Mallya: Perez not a pay driver, it's against my philosophy

By on Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Sahara Force India

Sahara Force India

Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya has dismissed speculation that new signing Sergio Perez is a pay driver.

Perez will race for the Silverstone based team into 2014 after being axed by McLaren after a solitary season, but Mallya has rejected suggestions that he signed the Mexican due to his backing.

"Mexico, Latin America - that part of the world was totally closed for us: we don’t do business in that part of the world, we had no connection to that part of the world. It’s a long way from India," he said.

"So now at least through Checo [Perez], I’m sure there are people who will back him, or he can provide us with introductions and so on and so forth. That goes with the job, doesn’t it? But I don’t believe in the pay driver concept. I’ve had many opportunities in the past where I was offered pay drivers - I was offered a lot of money - and I said absolutely not. That’s not the philosophy of Sahara Force India."

"There’s no ‘package’ with him [Perez]. There might be opportunities going forward."

Mallya emphasised that the concept of hiring a driver with financial backing is against his philosophy.

"For some teams, not all," he said regarding pay drivers. "I certainly don’t believe in it. I will not compromise the quality of drivers for money. I will not let down all of my people in Silverstone who are so passionate about designing and building a competitive race car and then compromise the car on the track by taking a driver who is not the very best, simply because he brings money to the table."

"That’s something I just will not do - it’s against my basic philosophy."

Mallya also believes that the FIA's plans to introduce a budget cap in 2015 is a positive development for the sport, but admits it will be down to the teams to ensure that the rules are not flouted.

"I hope it’s implemented. It should have happened a few years ago actually, but better late than never."

"At the end of the day, when this was first proposed by FOTA three years ago, there was a mechanism put in place to police it. But if people want to cheat and be dishonest they can, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that any team principal who signs off on a declaration would necessarily push the envelope."

"Self-governance is better than imposed governance. Once you agree and you’re all together I think it’s almost incumbent on a team principal to make sure the rules are followed."

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