Sergio Perez appears to have made his decision to leave Force India, whichever of the two options before him is finalised.
The Mexican driver has substantial sponsorship dollars which follow him, all of which stems from his relationship with Telmex Group owner Carlos Slim.
“Obviously I have a contract with the team and, as you know, I have a group of sponsors and we’re trying to make the announcement all together. So from that respect it’s all clear.
“We’re getting into the point where very soon things should be announced. I expect my plans to be announced hopefully before the next race.
“My priority is to stay here. The team is going upwards and is really pushing, and I know the plans of the team so I am really happy to stay here.”
These comments were made by Sergio Perez following the 2015 summer break. The difference almost a year on is obvious to all.
“I will have a break to reflect on what we [Force India] have done,” the Mexican told reporters at the German GP.
Sergio concluded: “There are a couple of options, very attractive options, but I haven’t made my decision yet.”
The ‘attractive’ options to which Perez refers are clearly outside of Force India, and Renault have been making it known privately for some weeks that the Mexican is a target for them.
Williams are almost certainly parting company with Felipe Massa at the end of the year, and while they are keen to recruit Jenson Button – Perez is also an option for them.
Perez’s sponsorship team to which he has repeatedly referred to in recent weeks is impressive. Banamex, Telcel, Jalisco, Interprotección, Quaker State, Rajet, Telmex, Claro, Potosinos and Consorcio Aristos combined are believed to bring in excess of $15m to whoever employs Sergio – which is a big attraction for any team outside the current top three.
Yet Perez has proved he is no pay driver having delivered four podiums for the midfield grid outfit that is Force India – in two and half seasons. Over that time he has delivered 185 points to Hulkenberg’s 187 for the Silverstone squad – and many believe Perez’s team mate to be an F1 champion in waiting who never got the car to match his talent.
The loss of Perez’s funding to Force India will be painful, but Perez has formed the opinion that somewhere other than with Vijay Mallya’s team is the best shout for the future.