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F1 Malaysian GP: Force India dismisses Perez exit threat

Bob Fernley says he is in no doubt Sergio Perez will be a Force India driver next year despite a delay in announcing his deal.
RESULTS: Malaysian Grand Prix – Free Practice Results (2)

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley has denied Sergio Perez is likely to race elsewhere in 2017 despite protracted contract negotiations leaving the driver frustrated.

The highest-placed driver in the standings yet to have his 2017 plans confirmed, Perez had been linked with a switch to Renault for some weeks but is more recently understood to have agreed an extension with Force India.

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However, after Perez suggested the deal would be ready to be announced ahead of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, ongoing delays have seen him threaten to consider alternative options if negotiations continue beyond next week's Japanese Grand Prix.

With Haas believed to have emerged as a new possible candidate should Perez end talks with Force India, Fernley nonetheless dismissedthe notion of this occurring.

“There's nothing else [behind contract delay],” he said. “The driver contracts have been completed for quite some time, as you know. Vijay announced that some time ago and it's literally dotting the i's and crossing the t's on the commercial side.

“If it takes a week, that's wonderful, if it takes a couple of weeks, so be it. It'll happen, we're very confident that Checo will be with us next year. I don't think we ever deviated from that.”

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