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Perez, Hulkenberg staying at Force India - Mallya

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Formula One - Australia Grand Prix - Melbourne, Australia - 17/03/16 - Force India F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg poses for a drivers portrait before the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne. REUTERS/Brandon Malone/Files
Formula One - Australia Grand Prix - Melbourne, Australia - 17/03/16 - Force India F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg poses for a drivers portrait before the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne. REUTERS/Brandon Malone/Files

SILVERSTONE, England (Reuters) - Mexican Sergio Perez and Germany's Nico Hulkenberg are staying at Force India next season, the Formula One team's co-owner Vijay Mallya told Reuters.

"I can confirm that both the drivers are signed up for 2017," Mallya said at the British Grand Prix.

"They are a fine pair, both absolutely top class. I've never believed in 'pay drivers' where talent or ability is compromised," he added.

"I always try to hire the best drivers we can afford. I am very happy with both Checo and Nico."

Perez has been on the podium twice this season, in Monaco and Azerbaijan, while Hulkenberg qualified on the front row in Austria last weekend.

Force India, who have Mercedes engines, are currently fifth in the championship.

Perez had been linked in media speculation to Ferrari but that possibility closed on Friday when the Italian team announced Finland's 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen was staying for another season.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ossian Shine)


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