Perez to partner Hulkenberg at Force India
London: Sergio Perez will partner Nico Hulkenberg at Force India for the 2014 Formula 1 season and `beyond`, the Silverstone based team announced here Thursday.
Perez was linked to a Force India seat after being dropped by McLaren, who decided to go for Formula Renault 3.5 champion Kevin Magnussen.
“It’s great to announce my new team as Sahara Force India. Coming here was always my first choice and I’m really happy everything has now been confirmed. I want to say thank you to Vijay (Mallya) and the whole team for giving me the opportunity," said Perez.
"This is a young team with a lot of determination and they’ve produced competitive cars for the last few years. It’s all change for next season with the new regulations, but I already have a good feeling about 2014. My plan now is to visit the factory and get to know everyone in the team," the Mexican added.
Signing Perez means Force India have dropped their 2013 drivers Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil. Di Resta`s hopes of remaining in F1 look slim while Sutil is in running for seat with Sauber.
Team boss Mallya said Perez and Hulkenberg, who was signed last week, make a competitive pair.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Sergio to the team. He brings a healthy mix of youth and experience, and I’ve been very impressed with his recent performances," said Mallya.
"He already has several podium finishes to his name and being chosen by McLaren last year was a clear indication that he is a driver to watch for the future.
"We also recognise Sergio’s incredible talent and we are proud to have him in our team. Our job is to make sure he settles in quickly by creating the right atmosphere so that he can realise his potential. By pairing Sergio alongside Nico, we enter the new season with an extremely competitive line-up, which will go toward helping us achieve our goals for the new season.”
Perez finished 11th in the 2013 season with 49 points.
The 23-year-old is believed to have a substantial financial backing which has helped him remain in F1.