Perez says he has 2019 F1 deal signed, confirmation coming soon

Sergio Perez says he already has a deal signed for the 2019 Formula 1 season, with an official announcement due shortly

Perez says he has 2019 F1 deal signed, confirmation coming soon

Perez has been driving for the entry now known as Racing Point Force India since 2014, and said during the summer break that he was close to firming up an extension after the financially-troubled team was rescued by a Lawrence Stroll-led consortium.

It is expected that Perez will partner Lance Stroll at Force India in 2019 - an outcome his current team-mate Esteban Ocon alluded to when talking to Sebastian Vettel after qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

"For me I already know what I'm doing next year," Perez told the media later in the day. "But I cannot communicate it yet."

When asked by Autosport when the official confirmation would come, Perez reckoned it would "probably" arrive before next weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

"I don't think it'll be long from now. We are not in a hurry, I think."

Perez qualified fourth at Spa, as Force India locked out the second row in mixed conditions.

But with the track drying at the end of Q3, Perez believed he had a shot at battling for pole position.

The two Force India drivers had stayed out early in the final qualifying segment as the rain began to fall, with Perez having two major moments while running on slicks.

He set his first and only laptime of the session moments after the chequered flag had come out, finishing 3.7s off the pace in fourth.

But he reckoned he would have made huge gains on his second lap if he had crossed the start/finish line before the clock ran out.

"We thought we were on time for the two laps, but unfortunately we lost the second lap by one second, which would have made a massive difference for us today," Perez said.

"We had three seconds, three and a half seconds to find, to improve, to be in P1. But certainly there was a lot of potential.

"Normally when you compare people across the first lap to the second, they found about three seconds or so.

"Could've been a fight, probably, for pole position."

Perez said locking out the second row was a huge result for Force India given its recent turmoil - and hoped it made all the team's current and former staff proud.

"It shows the capacity that this team has, and the future it has," he said.

"Today is a day that I want everyone to feel proud. I want Vijay [Mallya], I want Bob [Fernley], I want ex-members, current members, ex-drivers, everyone, to feel very proud of this team.

"Also the new owners, everyone. It's a massive day and it just shows the potential that this team has."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Sergio Perez
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
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