Force India personnel remove sponsors, Spa, 2018

Perez insists it’s “business as usual” for Force India at Spa

2018 Belgian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez insists it will be “business as usual” for Force India at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, though the team is unable to give assurances it will take part in the race.

A Force India spokesperson referred questions over whether it will compete this weekend to the FIA. Legal complications surrounding the purchase of the team’s assets by Lawrence Stroll have cast doubt on its participation in the race.

The team appeared at Spa on Thursday with the ‘Sahara Force India Formula One team’ branding absent from its motorhome, trucks and pit gantry. The names of sponsors linked to companies connected to former owner Vijay Mallya were also taken down (pictured).

However Perez told media including RaceFans he is “here to race” this weekend.

“This team, it’s a bit used to being in difficult situations,” he said. “We’re coming out of a difficult position and I think the team is always ready.

“We have great team members and the people back home are performing at the best. Everyone is very motivated which I have to thank everyone for.”

Perez was involved in initiating administration proceedings against the team during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. He said he hasn’t spoken to Mallya since.

“It’s been a busy time at the moment,” he explained. “But I think there will be good time once I’m back in London to have a chat. We are good friends.”

In a further change at Force India, deputy team principal Robert Fernley has stepped down from his position.

The changes in the team’s ownership will allow more developments to appear in coming races, Perez added.

“I think the team is quite optimistic with what happened. We can see a release on the upgrades coming for the future.

“We’ll see a different structure financially. The team has a much more stable future or the coming years. That can directly be linked to track performance.”

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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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9 comments on “Perez insists it’s “business as usual” for Force India at Spa”

  1. Fearnley out is a big big deal for the Team Formerly Known As Force India (TFKAFI).

    He will be sorely missed. Will be interesting to see who will replace him.

    1. With Fernley & Mallya gone, maybe Stroll Sr can take on their roles.

      I dearly hope TFKAFI can race this weekend (even if not for points); the last thing F1 needs is another F1ndy’05

    2. Agreed,

      One can’t help but feel the team will be much poorer without his presence.

  2. Ugh. I was looking forward to the end of the summer break with a race at Spa. Now instead all of that will be overshadowed by this cloud hanging over FI. Bob Fernley was a good person to run the “on the ground” stuff at FI, and one only wishes that his replacement is up to the task/better, because if not, it could mark the beginning of the end for an impressive team.

  3. I think Checo has done so much for this team, from podium’s glory to best of the rest prize money and even sponsors, keep running the team moneys and even a save the team endeavor, he deserves a just driver weekend.

    I will be only Concern by a unstable, desperate “trying to proof worth” and highly explosive partner crashing into you and then Ocon will claim you try to kill him.

    1. It’s been a year now, why bring this back @nickpkr251?
      Their relationship has been pretty good since the beginning of the season.

  4. I’m very surprised that Bob is leaving. I know he’s a friend of Vijay Mallya’s, but he knows the job superbly well and it would have been a good idea to keep him.

    1. @alianora-la-canta +1 to your comment, which makes me wonder if it was a political/power decision (i.e. placing one of “their own” by the new investors), and not one made in the best interests of the team. It’s even more odd a decision seeing as he was titularly only the deputy TP.

      Let’s see who his replacement is, and let’s hope that s/he is up to snuff.

  5. I do believe that his departure comes form a possible conflict of interests which the new owners cannot indulge. There are some players in the market that can fill the position in the coming races, I would not be surprised if Eric Boullier is seen in the paddock wearing some pink on the next few races

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