Mallya: Pérez signing not related to money
13 December 2013 – Vijay Mallya says Sergio Pérez earned his seat with the Force India team on talent alone, stating that he will never be interested in hiring a "pay driver" for their financial advantages.
Pérez, who lost his McLaren seat after just one term, was confirmed at the outfit on Thursday, leaving long-time driver Paul di Resta and 2013 team-mate Adrian Sutil on the sidelines.
And although Mallya admits the move will inevitably open up Latin American markets, he made clear that it was not a factor in the decision to hire former McLaren driver Pérez.
"We haven't chosen any one of our two drivers because of commercial backing. That's against my basic philosophy," Mallya explained.
"His [Pérez's] presence opens up a whole new opportunity for us which we will exploit going forward but it wasn't a pre-condition for selecting him."
Mallya added that he has been approached by many drivers with large financial backing in the past, but says he has a duty his workforce to sign the best possible drivers.
"I don't believe in the pay driver concept. I have had many opportunities in the past to take pay drivers. I was offered a lot of money and I said absolutely not," he said.
"I will not compromise the quality of driver for money. I will not let down all my people at Silverstone who are so passionate about designing and building a competitive racing car and then compromise that car on the track by taking a driver who's not the very best because he brings money to the table.
"That is something I will just not do, it is against my basic philosophy."