Force India’s Sergio Perez has warned that he may not compete in Formula 1 in 2017 if a deal is not secured by the end of next week.
After receiving possible interest from Renault over the summer, only for a deal to fade away, it seemed most likely that Perez will remain with Force India for 2017.
However, continued delays in sealing a deal leaves an element of doubt regarding Perez’s future, the Mexican has set himself a deadline of the Japanese Grand Prix to make a final decision. If one is not made, he has reported that he will looks elsewhere in motorsport.
“I believe that next week is crucial to sort out my future, so by next week I need to know if the option [to stay in F1] remains or if I have to look somewhere else,” Perez reported.
“I really hope by next weekend we will all know. It’s obviously taking longer than expected, but it’s all going in the right direction, so I hope next weekend we will know.”
After being asked about the hold-up, Perez explained: “My deals are quite complicated in that my sponsors have to do deals as well, so we have to make sure everything is in place.
“Hopefully they can come to an agreement soon because if they don’t then it will be quite difficult.”
“There are some interesting options on the table,” he added.
“At the moment I hope it works out with one team, and if it doesn’t then by next week we will have to look at something else.
“Obviously I want to keep my career in Formula 1 going, but I cannot wait much longer.”
There has been speculation that the delay is that the Mexican is looking for a one-year deal to keep his options open for 2018 and a possible move to Ferrari, when a seat may become available.
“Other people are saying that, but for me it’s more important going into the next generation of cars with a team I know, and with people around me I know, and build from that,” Perez spoke about the speculation.
“I don’t even know where I’ll be in 2017, so 2018 is miles ahead.“