The identity of the driver who will partner Nico Hulkenberg at Force India in 2014 has been revealed. Sergio Perez, who was dropped by McLaren after just one season, has joined the team on a multi-year deal.
The announcement came at a press conference held at the Mexican Embassy in London. Many expected Perez to be confirmed while Force India continued to build the hype surrounding their big announcement. They tweeted this morning that the announcement would not take place in the UK, for example.
The news also means that Force India will have an all new line-up in 2014 – albeit with a driver they have fielded before – with Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta departing.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Sergio to the team,” Team Principal Vijay Mallya said. “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”.
Perez, whose Formula One future looked uncertain after being dropped by McLaren in the run up to the US Grand Prix, is also excited to be joining Force India. “Coming here was always my first choice,” he said. “I’m happy everything has now been confirmed. I want to say thank you to Vijay and the whole team for giving me the opportunity. 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,” the Mexican driver continued. “I already have a good feeling about 2014. My plan now is to visit the factory and get to know everyone in the team.”
Mallya concluded by saying the team recognised Perez’s “incredible talent”. “We are proud to have him in our team,” he said. “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. By pairing Sergio alongside Nico, we enter the new season with an extremely competitive line-up, which will go toward helping us achieve our goals for the new season”.
Force India finished 2013 in sixth place so will be hoping to progress up the order in 2014.