Formula One: Force India's Mexican driver Sergio Perez extends contract until 2018

Singapore: Sergio Perez has extended his Force India contract into 2018, the Formula One team said on Sunday, prolonging his sometimes fractious partnership with team-mate Esteban Ocon.

Perez and Ocon have had their differences and this season they became embroiled in a row over team orders, and collided at both Azerbaijan and Belgium, before burying the hatchet.

Formula One - F1 - Italian Grand Prix 2017 - Monza, Italy - August 31, 2017 Force India's Sergio Perez during the press conference REUTERS/Max Rossi - RC16A1573E30

File photo of Force India's Sergio Perez. Reuters

However, Perez is Force India's most successful driver to date with four podiums, and the 27-year-old Mexican said it wasn't a hard decision to extend his contract.

"Staying with Sahara Force India was always my priority. It's a team that has allowed me to show my talents as a driver and I feel very happy here," Perez said in a statement.

"I'm proud of everything we have already achieved together and I think there is more to come. The team has done an amazing job this year to develop the car and establish our position as the fourth best team in Formula One.

"In the end, it was an easy decision to continue our journey together."

'Checo' Perez impressed with Sauber after he entered F1 in 2011 and he graduated to McLaren in 2013, before joining Force India a year later. He is currently seventh in the drivers' standings.

Force India team principal and managing director Vijay Mallya called Perez "one of the quickest and most consistent drivers on the grid".

"Alongside Esteban, retaining Sergio gives us stability going into next season and one of the most exciting driver pairings in Formula One," Mallya said.

Updated Date: Sep 17, 2017 17:15 PM

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