Perez joins Hulkenberg at Force India

Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:37pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Mexican Sergio Perez hopes to forge a winning partnership with Germany's Nico Hulkenberg after agreeing a multi-year deal to race for the Force India Formula One team.

Presented by principal and team co-owner Vijay Mallya at the Mexican ambassador's central London residence on Thursday, the 23-year-old driver said he was hungry for success after a lean year at McLaren.

"After I left McLaren, clearly my best choice was to come to Force India, because of the whole package," he told Reuters. "A very hungry team, very honest people and a great team mate...everything has really inspired me.

"I think we are, without doubt, one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid and together with Nico we can move the team forward."

The completion of Force India's 2014 line-up left Britain's Paul di Resta and Germany's Adrian Sutil seeking new employers with only Sauber, Caterham and Marussia still having seats available.

Sutil could move to Sauber while Di Resta's best bet could be the IndyCar series in America, where his cousin Dario Franchitti has just retired after winning the Indy 500 three times, or a return to the German touring car championship (DTM).

Perez joins after he was replaced at under-performing McLaren by Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen, 21, which left him scrambling to find a place.

His passage was eased by strong financial backing from Mexican sponsors, which one informed source put at 15 million euros ($20.63 million) a year, although Mallya was adamant money was not the determining factor.   Continued...

Force India Formula One driver Adrian Sutil of Germany (R) and Force India Formula One driver Paul di Resta of Britain drive during the third practice session of the U.S. F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas November 16, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Stone