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Formula 1: Sergio Perez signs with Force India for 2014, beyond

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Mexican race car driver Sergio Perez has signed a multi-year contract to race for the Sahara Force India Formula 1 racing team. The announcement was made on Thursday, December 12 at a press conference at the Mexican Embassy in London, as well as on the team's website.

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According to Force India, Mr. Perez's ride will begin with the 2014 season; however, the contract announcement also indicated that its term will go "beyond" that one year. In 2014, Perez will drive alongside team-mate, Nico Hulkenberg, whose new drive was also made official by the team earlier this month.

According to Formula 1, when driving his single year with McLaren alongside Jenson Button in 2013, Perez finished just out of the top 10, coming in 11th in the drivers’ standings with 49 points. This is one position and two points behind his new team-mate, Hulkenberg. The 2014 season will mark the fourth full year of Formula One competition for both new Force India drivers.

About the new deal, Team Principal and Managing Director, Vijay Mallya said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Sergio to the team. He brings a healthy mix of youth and experience, and I’ve been very impressed with his recent performances. He already has several podium finishes to his name and being chosen by McLaren last year was a clear indication that he is a driver to watch for the future. We also recognise Sergio’s incredible talent and we are proud to have him in our team. He clearly has great speed and plenty of fire in his belly. Our job is to make sure he settles in quickly by creating the right atmosphere so that he can realise his potential. By pairing Sergio alongside Nico, we enter the new season with an extremely competitive line-up, which will go toward helping us achieve our goals for the new season.”

For his part, Mr. Perez stated, according to Force India, "It’s great to announce my new team as Sahara Force India. Coming here was always my first choice and I’m really happy everything has now been confirmed. I want to say thank you to Vijay and the whole team for giving me the opportunity. This is a young team with a lot of determination and they’ve produced competitive cars for the last few years. It’s all change for next season with the new regulations, but I already have a good feeling about 2014. My plan now is to visit the factory and get to know everyone in the team.”

Perez and Hulkenberg replace both drivers from Force India's 2013 team, Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil. Last year, the team came in sixth in the Formula 1 Constructor's World Championship with 77 points.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. With a historic racer from upstate New York, she is working on a new book about racing.

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