Sergio Pérez expressed his relief at being able to focus entirely on racing, now that the burden of uncertainty over his Formula 1 future has been resolved by re-signing with Force India for the 2017 season.
The Mexican was linked with possible moves to Renault, Williams and even the Haas F1 Team, and despite Force India claiming several months ago it had Perez’s services locked in for 2017, he insisted that his options were still open.
Now that his contract was renewed last weekend in Malaysia, Pérez admitted to doubts creeping into his mind that he would fall through the cracks and not be on the grid in 2017.
“To be honest it was [becoming a distraction], with the uncertainty of what’s going to happen,” Pérez said on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
“I came to a point where I was seriously considering it’s not going to happen, it took very long, as my deals are a bit more complex than others. But especially because it was so long, it was probably three months not knowing where my future will be.
“It’s not the best [situation] but at the end of the day I think I coped with it well. I am used to dealing with that, the rumours, uncertainty of the future and I think that helped me, what I lived in my past, to try to stay focused on my job.”
While Pérez has his immediate future set, his deal only lasts one year, which could open him up for a move to another team. For the short term, however, he is happy to be staying with Force India.
“More than that I wanted the stability. Loyalty as well played an important role on this, because this team has been extremely good for me and my career,” he added.
“Going into a new generation of rules, all I wanted was to have some stability and not move around too much and obviously it was a one-year option, so I want to see where we are next year and what’s available for the future.”
Image via Sahara Force India F1 Team