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Perez should only leave for Ferrari – Mallya

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Vijay Mallya says he would be happy if Force India lines up with the same drivers next year.

The former Indian billionaire made a rare paddock visit at Silverstone last weekend, as his passport has been seized over his legal dispute with Indian authorities.

So for now, he cannot leave the UK, but he hit back at suggestions he is looking to sell the Silverstone based team.

“There are no contacts,” Mallya told Auto Motor und Sport.

“Over 10 years we have gained respect and had success. I would now like to enjoy it,” he insisted.

The 61-year-old is also still running the team, although he insists he is not running away from his legal problems.

“I will face my responsibilities in India,” said Mallya. “But until now there has been only allegations and not a single piece of hard evidence.

“But the team would survive without me, so I sleep peacefully as I know Force India is well positioned.”

Mallya is considering dropping the word ‘India’ from the team’s name for 2018, but he would like to keep both Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon on board.

He said Frenchman Ocon is already under contract for 2018, and thinks Mexican Perez should only consider moving if Ferrari calls him.

“Otherwise, he is in the best hands with us, and I think he appreciates that,” said Mallya.

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