MARINA BAY, Singapore -- Sergio Perez says it is "just a matter of time" before he signs a new contract with Force India, admitting it is a difficult time to secure a top drive in Formula One.
Perez had been linked with a move to Renault for 2018, but with Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz expected to join the French team as part of a wider deal for Toro Rosso to switch from Renault engines to Honda, the Mexican's options now appear to be limited. The top three teams -- Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull -- have all announced their driver line-ups for 2018, making a contract extension at Force India Perez's best option.
"It's difficult to figure out what to do given that the driver market is not moving too much," Perez said ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix. "There's not really a seat in a top team or an opportunity to move up the grid.
"There are two options [with other teams], to be quite frank, but I don't want to comment too much on those."
Despite the limitations, Perez is both confident and pleased with how his contract negotiations are progressing at Force India and expects to put pen to paper in the near future.
"I'm really close to signing the contract," he said. "[Force India] is a team that is definitely capable of giving you a car that you can show your talent in. That's very important and I feel it's a great place for me."
Perez has been in the Formula One spotlight since causing a dangerous collision with teammate Esteban Ocon in Spa last month. Despite questions being raised as to whether the pair could continue on together, it now appears likely they will partner up again in 2018.
While optimistic about his contract, Perez, who sits seventh in the championship with 58 points, was less convinced about Force India's chances this weekend in Singapore.
"It's definitely going to be a big challenge given that the engine is not so important around here," he said. "You will have the Renaults, the Toro Rossos, the Haas and the McLarens pushing us. It's going to be an intense weekend."