Force India driver Sergio Perez has had his contract renewed through the 2016 Formula One season, Sahara Force India confirmed today. The driver confirmed the news himself on his Facebook and Twitter pages as well, and celebrated his 6th year in Formula One.
The news means the team will enter its third straight year with no changes to the lineup; Perez has partnered Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg since his debut at the team, and World Endurance Championship winner Hulkenberg had his own contract renewed earlier in the year.
Perez made his Formula One debut in 2011 with Sauber, partnering Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi. At the time, he was sponsored by Mexican telecommunications company Telemex, and this sponsorship extended to Sauber.
Although his first year in the sport brought middling results, he would go on to win two podium spots the following year, in 2012. He subsequently moved to McLaren-Mercedes in 2013, replacing Lewis Hamilton who had decided to move to team Mercedes. Perez partnered Jenson Button that year, and the two shared a tenuous relationship.
He moved immediately after that season to Force India, who at the time paid €15 million for the driver. In his first year with the team, he ended its 5-year podium drought after finishing 3rd in Bahrain; Perez has previously had a podium at the taxing high-speed Monza.
2015 did not start off very strongly for the driver, but he has had points finishes at 8 of this year’s races so far, helping Force India consolidate their spot at 5th in the constructors’ rankings. Team Force India also brought an upgraded car to the Singapore Grand Prix, where Perez was the sole points earner for Force India after Hulkenberg collided with Massa.
Drivers will race at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend in Suzuka. Although Lewis Hamilton won last year’s race, proceedings were marred by the tragic accident of Jules Bianchi of Manor-Marussia. The French driver spent 9 months in a coma before succumbing to his injuries earlier this year. He was 25.