Racing Point Force India has announced that driver Sergio Pérez will stay with the Silverstone-based squad for a sixth Formula 1 season in 2019.
Mexican Pérez joined Force India in 2014, after losing his McLaren F1 Team seat at the end of ’13, and has scored five podiums in his time with the team so far.
Pérez was instrumental in the change of ownership at the team earlier in the summer when he called in money owed to him. This started the process of administration which led to a Lawrence Stroll headed consortium buying the team, thus saving hundreds of jobs.
“I am very happy to finally announce my future and I’m really motivated for 2019,” said Pérez, who currently sits in seventh place in the drivers’ standings with four grands prix remaining in the ’18 season.
“Force India has been my home since 2014 and has allowed me to grow as a driver and show my skills on track. We have achieved so much success in the last five seasons, but I think the best is yet to come.
“The investment the team is enjoying fills me with confidence and I am really excited about the future.”
“One of the most consistent drivers on the grid”
Force India team principal Otmar Szafnauer paid tribute to Pérez’s skills and described how the 28-year-old is key to the team’s long-term future.
“I’m pleased Sergio will continue his journey with us in 2019,” explained Szafnauer. “Over the last five years, Sergio has confirmed his position as one of the most talented and consistent drivers on the Formula One grid.
“He gives us valuable stability going forward and is a huge asset to the team. As we begin an exciting new chapter in the life of this team, we are delighted that Sergio will race with us going forward.”
The identity of Pérez’s team-mate for 2019 is still unclear, although Williams Martini Racing driver Lance Stroll is tipped to move to the team now run by his father.
Current race driver, Esteban Ocon is expected to drop down to a reserve and test driver role with the team for next season.