Formula One: Force India's Mexican driver Sergio Perez extends contract until 2018

Force India's Sergio Perez during the press conference. REUTER

Force India's Sergio Perez during the press conference. REUTER

"Staying with Sahara Force India was always my priority", said Perez, who had been linked with other teams including Renault who have now opted for Spaniard Carlos Sainz.

Force India has announced that Sergio Perez will remain part of its driver line-up for the 2018 Formula 1 season after signing a contract extension. He is now seventh in the drivers' standings.

This led to Force India's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer issuing an ultimatum that team orders would be imposed if they didn't improve their relationship, which they both publicly agreed to do at the Italian GP two weeks ago. "It's a team that has allowed me to show my talents as a driver and I feel very happy here", Perez said. "In the end it was an easy decision to continue our journey together", he added.

The deal will take Perez, who joined the Silverstone-based outfit in 2014 after a single unhappy season at former champions McLaren, into a fifth successive season with the team.

The confirmation of Perez means Force India will field an unchanged driver line-up in 2018, with Esteban Ocon already confirmed on a multi-year contract. "Im proud of everything we have already achieved together and I think there is more to come", said Perez.

"The team has done an awesome job this year to develop the vehicle and establish our position as the fourth best team in Formula One".

Despite their limited financial muscle they appear on course to finish fourth in the constructors' standings - behind only Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull - for a second straight year.

"Sergio has played an important role in our success story over the last few years".

"Alongside Esteban, retaining Sergio gives us stability going into next season and one of the most exciting driver pairings in Formula One", Mallya said.

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