Perez insists Force India was his first option

Sahara Force India F1 Team

10 January 2014 by Ryan Wood

Sergio Perez insists, having been told his services wouldn't be required at McLaren in 2014, that Force India was his first choice despite openings at both Lotus and Sauber.

The Mexican driver joined McLaren at the start of the 2013 season with much fanfare after his success with Sauber in 2012 when he scored three podium finishes.

However the Woking team decided to drop him in favour of rookie Kevin Magnussen - a decision Perez only learnt about toward the end of the season.

He says the Silverstone based outfit was his first choice and he contacted them after hearing of the McLaren news.

"When it was confirmed that I was leaving McLaren, Sahara Force India was always my first option," he told the official F1 website. "It is a very good team and in the same way as me, it is hungry for success.

"The discussions with Sahara Force India started around the time of the race in Austin. I attended a couple of meetings and held several telephone conferences before everything came to a positive agreement."

He doesn't regret his time with McLaren, but he's certain he's yet to show his full potential and Force India is a step towards that.

"It has been a very important learning path in my career. I don't regret anything: McLaren is a great team and I will always respect them," he added. "Unfortunately, for various reasons, the season did not go as expected and we ended up without a podium.

"The situation I am in now is different, but it's also exciting. I do not see myself as in a 'holding pattern' and this is part of my journey in Formula One. I strongly believe that my success is yet to be seen."