All change at Force India as Perez joins Hulkenberg

2014 F1 season

Sergio Perez, Vijay Mallya, Force India, 2013Force 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.

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

  1. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 12th December 2013, 14:53

    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.

  2. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 12th December 2013, 15:01

    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.

  3. David not Coulthard (@) said on 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?

  4. KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 12th December 2013, 15:05

    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!

    • 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

      • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 13th December 2013, 14:23

        @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..

  5. Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 12th December 2013, 15:08

    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.

  6. Putti SPIII (@veldaarf1) said on 12th December 2013, 15:09

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

  7. barkun (@barkun) said on 12th December 2013, 15:15

    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 !

  8. Michael said on 12th December 2013, 15:20

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

    • Steven (@steevkay) said on 12th December 2013, 15:31

      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.

    • Steven (@steevkay) said on 12th December 2013, 15:31

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

  9. Steven (@steevkay) said on 12th December 2013, 15:27

    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.)

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 12th December 2013, 15:55

      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.

      • Steven (@steevkay) said on 12th December 2013, 18:34

        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.

  10. James (@jaymz) said on 12th December 2013, 15:45

    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.

  11. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 12th December 2013, 15:54

    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.

  12. Jack (@jmc200) said on 12th December 2013, 16:05

    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!

  13. Beto (@chebeto) said on 12th December 2013, 16:06

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

  14. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 12th December 2013, 16:32

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

  15. 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.

    • 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

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