Sergio Perez’s future at Force India has finally been sorted, with the team confirming on Sunday evening that the Mexican will be staying on board for 2017.
Despite having signed a contract for next year several months ago, Perez’s place at the Silverstone-based outfit had been in doubt because of separate commercial deals that needed to be finalised with his Mexican backers.
Progress on that front was made over the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend, with the final issue of outstanding salary payments having been finally cleared on Sunday.
That opened the door for an official announcement by the team shortly after the Malaysian Grand Prix – which means Perez is committed for 2017 alongside Nico Hulkenberg, whose deal to stay was already in place.
“I’m pleased to confirm that I will be racing with Sahara Force India in 2017 as the team and my supporters have concluded their agreements,” said Perez.
“I’m very happy with this team and I have a good feeling for the future. I’ve seen the progress we’ve made over last couple of years and I’m sure we have the potential to achieve even more going forward.
“The team knows me well and it’s important to have stability, especially with some big rule changes planned for next year. I’m excited for the rest of this season and for the challenge that awaits all of us in 2017.
“I thank all the team for believing in me and I will do my best repay their faith with points, podiums and hopefully wins.
"I also want to thank our Mexican partners, especially Telmex and Telcel, who have been supporting me since I was a young boy. They continue to play an important role in my journey through the sport.”
Perez had been a target of the Renault team, but the French manufacturer wanted a firm three-year commitment – something the Mexican was not willing to accept as he targets a Ferrari seat for 2018.
Had Perez not reached his agreement with Force India this weekend, then he was prepared to consider a move to Haas as a stepping stone to a potential Ferrari future.