Sergio Perez sticking with Force India for 2018

Force India F1 driver Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez is seventh in the drivers standings- one place ahead of team-mate Esteban Ocon

Perez now sits seventh in the drivers' championship - the same position he secured last season - and Force India team principal Vijay Mallya says the consistency provided by the drivers is crucial to trying to continue his team's success. "It's a team that has allowed me to show my talents as a driver and I feel very happy here", Perez said in a statement.

Sergio Perez has extended his Force India contract into 2018, the Formula One team said on Sunday, prolonging his sometimes fractious partnership with team-mate Esteban Ocon.

Perez has won four out of the five podiums in the teams history.

It remains to be seen whether Perez will remain with Force India beyond 2018, as it is likely positions at Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull will open up at that time.

Perez is now seventh in the overall standings, three points ahead of Ocon in eighth.

The 27-year-old, who had been in the frame for a Renault drive before the French team committed to Carlos Sainz, said staying was an "easy decision".

The Mexican added: "I'm proud of everything we have achieved and I think there is more to come".

"The team has done an incredible job this year to develop the auto and establish our position as the fourth best team in Formula One".

"Sergio has played an important role in our success story over the last few years".

Perez has seven F1 podiums in his career, four with Force India and the other three all during a breakthrough season with Sauber in 2012 that earned him a move to McLaren in 2013. "Since joining us in 2014, he has matured to become one of the quickest and most consistent drivers on the grid", said Force India team principal and managing director Vijay Mallya.

"Alongside Esteban, retaining Sergio gives us stability going into next season and one of the most exciting driver pairings in Formula One".

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