Perez extends Force India contract

Sergio Perez sees a bright future for Force India after the Formula One team confirmed on Thursday that he would continue racing for them next year.

“I definitely want to be part of this next generation of the team,” he told reporters at the US Grand Prix. “We have very promising times ahead of us.”

Force India have yet to name their other driver but there is little doubt it will be Canadian Lance Stroll, whose billionaire father Lawrence heads a consortium that now controls the team.

Perez, 28, played a major role in events leading to the takeover of the outfit in August and has said for some time that he knew where he would be racing next year. He declined to give details about the contract or when he had signed it.

Force India, previously co-owned by Indian magnate Vijay Mallya, went into administration at the end of July after Perez made a claim for US$4.01 million that was owed to him.

The action was supported by engine provider Mercedes and team sponsor BWT which were also owed significant sums.

Perez, who joined Force India in 2014, has had five podium finishes with the team, including third in Azerbaijan in April.

The sport’s sole Mexican driver has also brought significant sponsorship.

“I’ve been here five years and I know the potential,” Perez said. “Everyone here has been very loyal as well. We went into a big uncertainty with our futures and everyone stuck together. It’s great to see the outcome for the team.

“I’m optimistic that already next year we should be making a good step forwards… now that we are going to have more resources in place, we should have the right guidance and be really strong.”

Force India team principal Otmar Szafnauer said Perez had established himself as “one of the most talented and consistent drivers on the Formula One grid” and would provide valuable stability.

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