Force India announces new Perez deal

Force India announces new Perez deal
By AutoSport

17/09/2017 at 11:12

Sergio Perez will continue to race for Force India alongside Esteban Ocon in the 2018 Formula 1 season.

Perez, who was on the radar of two rival F1 teams, had hoped to have clarified his future shortly after the summer break but talks between his sponsors and Force India had delayed a deal being agreed.

Force India has now reached an arrangement with all parties, leading to Perez staying on for a fifth season.

"Staying with Sahara Force India was always my priority," said Perez.

"It's a team that has allowed me to show my talents as a driver and I feel very happy here.

"I'm proud of everything we have already achieved together and I think there is more to come.

"The team has done an amazing job this year to develop the car and establish our position as the fourth best team in Formula 1.

"In the end it was an easy decision to continue our journey together."

The deal is believed to be for one year, giving Perez options for next season when seats at Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are potentially available.

Team principal Vijay Mallya added: "Sergio has played an important role in our success story over the last few years.

"Since joining us in 2014, he has matured to become one of the quickest and most consistent drivers on the grid.

"His track record speaks for itself as the most successful Force India driver ever with four podiums.

"Alongside Esteban, retaining Sergio gives us stability going into next season and one of the most exciting driver pairings in Formula 1."

The announcement means just Williams, Toro Rosso, McLaren and Sauber have yet to confirm their line-ups for next season.

2018 F1 line-up so far

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas

Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen

Red Bull-Renault: Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen

Force India-Mercedes: Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon

Williams-Mercedes: Lance Stroll, tba

Toro Rosso-Honda: tba, tba

Haas-Ferrari: Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen

Renault: Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz Jr

McLaren-Renault: Stoffel Vandoorne, tba

Sauber-Ferrari: tba, tba