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Sergio Perez Announced At Force India; Sutil and Di Resta Out
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  12 Dec 2013   |  4:48 pm GMT  |  169 comments

Sergio Perez’s Formula One future has been secured today after being announced as Nico Hulkenberg’s team mate at Force India, at an unveiling in London’s Mexican Consul.

This confirms that both Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta will need to look elsewhere for a 2014 seat.

But for Perez, whose future had been thrown in to the air following his surprise departure from McLaren, he had options with Force India, Sauber and even a switch to Indycar as a possibility for future plans. However, he will now join Force India to create a strong driver line-up.

Force India will go into the new season with two new drivers, although Hulkenberg is known to them from his 2011 and 2012 seasons.

A difficult 2013 for Perez was compounded by a poor McLaren machine that gave him, nor Jenson Button, the chance to battle amongst the top teams. But he showed glimpses of why McLaren employed him and he may thrive, as he did with Sauber, in a team with less intense pressures.

“It’s great to announce my new team as Force India,” said Perez. “Coming here was always my first choice and I’m really happy everything has now been confirmed. I want to say thank you to Vijay and the whole team for giving me the opportunity.

“It’s all change for next season with the new regulations, but I already have a good feeling about 2014. My plan now is to visit the factory and get to know everyone in the team.”

Maintaining Perez in Formula One is also an important factor for the introduction of a Mexican Grand Prix. Seeing him leave Formula One along with Esteban Gutierrez, whose future is unknown, would have made a Mexican GP less desirable for its backers.

There is also the fact of the financial backing that Perez enjoys, namely Carlos Slim’s Telmex money. It is believed that a figure of around 15million euros is making its way to Silverstone, which will help with the team’s development as we enter a new era of Formula One.

Force India’s 2013 driver pairing will now be well in to looking elsewhere for a drive, with Adrian Sutil linked with Sauber.

But for Paul Di Resta it could be a long winter as he assesses his future in motorsport. A return to DTM is likely, but he still has a lot to offer in Formula One, so a reserve driver role is not off the cards – possibly at Mercedes.

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169 Comments
  1. Cal Smail says:

    I can’t see him and Lewis at Mercedes together, with the lawsuit between Paul and Lewis’s dad.

    1. Yvonne says:

      Oh, you think Lewis will have to leave? Surely not so soon. He doesn’t use his Dad anymore either, or so I gather. They too have a difficult relationship, or so it say’s in The Telegraph.

      Perhaps James can enlighten us?

  2. DC Corey says:

    James:

    Would F1 really miss either Di Resta or Sutil? They’ve both been around for a few seasons now and both seem to have shown their maximum potential. Why would a top team look at either of them?

    1. Grabyrdy says:

      I think they’ve both done a good job. Certainly more worth a place than 5 or 6 others we could both mention.

      1. Luke says:

        Just heard that Sutil has been confirmed at Sauber. Yet again this year we have the less worthy driver get a seat for which there were worthier candidates. Di Resta scored far more points than Sutil this year, so why doesn’t he get the Sauber seat? And all because Sutil likes Capri Sun!

        By the way, drivers in seats for which other drivers would have been worthier are, in my view, Maldonado, Ricciardo, Sutil and Sirotkin (if he’s taken on) along with Chilton, Van der Garde, and Pic.

      2. John Gibson says:

        You have to assume that Sauber was looking for someone with experience who would bring the car home reliably enough without a great deal of fuss. di Resta appears to be quite a difficult, sullen sort of character whereas Sutil appears to me to be more of a “team man”, which is what a midfield outfit presumably needs.

        I would thik Guttierez might well retain his seat. They appear to have gone cold on the Sirotkin angle of late.

    2. Nick says:

      At the start of the year it was Di Resta getting the 4th and 5th places that Hulk was getting at the end of the year, and Hulk was getting the lower places Di Resta was getting.

      Soon as the tyres were changed, their fortunes both changed and unlucky for Di Resta he was getting the wrong results at the wrong time and Hulk started getting the right results at the right time.

      He obviously has the raw speed and talent, just is missing a bit of the finesse Hulk has…and money that people like Pastor Maldonado has.

    3. DonSimon says:

      I’m with you. DiR hasn’t done enough and his attitude often seems poor. Sutil promised a lot but has never really delivered. Sad when drivers like Kob have gone by the wayside.

      1. Krischar says:

        Paul has done a very decent job and quite fast as well. It will be a massive shame if PDR does not have race seat for 2014.

        What attitude problems you see in PDR ?

        Paul has even beaten the likes of vettel in junior category. He has done very well with force india in relation with machinery and tyre changes.

        Paul deserves a race seat in 2014. It’s a shame for F1 as money now talks more than talent

    4. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Paul di Resta is far better than Sutil:

      48 points to 29 points

      12 – 7 ahead in qually

      8 – 3 ahead in races finished together

      Paul should be alongside Hulk.

      Pity for them both the Force India was dire in the second half of 2013, whilst the Sauber went the other way and kept making Q3.

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        In total, factoring in the 2011 season the points totals are 75/70, qualifying is 20/17, and races where both finished is 14/13, all in Di Resta’s favour.
        Am I the only one who finds these to be extremely close?

        On raw stats, there really isn’t much in it, with the only possible trend is that Di Resta is a touch quicker in qualifying. However, this is offset by him often throwing away good results in the race – this was especially the case in 2011 – which is why the points totals and race results are more even.
        Add to this Sutil’s pretty poor run of luck early this season, loosing a bundle of points when the car was really good through no fault of his own, and on performance the two are probably the closest pairing on the grid (both could do with some more consistency, however).

        If I was a team, and I had the choice between two very evenly matched drivers, I would look for something else to separate them. Sutil brings money from Capri Sun and Medion, Di Resta brings nothing, and Di Resta is pretty notorious for badmouthing his team.

        That said, Di Resta probably deserves to stay in F1, and although the same can be said for many drivers both on and off the grid, there are far less deserving drivers currently taking seats that Di Resta could have had.
        I just wish the BBC would shut up about how great he supposedly is.

    5. Steve Zodiac says:

      Actually I think PDR has done a very good job, he has been critisised for making comments about his own potential and the teams weaknesses but if you read the media today Perez has already bigged himself up and pretty much rubbished Force India stating that he hopes he can use them to showcase himself and get another drive “in a winning team” in the near future.

  3. iamvik says:

    Hulk and Perez…What a steal! Bring on 2014!

    1. Grabyrdy says:

      Now we’ll find out who McLaren should have signed in 2013.

      1. MrNed says:

        Good point! My money would be on Hulk to prevail – he’s less erratic than Perez without being any the slower for it. It’ll be a fascinating battle for sure.

  4. Seized Up says:

    Did McLaren ease Perez’s passage to ‘India with money [or technology]?

  5. D1M0NST3R says:

    I dont know about Force India, did they had monetary problems for development? would those 15M, be just 15M? or if things looks promising would be there more money?

    If money aint a problem, I believe Force India will be the next LOTUS.

    1. A. says:

      Of course they have monetary problems. Maybe not as highlighted as Sauber or Lotus but, with some of Vijay’s business ventures in huge debt, a 15M influx can only be a good thing.

  6. Carlos Palomo says:

    Great news for Formula One!

    1. Mansell Mania says:

      … that the midfield is now becoming more and more dominated by pay drivers?

      1. Carlos Palomo says:

        I do not care about all that stuff on “pay drivers”. All I want to see is racers fighting to win. And I believe Sergio Perez is one of them.
        Will you, and all your counterparts, stop being so preoccupied about money? If Perez has dough, good, if not, good. He has talent and skill.

  7. kezz says:

    Aww poor PDR. bet he won’t get a drive now. Started well, then like the UK, went downhill. Tut.

    Hope he does get a Drive.

    Great for Perez Though. He’s a gud un.

    1. F1 Badger says:

      Is that the same uk that basically designs and runs 70% of F1?!

      1. kezz says:

        That’s not the UK. That’ll be 0.0000001% of it.

      2. rad_g says:

        Donington?

      3. F1 Badger says:

        You lost the argument when you based your point on nationalism. The very fact is without the UK, F1 would be a much poorer place and many pundits from all nationalities have made this point. In the same way without Germany and Finland we would have lost out on a lot of top drivers. That’s just an example, F1 is a sport that works because its multi national. Now in amongst that let’s not forget just how much the uk adds to the sport.

        Donnington? How about Silverstone, one of the original GP’s and widely accepted as one of the jewels in the crown!

      4. rad_g says:

        Ah yes, the swamp at Silverstone. Been there once, not going back until certain issues are resolved. As for the race, well, I’m not really convinced. It’s considered a jewel in the crown because… it’s the only British race left on the calendar! Personally prefer Spa or Nürburgring.

  8. ONS says:

    Bravo to Perez! Glad to see he is still in F1, FI will have a strong driver line up for 2013. Good news.

  9. Harshad says:

    As expected Force India make a steal!
    Perez & Hulk; good pairing that!
    Now, FI please provide a decent car to both of them, you could have your best season next year.

  10. Jeremysmith says:

    Delighted to see that Sergio has been signed to drive next year…
    I think this is very important as Sergio has a huge fan base here in the US …

  11. Paul Thompson says:

    So what couldn’t he offer McLaren that Force India want ?

    1. Aussie Rod says:

      I think a better question is what have Force India seen, and what have they not seen, that McLaren have?

      I think it’s pretty clear what they have seen. A young, fast aggressive racer that excelled in a midfield Sauber and was closely matched with Button at McLaren on pace, but perhaps not experience.

      So what have they not seen? That’s anyone’s guess outside of McLaren, but judging by the general reaction to his sacking, probably not much.

      IMO Perez will thrive at FI alongside the Hulk, and if the Merc engine is as good as most are saying, they could be a real dark horse for some serious results next year.

      1. Martin says:

        As an Aussie like me, you should know that Kevin is special ;-)
        Very slick, fast and smooth. Possibly a bit on an outsider.

      2. James says:

        It was suggested on Sky that Perez’s technical feedback hadn’t been good enough and there had been questions about his personal application. If true, and being dropped has given him the proverbial kick up the backside, FI will have gotten a steal.

      3. Fireman says:

        Nope. Force India saw some money. That’s all.

      4. Hmmm…
        I, for one, was impressed by Sergio’s performance at Monaco this year. Remember his crash at Q3 two years ago, it was serious and it took him a few weeks to recover. Moreover, being a shock it must have been extremely distressing to have to wait for your reflexes to come back, (and wonder in the mean time if they will ever come back…) His daring way to drive and overtake in the very place he crashed was nothing but awesome. If F1 is a place for brave men, Checo deserves undoubtedly another chance.

      5. Fireman says:

        @Sami

        I strongly disagree. That was some horrible driving and desperate overtake moves. And he didn’t even accept he was wrong. That’s why McLaren dumped him.

      6. rad_g says:

        Hold on, wasn’t Whitmarsh saying Perez should get even more aggressive?

      7. deancassady says:

        Anyone who doesn’t think there was some kind of additional incentives for Magnusun, are probably missing the point.
        There is definitely more going on there that has met the eyes and ears of the public, yet.
        Unless Magnusun storms out of the gate, annihilating Button, and collecting an astonishing amount of points, I’d bet there was considerable compensating persuasion offsetting the Carlos Slim $15M; no team, including McLaren could easily go without that for a comparative driver.
        But just how good must Magnussun show against Button?
        He definitely has to beat him.
        I expect that he will perform very similarly to Perez across the whole year, unless he really is the Seb Vettel or Lewy Hamilton category of rookies.

  12. Sebee says:

    Have to state the obvious. Vijay could pass for a Mexican with ease.

    If Vijay gets that Slim money, which McLaren couldn’t I will have to chuckle a bit.

  13. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    Poor choice, Paul di Resta is faster, more consistent and would have been a better pairing for Nico Hulkenberg.

    It’s obviously more about the money for Vijay than he likes to let on.

    Pay drivers are becoming more and more prominent, the F1 midfield is in real trouble indeed.

    1. Brian says:

      There are only two things Paul Di Resta is consistent at: crashing and whining. Neither quality is typically referred to when talking about consistent drivers.

      He was at least matched by Sutil who spent all of last year playing video games. But despite all this I do think there may be circumstances in which PDR may thrive again. He really wasn’t bad in DTM.

      1. Martin (England) says:

        I agree :)

      2. Krischar says:

        @ Brian

        You are wrong mate

        Paul has done more than a decent job

        He is already better than Sutil and perez. paul is fast and collected more points finish for the Force India team.

        Vijay just looked at the money aspect and the backing perez brings to the team. Hulk is safe bet and good option. Perez is not consistent enough

        Sutil was not as quick as PDR

    2. Wade Parmino says:

      Di Resta is no way better than Perez and he consistently crashes himself out of races. There was I think four races in a row where he DNF due to his own fault.

      1. Martin says:

        I feel Clark’s4WD thinks Paul is better as he’s a patriotic brit. Worth a few tenths right there. Unfortunately with the weight limit next year, Paul is more likely to be down a few tenths by being relatively tall.

    3. Rod Salazar says:

      Math talks:

      Races: 57 for PER vs 58 for DIR
      Wins: 0 for both
      Podiums: 3 for PER vs None for DIR
      Retirements: 11 for PER vs 7 for DIR
      Best Race FInish: 2nd PER vs 4th DIR
      Points: 129 for PER vs 121 for DIR
      Avg Race Start Grid Pos: 10 for PER 13 for DIR

      So, still think DIR is “faster & more consistent”? Ha!

      FACTS.

      1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        Yes and if you apply the same math(s) to say 2009, Button is a faster driver than Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton.

        FACTS?!? – only if they raced the same cars.

    4. Bim says:

      Diresta is a likable guy and ok driver but admit it he hasnt set the world on fire this year. Perez i think is atleast as good and has a pretty good sponsorship potential with him.
      Also im pretty sure Mclaren has thrown something in for this deal to happen. Perez deserved to stay at mclaren more than Button in my view and Force india will be really interesting to watch next year.

    5. Spoo says:

      I wouldn’t agree.
      I rate PDR quite highly but there is no way for us armchair pundits knowing who would be faster of the two. All I know is that Perez has not embarassed himself in F1, and I don’t think many would say that he is in F1 purely for his money. SFI as a team seems to have backed genuine talents ever since their inception and I believe it was close call between PDR, Sutil & Perez but if someone brings 15M Eu to a midfield team + 98% of the other drivers talent, one cant blame the team for getting that driver. Those 15M should help in improving the car and covering those 2% loss of perfomance but it also means giving a better car to the other star in their car ‘THE HULK’.

      Before people start the Pay driver card again I would like to point out what the other 3 teams of similar sizes are doing.
      Lotus – selected Maldonado over Hulk (seriously?)
      Sauber – Sirotkin (are you seriously kidding me?)
      Williams – Massa and Bottas. The finally seem to have got a good balance of talent and experience but we should forget that they ran Maldo for 3 years and Brunno Seena for 1.

      HULK and Perez I believe are the strongest non WC pairing on the grid.

    6. Joel says:

      As VJ said… both PDR & AS has their fair chance. There is no reason to hog the seat, if you can’t bring “more than” what is expected of you.

    7. deancassady says:

      Di Resta is a decent driver, but he’s never had a year like Perez at Sauber 2012, has he?
      Otherwise, they seem well matched, prima facia.
      But if you add in the $15 Carlos Slim millions, then Perez is the better business choice.
      I’m not big on pay drivers, but Perez has demonstrated the capability to be in F1, as had Di Resta.
      As pay drivers go, only PM brings home more dineros, along with much more malevolence and carbon fibre shards.

  14. Davexxx says:

    I wonder if (we’ll ever learn if) Martin Whitmarsh gave any ‘financial incentive’ for Force India to use Perez? He seemed a bit embarrased to have to let Perez go, and said he’d do all he can to help him…

    1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Whitmarsh seems to have made a fine mess of driver choice recently, if Mags fails to deliver Whitmarsh should go. I don’t envy the pressure the rookie will be under next year though.

    2. Richie says:

      I would doubt very much that he did that. Even if he had wanted to the shareholders would have him shot for spending their money on another team. And it would also undermine his decision to replace Perez in the first place.

    3. Joel says:

      I think even if there is no financial incentive, there is something “technical” transfer involved.
      Apparently, Vijay & MW had shook hands earlier on having Kevin in one of the FI seats. However, Vijay was smart to think that was a risk. Instead, he thought Perez was a better prospect (with experience & the 15M). MW was peeved that he even came to the media and mentioned that “one of the team bosses” reneged on a verbal deal on Kevin. Vijay was clever and lucky to put this 2014 team.

    4. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      I’m wondering if there is an agreement to not pursuit McLaren for a late decision if M.Whitmarsh would help PEREZ to get a seat in other team…

  15. IanC says:

    Two new drivers in a team rarely is good.

    1. rvsp says:

      hulk is not new to SFI just like kimi in ferrari… he spent 2 years with them..

    2. Khars says:

      But Hulk is not unknown for FI. 1 year as reserve/Friday driver + 1 year as full-time driver (outplacing PDR by 2nd half of 2012).
      As driver pair they are new, how strong will be FI? Time will tell, but promising…
      Sutil is a good, but only for midfield level. Some good WCC points for the team, but since 2006 what faily extra performance has he shown?
      For poor Paul: there was a big hype to jump to Merc/Ferrari/McLaren in last 2-3 years, but again, no extraordinary performance, nothing above FI level. Even Perez seemed brillinat with alternative strategy in Sabuber.
      With alternative strategy poor Paul jumped up to 5-7th place from 10-16th – and not up to podium.

  16. James – Has VJ cleaned up the financial issues back home yet? That was a hot topic a season ago or so, even though the team didn’t appear to be directly affected.

    From a broader view relating to all of the money issues surrounding “Lotus” and some of the other heritage teams in the “sport” an article summarising the various rumors (or not) could be interesting.

    Toss in BE’s legal issues and it might even be stimulating to examine the fiancial facets which lie below the surface and could ultimately have more to do with the show than rules or technology in the long run.

    Thanks again for keeping us informed and, to all, a Merry Christmas.

    1. Simple says:

      Short answer is no. Both VJ and Roy’s financial positions are looking pretty tenuous at the moment. VJ just lost his contolling share in his grog business, and Roy has to stump a measely 3.2b in repayments to investors.

    2. LH says:

      Absolutely. He’s in black again. Heineken has brought a large stake in his UB (United Breweries) group. That’s a MASSIVE influx of money. And I mean M-A-S-S-I-V-E.

      He has also closed his airlines. While the dues are STILL there to clear (which he seems to be clearing of, albeit slower than people expected), he is now no longer hemorrhaging cash and value.

      Also, there are rumors that once India opens up the FDI in the Indian Airspace, from the current 12% MAX, to 49% MAX, British Airways is ALREADY in line to take over his airlines (KINGFISHER). He already has a BA guy on his board for over 2 years now.

      Overall, looking good for him.

    3. rvsp says:

      that is not a very big issue. VJ has just $425 million(24600 million rupees) debt in total India.

      nokia has evaded $3381 million(210000 million rupees) tax in chennai plant.

      http://www.ndtv.com/article/south/nokia-tax-row-thousands-of-jobs-on-the-line-in-tamil-nadu-457166

      Its not a big issue in India. We Indians have used to all these scams and debt issue. So don’t worry about that and that is not going to affect dr.mallaya and force india. because there is no strong law in India to punish or collect those money from them.

  17. Tito says:

    Strong pair for FI.

    It will be interesting see batles like the ones we saw at Mclaren last year.

  18. Kaartik says:

    Force India really has a very impressive line up for 2014. These two drivers pretty similar to what Raikkonen and Alonso were at beginning of there careers. Calmness/Determination in Hulk and Aggressive/Competitiveness in Perez. Now more reason to support Force India. Go Force Go

    1. Sasidharan says:

      Bah! what a comparison!

  19. Paul D says:

    Backwards step for Perez, but it’s a seat I guess.

    Feel a bit sorry for Di Resta. DTM is definitely the wrong move. If he doesn’t win straight away he will fall straight off the radar(Glock anyone?).

    Indycar would be a much better move. Good money too. Surely Franchitti has some sway at Ganassi?

    1. Sam says:

      If PDR goes back to DTM and wins it might be good for his career though. Think about all the Formula 1 refugees that moved to DTM and were out of their league: Jean Alesi, David Coulthard, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Ralf Schumacher.. Glock

      1. Prancer says:

        Actually if I recall right Jean won 4 races out of about 60 DTM starts, which is better than his F1 win percentage…
        But I don’t think if it’s Indycar or DTM makes much difference to Paul’s career. He was lucky Norbert was following his craeer but in general I don’t think F1 bosses pay a blind bit of attention to either category…

      2. AlexF1 says:

        I thought Glock did ok in his first dtm season, he did win a race after all

      3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        PDR has a real problem getting back into F1. Overall decent performances by him have not given him a seat for 2014, so I doubt even winning say DTM again will get him back in 2015.

        He deserves to be in far more then a number of drivers but doesn’t have the cash for the cash strapped seats.

        Missing 2014 could be seen by team owners as missing the first season of the new rule cars which could further penalise anyone looking for a seat in 2015.

  20. shri says:

    - FI now has a decent / good driver line-up. Best amongst the 2nd Tier team and arguably better than Lotus and McLaren.
    - Funds brought by Perez will also help greatly for car development.
    - Hopefully Hulk performance against Perez will help compare how good Hulk is. Difference between Perez and Button to an extent is known from just last season.

    If Merc engines are good then I think a lot is in place for next year for Force India to show their Force. Good Luck to the team.

  21. Kiran says:

    Great to see Perez in at Force India. Di Resta has done nothing but moan and groan at Force India for 3 seasons. He has neither shown the speed nor the team motivational ability to class his as a future world champion. He is a journeyman F1 driver at best. Whether or not he stays as a reserve driver or not, I dont see him getting back into F1. His biggest supporter was Norbert Haug who is no longer in charge at Mercedes either. Di Resta is probably heading to CART to join Gannassi or DTM, either way he really will not be missed in F1. His whining really made him lose a lot of respect amongst the team at Force India.

    1. Jack Anders says:

      Chip would be foolish to take a guy like Di resta for a championship winning Indycar seat. I doubt he will get a chance at Dario’s seat. Probably will end up in DTM instead, which quite frankly is pretty much where his limited talent should be utilized.

      1. Wade Parmino says:

        Yep. He could try V8 Supercars (which is kind of a mix between DTM and NASCAR). More full time international drivers would boost the series popularity globally. V8 Supercars is only popularly watched in Australia, NZ and apparently Argentina.

        The V8 supercars would be more resilient to Di Resta’s rough and sometimes careless treatment of his race cars.

  22. shri says:

    I was never a big fan of DiResta. However letting DiResta go while snapping Hulk the moment he was available (and even getting Perez) tells a lot about how Force India think between the difference in driver quality of Hulk and DiResta.

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      Anyone with half a brain can see that Hulkenberg is better than Di Resta.

  23. goferet says:

    Good news for Perez and the Mexican fans, F1 needs more characters like him of the grid that can rough up the feathers and that’s why the likes of Kimi must not be too pleased with this announcement.

    Yes a Hulk-Perez partnership looks just about right with a lead driver leading the team and a wingman bringing in more points for the constructors.

    As for Di Resta, I believe he deserves to remain in the sport probably with a Sauber drive for unlike Sutil, he hasn’t had a fair crack at the sport.

    So, once again it’s shaping up to be a competitive midfield, all we ask for is competitive cars for everybody >>> Thanks!

    P.s.

    Seeing as Force India switched to the Mercedes engines sometime back and Whitmarsh said he would help Perez get a seat, maybe Force India and Mclaren are partners.

    1. ferggsa says:

      Glad to have you back, and yes we mexicans are happy with the new seat
      Hope he keeps Nico on his toes and am sure he will pass Kimi more politely this year

      1. goferet says:

        @ ferggsa

        Thanks man and yes best wishes to Perez.

    2. Sebee says:

      Hey everyone! HE’S ALIVE!

      Remember, you owe James 20 click-throughs on the Tag ad above the counter to make up for your absence.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Sebee

        Lol, yeah sure. I will get right with the programme during the festive season Ho Ho Ho.

    3. Rob Newman says:

      Welcome back. Where have you been? JAonF1 is boring without you.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Rob Newman

        Lol come on man, stop with the jokes.

        And yes, I have been around just taking a break from F1.

      2. Sebee says:

        Remeber this if you wonder why you’re not hearing from Rob.

        Been nice knowing you Rob. Enjoy that etiquette retraining.

    4. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Have to agree with everything you say, but think di Resta could have scored more points than Perez, epsecially when you compare his performance against Hulk at FI and against Sutil last year.

      Wonder if FI are tied with McLaren and will end up as a Honda customer team when McLaren switch?

  24. DC says:

    Good for Force India, am I the only one thinking that with Hulkenberg and Perez they’ve got one of the strongest pairings right now.

    1. Kay says:

      Are you forgetting Ferrari and Mercedes?

    2. Spoo says:

      Definitely one of the strongest especially on a budget…

    3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      I’m afraid yes.

      Though Perez may not get close enough to his teammate next year to hit him as he did at McLaren, so they may do better than expected ;)

    4. Rich B says:

      definitely

  25. John in San Diego says:

    Good to see that Perez has found a drive for 2014. He seems to have a lot more to offer, but he was probably in over his head at McLaren with the poor chassis they had. If he can keep his nose clean in 2014, he may be able to return to a top tier team in the future.

  26. BOX BOX BOX (David C) says:

    I suspect if diResta learned to bight his tongue he would have had a much better chance of keeping his seat. He’s just not good enough to get away with that carry on. I’m glad he’s gone, he had no appreciation for the amazing overt unity he had

  27. J.Danek says:

    Bummer for Di Resta but we all knew this was coming, right?

    Interesting about Sutil though…he was convinced he had an airtight contract for 2014!!

    1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Yeah, wonder who has the most money left now:

      Sutil and CapriSun,
      vs
      Guit and Telmex,
      vs
      The lads from Russia…

      Perhaps Paul di Resta should approach Irn-Bru… I’d like to see a blue and orange shiny F1 car that has ‘made from girders!’ down the side of it.

  28. deancassady says:

    I like Di Resta, but I am glad the Sergio Perez will continue in F1; and I really like the pairing of Checko and the Hulk. After Kimi-Alonso, I like this team the best on the grid, and it is only a shame that they are not team mates on a top-group team.
    I am pleased that Grosjean is leading the Lotus team, but it is one of these two, that I would rather he’d been head-to-head against.
    Perez and Hulkenberg of very different styles, so it will be interesting and likely relevant on the developmental direction Force I takes.
    The current machinery, it seems to me, is more in alignment with Hulkenberg’s style, but there is no way to know how their car will turn out for the first race 2014.

  29. Random 79 says:

    “Coming here was always my first choice”

    Doubtful – I’d be willing to bet that staying at McLaren was his first choice.

    Good to see both drivers find a seat – especially Hulk – and hopefully with the extra dosh FI can continue to improve.

    1. jeremySmith says:

      Of course it was after loosing his seat at McLaren.. Read his comments again..

      1. James Allen says:

        Please moderate the tone of your responses to other posters. We’ve deleted two which were downright rude.

        Please help to keep the standard of debate high here, thanks

      2. Random 79 says:

        You’re right of course, but the way he worded it makes it sound like he wanted us to think this was his plan all along.

        And yes I did read the article again :)

    2. NickH says:

      Obviously he meant after losing his MAC seat

    3. Random 79 says:

      @Jock Ulah

      ^ This is why we use smilies. I think in retrospect typing…

      Doubtful – I’d be willing to bet that staying at McLaren was his first choice ;)

      …might saved some confusion :)

  30. Sandy says:

    James, do you have any commentary on how liquid driver market? Without all the drama with Pirelli and the ‘four times the torque’ new engines coming, wouldnt we be talking about the reunion of Nico and Force India, alongside the still promising Checo?

    Maldonado also commenting on how Williams is the perfect place for Felipe baby. Very interesting, showing respect for Sir Frank all of a sudden. Perhaps he is foreshadowing a Romain Crash-jean style maturity in his attitude. Will he show it on track. Sauber with a Force India refugee and Estebans Eyebrows.

    Lastly most enticingly is Ferraris last world champion alongside their supposedly future world champion. And McLaren? Is there much to say?

    1. Sandy says:

      How liquid the driver market is this year? And also how silly is this season really compared to others?

    2. Kirk says:

      Maybe Grosjean gave to Maldonado his psychologist’s business card.

    3. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      But where is the Russian for Sauber…?…?

  31. Dave C says:

    So now it’s FI that’s hired a ‘pay driver’, congratulations! Such a shame with talents like Di Resta can’t even get a seat.
    I’m a long time F1 fan since my childhood and have been watching since I could barely walk in the late 80′s but the direction the sport is going with FIA constantly on a mission to lower engine power and dictating everything to suit them is just killing the show. Well Paul I hope him the best of luck but last year it was Kobayashi and now Di Resta but the likes of Maldonado and the talentless Chilton keeps getting seats, If these engines don’t perform next year I’ll be switching to Le Mans and Moto GP permanently.

    1. Spoo says:

      I don’t get people who call Perez a pay driver. For sure his financial help to the team would be a help especially to the midfield teams but he isn’t one of the drivers like Chilton or Maldonado who we know would be immediately out of F1 the moment their money runs out.

      Cyril Abiteboul, the Caterham boss, believes “non paying drivers almost irresponsible.” – This is the bitter truth but Fans need to bite the pill and anyone who jumps up condeming this ‘new trend’ in the current F1 should go through the history books and see that it always existed. There were drivers who actually just bought a car with their own money and participated.

      Perez seems a competent driver with 3 years of experience and makes himself a complete package with a sound (not astounding) financial backing.

    2. Khars says:

      Err… what about Sutil and the Medion money? Was it transferred directly to Salvation Army?
      They picked up Sutil at the last moment for 2013(over Bianchi with some strong Ferrari connection, but VJ may be did not want to change FI into a number 2 Ferrari engine test team)
      Some extra money is welcomed by FI, but perhaps if they have to make a decision between a mediocre moneysack driver and a talent like Hulk, they rather pick up the talent (or is it just for positive media). Lotus could not afford this because Raikonnen made a too good job, and their car was better than expected.

    3. NickH says:

      I agree pay drivers are bad for the sport but Di Resta has not done anything out of the ordinary to deserve a seat anyway. Just because you don’t have money doesn’t mean you have talent

    4. aezy_doc says:

      What has di resta done to convince you he is an outstanding talent?

  32. Rich B says:

    glad he’s got a seat, wont beat his new teammate though

  33. Grant H says:

    Gutted for PDR

    1. Krischar says:

      Yes

      Me too

      I cannot understand why people are glad that perez got a race seat for 2014 he has the money backing nothing else. Sutil was soundly beaten by PDR as well.

      Paul has all the right to crticize Force India for the failure to improve machinery and reduce the operational errors in 2013. Vijay mallaya has gone for the money. Hulk is excellent choice yet PDR is better than the likes of perez and sutil.

      Shame for F1 if PDR does not get race seat in 2014

  34. yassin says:

    Di Resta was vocally critical of the team over the radio whenever he qualified poorly, yes on occasion it maybe the teams fault but on many others it was his own fault.

  35. Abe says:

    This is great news. Thi was what I was looking for. A really strong line up in Force India. 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 the 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.

  36. Mansell Mania says:

    I hope Paul can stick around in F1 – even as a reserve driver.

    OK so he had a few rants but he’s a nice guy, and definitely has got some decent speed in him.

    In the end of the day though it appears his wallet does not dig deep enough.

    And obviously pay-drivers have always been a common occurance in F1, but it definitely seems like they seem to be carrying more levarage recently. Doesn’t seem to hold well for the immediate future does it.

  37. Tyler says:

    Since their time at Sauber, I can’t help but compare Perez and Kobayashi and examine what has happened to each since.

    Money wins, balls and spirit do not. Perez is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

    1. deancassady says:

      Tyler, who could blame anyone from not liking the tactics of committing to a corner in such a way that the other driver has to yield (and lose a place) or be in a crash?!?
      But boring like paint drying, I don’t think you’ve been seeing the same F1/Perez that I have; it is not boring!

      1. Mansell Mania says:

        That Monaco race was something else wasn’t it. Dull it was not. But racing it certainly wasn’t either!

      2. Torchwood Five says:

        If this is about Monaco, I would remind that Jenson passed Sergio that way first, forcing Perez to go wide, and got to keep the position.

        Sergio’s subsequent manoeuvres in that corner were because someone else did it to him first, and got away with it.

        If you are not mentioning Monaco, my apologies.

      3. deancassady says:

        I relate the pattern of going into a corner, so that the other driver must yield (and lose position), or crash, demonstrated by Checko.

      4. aezy_doc says:

        Senna did that. People like him!

    2. Jonny Speedriff says:

      +1

    3. D Vega says:

      KK was more exciting than SP, but too imply SP lacks an flair is absurd.

      1. Khars says:

        … and despite this exciting factor and passing talent KK will not return to F1 in next year…

      2. D Vega says:

        Yes, his absence on the F1 grid is a shame.

  38. Stephen Taylor says:

    It seems Sergio likes the new double points idea
    Read more below.
    http://www1.skysports.com/f1/news/12477/9069614/sergio-perez-supports-double-points-plan

    1. Random 79 says:

      If you’d only scored 49 points in a season you’d probably like the idea of double points too ;)

    2. ferggsa says:

      I think he’s just being polite, he can’t say what Vettel said, at least until he wins a race or two
      On the other hand a good place for a midfield car at the end might make a good points difference

  39. Timmay says:

    Both Indians & Mexicans eat spicey food. Indians like curry and Mexicans like tacos. It makes sense.

    1. Random 79 says:

      So then where does the German fit in? ;)

    2. ferggsa says:

      Maybe add a curry/chile mix into the turbo for added boost

    3. razor says:

      What part of the debate are these comments (12 and 39) in response to? Just pointing out the hypocrisy…

      James Allen Reply:
      December 13th, 2013 at 6:05 am

      Please moderate the tone of your responses to other posters. We’ve deleted two which were downright rude.

      Please help to keep the standard of debate high here, thanks

      1. Timmay says:

        My comment is best comment.

  40. Jon_C says:

    PDR had to go. Good driver but i think DTM or Indycar would be his league. F1, Chew them up and spit them out

  41. jay dee says:

    As a fellow scot I should be a DiResta fan. He is boring and blames his team when things don’t go his way. So I glad he is going. Perez and Hulk should be way better team.

    1. Krischar says:

      Why PDR is boring ?

      He is very good driver with loads of potential in him still left

      PDR is fast and talented, he clearly deserves a race seat for 2014. Poorly these days money talks more in F1 than skill or talent

      PDR has beaten sutil far too many times and scored more points than him. while Perez is not good enough and has been sacked by Mclaren.

  42. Bullish says:

    Hi James,
    Do you think that McLaren are starting the same downwards trend as Williams?

    1. James Allen says:

      No, the new deal with Honda from 2015 onwards will inject huge funding and there will be a collective desire to be champions, as they were in lat 1980s

      1. bearforce1 says:

        I like the sound of this. I am always a little sad for Williams and was worried for McLaren.

      2. Wade Parmino says:

        Why isn’t there a collective desire to be champions amongst Renault and Williams as they once were. Please don’t tell me it’s because Renault have Red Bull and just don’t care.

      3. dimitar kadrinski says:

        I always knew that, but it really is a good feel to see it from you James :)
        In my view McLaren have a very healthy business. The highs they reached as an organisation can hardly see them abandon the F1 team. Not that Williams are bad in business, but no point to compare them. I even think they will outrun Ferrari in the future (as daft as it seems) the way their road car side is rolling now… Exciting times for that team :)

      4. Harrison Vrbanjac says:

        Hello James,

        Can’t you write article about Williams down spiral?

      5. Fireman says:

        What about Ron Dennis? Is he really returning to team principal role in near future?

      6. bbobeckyj says:

        Hi James, how is Honda and McLaren different to BMW and Williams?
        What I have been intending to ask for a while is budget related, are Mercedes and Ferrari disadvantaged because they make their own engines? I’m curious how it is all paid for. I had thought that Red Bull develop their chassis, Renault develop and pay for the engine, and Infiniti also pay, while Mercedes and Ferrari have to pay to develop both engine and chassis. Am I missing something? It seems that Red Bull have a huge advantage, biggest budget, and free engines which are then paid for by another party.

      7. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        PEREZ a Champion in 2015 with… some team!

        Go PEREZ, Go Latino!

        Now you have your seat, let dear Whitmarsh sleep at night!

    2. Random 79 says:

      One year does not make a Williams ;)

      In the case of Williams, since they won their last championship their decline down the order has more constant and gradual.

      It’s also been a little while between championships for McLaren, but until only this year they’ve managed stayed near the pointy end.

      Hopefully 2013 was just a hiccup and they’ll be back in force in 2015, if not next year.

      And if Ron Dennis gets his way watch out! :)

    3. JB says:

      I would rather see them making a comeback. Mclaren have other sources of income from selling road cars and tech stuff to other teams. I think they will be fine. The only thing I feel is that Whitmarsh is not delivering.

  43. Kay says:

    Mexican pay cheque prevailed over talents.

    Sad day for F1 today.

    1. Carlos Palomo says:

      Sorry, Kay, but you do not not what you are talking about.

      1. Carlos Palomo says:

        Sorry again, I should have written “do not know” instead of “do not not”. My mistake.

  44. goferet says:

    @ Sebee

    Lol, yeah sure.

  45. Deegs says:

    Personally just glad the hulk found a reasonably competitive drive for next year. I think Perez will do a consistently good job too, but the hulk will have him covered. Carlos’s pesos should keep them competitive throughout the season,as cash flow will be more important than ever. Never rated Di Resta, or Sutil for that matter. Let’s hope the merc engine is up to the task…. and that crashdonado status away from them….

  46. Warren G says:

    It’s strange that a lot of people are now talking about FI having one of the strongest driver pairings, yet when Perez was at McLaren they had one of the weakest. What changed?

    I believe it’s a good line up for a midfield team and they should get some decent results next year. I think though, the difference between Hulk and Perez might be greater than that of Button and Perez.

    1. ferggsa says:

      Er.. Button?
      Also, they are not in a top team , opinions would be different
      But I agree with general consensus, it will be a fun team to watch

    2. NickH says:

      Hulk is vastly superior to button

  47. m says:

    makes sense from a business point of view. I dont think FI feel the drivers they are getting are a magnitude better than the one’s they have released. So all the insults to the drivers that have been dropped are low. sums up sports fans i suppose.
    The real benefit is business deals that may come to pass in mexico and south america.
    No doubt these are the sort of thing’s mclaren couldnt do as it didn’t suit the ‘image’ of the brand.

  48. DanAbnormal says:

    Was this perhaps not the plan from the beginning, James?

    It was decidedly un-McLaren to be so near-apologetic about sacking Perez. They were determined not to damage his reputation. Whitmarsh’s comments that they were “assisting” him in finding a drive? Maybe it was a fait accomplis. Mac puts Sergio’s contract to Force India, and the teams divvy-up the Telmex pesos?

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the two FI drivers spend a couple of years fighting it out for a seat at Ross Brawn’s McLaren/Honda.

  49. Rich C says:

    Money talks, what’s new?

  50. John Turner says:

    Be Interesting to See who come out on Top between Perez and Hulk, as I’m sure others have said, it will Possibly show if McLaren made the Right Choice for 2013.

    1. Random 79 says:

      I’m going to stick my neck out now and say Hulk, but I think both should do well.

  51. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Di Resta…. he should have done what PEREZ did the last few races, but he didn’t.

    I think Di Resta has more psic problems than HAMILTON… So no for reserve driver at Mercedes for me, sorry.

  52. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    RICCIARDO… he will have a good car, a fourthtuple fellow driver in the other seat, and…

    - HULK & PEREZ in a competitive F.India
    - GROSJEAN in a high performance…
    - KIMI & ALONSO in a very good Ferrari…
    - experience drivers like MALDONADO, SUTIL, and fast drivers like BOTTAS.

    I think RICCIARDO and RED BULL could have a hard time there…

    Only relief BUTTON is still there in McLaren…

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