Sergio Perez believes that time is on his side as he looks to secure a seat with a top Formula 1 team in the future, with his plans for 2017 still yet to be defined.
Perez has led Force India’s charge in 2016, scoring two podium finishes to lift the team to fifth place in the constructors’ championship behind Williams.
Perez’s impressive form led to speculation about a possible move up the grid for 2017, the Mexican being tipped as a possible replacement for Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari.
Ferrari opted to stick with Raikkonen for next season, but Force India team owner Vijay Mallya said at Silverstone he had already signed Perez and teammate Nico Hulkenberg up for 2017 anyway.
Perez has stated on multiple occasions that a firm decision on his future has not been taken, and will be discussed with his sponsors over the summer.
Speaking to the official F1 website, Perez said that although his backing from Mexican telecoms giant Carlos Slim helps, the teams he wants to race for do not take financial backing into serious consideration.
“Top teams are always looking for the best possible drivers,” Perez said.
“But I also know that I am in a privileged position as I have that support that not many drivers have.
“But to be honest: the teams that I am eyeing are not really to be impressed by money – only performance.”
After being re-signed by Ferrari, Raikkonen said he took pleasure in ending the hopes of drivers who may have wanted his seat. Perez responded to this by saying he had time on his side at just 26 years old.
“Well, regardless of seeing Kimi’s pleasure having signed for one more year, it is only one more year,” Perez said.
“And time is on my side!”
While question marks remain when it comes to Perez’s future at Force India, Hulkenberg confirmed on Thursday in Germany that he will be racing for the team next year.