Perez ‘flattered’ by Williams’ interest for F1 race seat

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Sergio Perez says he is “flattered” by Williams’ rumored interest in him for a Formula 1 race seat in 2017 as speculation about his future continues to swirl.

Perez has a contract with current team Force India for the 2017 season, but was known to be weighing up his options for next season along with his sponsors.

The Mexican driver was linked to moves to both Williams and Renault, but looks poised to remain with Force India for 2017 despite a delay in an announcement being made.

“No real news yet, but closing in. So let’s postpone it – before the next race in Malaysia!” Perez told the official F1 website.

“Then I should be in a position to announce my future, even though I have the impression that it is already all over town.

“But I am a suspicious person: nothing is finalized until the ink is dry on the contract.”

Perez was asked about interest from Williams, which is looking for a replacement for Felipe Massa for 2017 after the Brazilian announced he would be retiring from F1 at the end of the season.

Perez said that while he was flattered by Williams’ interest, his plan is to remain with Force India for 2017.

“First and foremost I am very proud to be part of Force India. What we’ve achieved in the past three years has been amazing, so I fully believe in the prospects of this team,” Perez said.

“I am very happy here and it’s no secret that I want to continue my career with this team.

“Speaking of Williams, I do appreciate their interest. I don’t know that team well, but they had plenty of success in the past.

“I am somewhat flattered that they considered me.”

Williams is yet to confirm either of its drivers for 2017, with Massa’s teammate Valtteri Bottas also out of contract at the end of the season.

Bottas is expected to be retained, with Sauber driver Felipe Nasr and rising F3 star Lance Stroll under consideration for the second seat.