It feels like Sergio Perez’s future at Force India has been one of the worst stories from the F1 2017 silly season so far. He was always going to stay with the team and had a contract to do so, but a few commercial points needed ironed out before it was all done and dusted.
During that time, he was linked to a switch to Renault and – in recent days – a possible move to Haas was even reported. But it has come as no surprise that Checo has now been officially announced as a Force India driver for the 2017 season.
So that’s another silly season story that ends in rather underwhelming style. But, alas, Force India seems a good fit for him and he’s settled with the team.
2017 will be his fourth year competing with Force India and so far, he’s scored four podiums. Perez has also played a big role in helping the team steadily rise up the ranks, to the point where they are now fighting over fourth in the championship with Williams.
But the news that Force India has retained him alongside Nico Hulkenberg does close another door on the F1 2017 corridor, with one less seat for the rest to fight over.
“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,” Perez said on the new deal.
“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.
I have something to tell you… #2017 pic.twitter.com/J6tdrMa1yi
— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) October 2, 2016
“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.”
He then said something about his Mexican sponsors, but no one is too fussed about that. So he’s sticking with Force India but with the team’s rise up the ranks, we’re excited to see what Perez and Hulkenberg can do in 2017.