New Force India driver Sergio Perez will be looking to rebuild his Formula One career at a team he claims was his “first choice” destination after leaving McLaren.
The 23-year-old Mexican signed a multi-year deal with the Silverstone-based team yesterday and will partner Nico Hulkenberg for the 2014 season.
Perez, who spent just a year at McLaren after being selected to replace Lewis Hamilton following a highly-impressive 2012 at Sauber, found it difficult to impress in an uncompetitive car last season.
Perez, whose best finish in 2013 was a fifth place at the Indian Grand Prix, has been replaced at McLaren by Kevin Magnussen and will now bid to reclaim the hard-racing reputation he earned during his two-year stint at Sauber.
“Coming here was always my first choice,” said Perez. “I’m really happy everything has now been confirmed.
“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.”
Force India team principal Vijay Mallya is looking forward to working alongside Perez and feels the fact he was signed by McLaren proves he has plenty to offer.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Sergio to the team,” said Mallya. “He brings a healthy mix of youth and experience, and I’ve been very impressed with his recent performances.
“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.
“He clearly has great speed and plenty of fire in his belly. Our job is to make sure he settles in quickly by creating the right atmosphere so that he can realise his potential.”
Perez arrival as team-mate to Hulkenberg spells the end Paul Di Resta’s time at the team after three racing seasons and one season as test driver.