Force India's Perez knows next move key to Formula 1 career

Sergio Perez believes his next move in Formula 1 is key and he is using the experience from difficult times in the past to make a decision on his future

Force India's Perez knows next move key to Formula 1 career

The Mexican has a contract with Force India but has said he can leave the team at the end of the season, with his sponsors ultimately controlling his destiny.

Your guide to the 2017 Formula 1 driver market

A rising star following a breakout season with Sauber, Perez replaced Lewis Hamilton at McLaren in 2013 but it coincided with the team's slump in form - McLaren's first campaign without a podium since 1980 - and he was dropped after one season.

Perez, who had to cut his Ferrari ties to take the McLaren drive, has said that season damaged his reputation and he has had to work hard to rebuild his career.

But he has done that impressively, joining Force India in 2014 and becoming its most successful driver, with four podiums over three years, and it has emerged Renault and Williams are keen on his services next year.

When asked if his next move in F1 was key, Perez told Autosport: "Yes, definitely.

"It's a very important part of my career as I'm not that young anymore and I need to move up in the next couple of years.

"I'm taking a lot of things into consideration that in the past I didn't.

"It's the way I'm approaching my future."

Now in his sixth season, Perez says he wants to ensure he enjoys the time he has left in F1, but equally feels he could be around for another decade.

"I want to enjoy the moment as much as I can because life in F1 goes so quick," he said.

"If I get the opportunity to fight for the title then great, but if I don't, I just have to do what I can out of my opportunities.

"At the moment, I'm enjoying it a lot.

"I'm 26, so hopefully there is a good 10 years ahead that I can be around F1."

Perez expects his future to be clearer by the end of the summer break.

"I hope it can be solved soon," he said. "When I come back for Spa, everything should be done.

"There are drivers who don't know if they will be here next year.

"It's not my case fortunately, I'm lucky that I'm in a very strong position."

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