Sergio Perez says he is relieved to have resolved his Formula One future, after announcing at the Malaysian Grand Prix that he will remain at Force India for 2017.
After months of discussions and rumours linking Perez with a move to Renault, Williams and even Haas, the Mexican finally confirmed the Force India deal after last weekend's race. Perez says he is pleased to be able to focus on the remaining five races of this season and admitted the constant delays had started to become a distraction.
"[It is] something less to worry [about] for the [rest of] the races of the year", he said. "It's always good to know what you are doing in your future, and it's good, now I can get on totally with the job. There are five races left, they are really important for the team and hopefully we can keep on doing the job we are doing the whole season.
"To be honest it was [becoming a distraction], with the uncertainty of what's going to happen. Because I came to a point where I was seriously considering it's not going to happen, it took very long, as my deals are a bit more complex than others. But especially because it was so long, it was probably the last three months not knowing where my future will be.
"It's not the best but at the end of the day I think I coped with it well. I am used to dealing with that, the rumours, uncertainty of the future and I think that helped me, what I lived in my past, to try to stay focused on my job."
When asked if he was specifically keen to only sign a one-year deal to ensure he would become a free agent in 2018 -- meaning he would be available to move to another team -- Perez insisted stability was the key to committing his short-term future to Force India.
"More than that I wanted the stability. Loyalty as well played an important role on this, because this team has been extremely good for me and my career. Going into a new generation of rules, all I wanted was to have some stability and not move around too much and obviously it was a one year option, so I want to see where we are next year and what's available for the future."