2017 F1

Perez not ruling out Ferrari switch

Perez and Ferrari Sporting Director, Massimo Rivola

Perez and Ferrari Sporting Director, Massimo Rivola

Sergio Perez is not dismissing speculation he is in the running to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari for 2017.

The Mexican has been showing the way to 2015 Le Mans winner and Force India teammate Nico Hulkenberg this year, and scored two podium finishes in the past three races.

“No, I think we’ll be alright,” Force India deputy Bob Fernley said after Perez’s first podium of 2016 in Monaco.

Fernley was referring to early speculation that Perez, also sponsored by common Ferrari backer Carlos Slim, might get some offers to leave Force India by the end of the year.

“I think Sergio’s happy where he is,” Fernley added.

But that was before Azerbaijan, and Perez’s second podium this year that has given new life to the Ferrari rumours.

The 26-year-old knows Ferrari well, having been a development driver at Maranello and a race driver at Ferrari-powered Sauber before getting the call up by McLaren in 2013.

“To be honest I’m not really into these rumours,” Perez said in Baku.

“I have said it before that I am happy at Force India, but for the future who knows what will happen. We are still in the early part of the year to make any decisions for later in the year,” he added.

Another silly-season rumour is that, if McLaren-Honda does not retain him for 2017, Jenson Button’s first team Williams is interested in snapping up the now 36-year-old.

“Button back at Williams is a great headline,” deputy boss Claire Williams told Britain’s Sky.

“Of course he is going to be an attractive proposition if he is available.”

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