Sergio Perez to stay at Force India for the 2017 F1 season
"I am happy and proud to be part of this great team," says Mexican
Last Updated: 02/10/16 7:40pm
Sergio Perez has finally ended speculation surrounding his Formula 1 future by signing a new deal to stay at Force India.
The Mexican, enjoying a fine season, had been linked with a number of teams for 2017, particularly Renault and Williams, but has put pen to paper on a contract that will see his partnership with Nico Hulkenberg extend to a fourth season.
"I am really happy and proud to be part of this great team," said Perez.
The announcement comes after months of negotiations, and claims from Force India owner Vijay Mallya that Perez had signed up for next year as early as July.
But the 26-year-old said he had to consult his many sponsors before extending his stay with the team.
Sergio Perez's Force India stats
|Debut||2014 Australian GP (10th)|
|Podiums||4 (best position 3rd)|
|Best grid position||4th|
|Points versus team-mates||199 v 200|
|Championship best||9th (2015)|
Perez failed to make the grade during his solitary campaign with McLaren in 2013 but by taking his podium tally to seven with two more top-three finishes this year, his stock rose rapidly.
Such performances alerted Ferrari, who were considering recruiting the former Sauber driver before renewing Kimi Raikkonen's contract.
Despite missing out on a Scuderia seat, Perez has maintained that he would make his next move with dreams of a future world championship in mind, and had been tipped to lead Renault's resurgence.