Find out more about our subscriptions

Sergio Perez says he nearly quit F1 after losing McLaren drive

Sergio Perez has revealed that he came close to quitting Formula 1 last year after losing his place at McLaren.

Having got his career back on track with a podium finish for Force India in the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Mexican has admitted that there was a chance he would not even be in F1 this year.

"When the McLaren decision came I was really frustrated with how things went," he said. "I said to myself it isn't for me. I was not willing to just go to anything.

"I really wanted to find the thing that motivated me to stay in F1 because otherwise I was willing to look for other options.

"But when the Force India came it was a straight forward decision, and we managed to do a deal."

Perez believes that his strong run in Bahrain, after two disappointing opening races, has vindicated his decision to remain in grand prix racing, and he believes he now has a bright future again in the sport.

"This is Formula 1," he said. "It changes your life from one day to another.

"Now that I look back I'm very proud of myself, and now it's time to look forward. We know in Formula 1 you go from hero to zero. And the opposite way as well.

"So now it's time to look forward. I have a very good experience from my time in McLaren and they made me a much better driver.

"But Bahrain was my first weekend of the year without having any issues, and there was some very encouraging pace. So now I am looking forward."

And with his podium finish having helped Force India to second in the constructors' championship, Perez reckons that ambitions can be set quite high for the rest of the season.

"I think there's more to come," he said. "It's only my third race but I signed with Force India very late, so my adaptation has been slow to try to get to know everyone.

"So to get it on the podium in the third race is pretty amazing."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed