August 30, 2019 / 5:44 PM / 20 days ago

Perez to stay with F1 team Racing Point for three more years

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (Reuters) - Sergio Perez will stay at Racing Point until at least 2022 after singing a fresh three-year deal, the Canadian Formula One team said on Friday.

Formula One F1 - Belgian Grand Prix - Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot, Belgium - August 30, 2019 Racing Point's Sergio Perez during practice REUTERS/Johanna Geron

The Mexican will partner Lance Stroll, son of team owner and Canadian billionaire Lawrence, in an unchanged line up for the Silverstone-based outfit.

The deal was announced after Friday’s practice sessions for the Belgian Grand Prix.

“I’ve been working together with this group of people for a long time now and they have become my second family,” Perez said in a statement.

“I have been impressed with the direction the team has taken over the last twelve months and that gives me confidence for the future.

“I believe the best times are still to come and I look forward to celebrating plenty of podiums in the years ahead.”

Perez joined Racing Point when in 2014 when it was co-owned by troubled Indian magnate Vijay Mallya.

The team’s assets were bought out of administration by a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll last July, with the squad starting over as Racing Point at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix.

The change of ownership brought some much needed fresh investment to the team which is now in the process of building for the future.

“Over the last six years we have seen him (Perez) become a very complete driver with excellent qualifying speed and exceptional race craft,” said team principal Otmar Szafnauer.

“Sergio believes in the long-term vision of this project and getting his commitment until the end of 2022 gives us valuable consistency going forward.”

Perez, who brings important financial backing from Mexican sponsors, has scored five podiums for the team in his career and his confirmation was considered a formality.

The news is the latest in a flurry of announcements that kicked off Formula One’s first weekend back after its annual mid-season break.

Mercedes on Thursday said it would keep Valtteri Bottas alongside Lewis Hamilton for another year while Renault said Frenchman Esteban Ocon had signed to drive alongside Daniel Ricciardo starting next season.

Reporting by Abhishek Takle; editing by Christian Radnedge

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