finish ahead of their rivals and behind himself.

      These are good fighting words and i hope he can be a team leader for the Silverstone outfit, but there better be some evidence for those words.

    8. I thought Perez was a part owner of this team, but I can’t find any evidence he is. Nevertheless, his decision to get Force India put into administration, while arguably for the right reasons, means other teams running on a tight budget will be wary of him. It may be some of the new rules will make it easier for teams dependent on another team for their power units will give the “B teams” more podium opportunities. Being nearly 29 he’s heading towards the twilight of his F1 driving career, so staying where he is is probably his best option. I don’t see him ever getting a seat in another F1 team.

      1. @drycrust Yes, he’s, of course, heading towards the twilight of his F1-driving career, but only being in his late-20s I’d suspect he’s still got quite a few years left in him, and the same, of course, with Ricciardo who’ll turn 30 on the day after the Austrian GP.

      2. He’s a good driver though, crazy to not see him getting a f1 seat, it’s bad enough he doesn’t get a shot in a top team.

    9. For me, the progress that Force India have had in the last years is comparable with the progress Renault F1 made in 2002-2004… A new team (althought the name was old, and the team was Benetton) with lower budget fighting more stablished and rich teams. And we know what Renault F1 made in 2005 and 2006.

      I know it’s impossible for Force India to be like Renault in those years and fight for titles, because they are a “B” Team of Mercedes, but if you exclude Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, for me it is the best option.

      Remains to be seen if Renault is going to take seriously his F1 program, but for the rest… Haas is a newer team, less stablished and more dependent of Ferrari that Force India of Mercedes. You only can race with Toro Rosso if you are a Red Bull program driver. Sauber has improved, and with Kimi probably they are going to continue improving, but still slower and probably more dependant on Ferrari too. And Williams and McLaren are dead.

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