Sergio Perez insists he could leave Force India

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Sergio Perez says he could leave Force India at the end of the 2016 Formula 1 season despite team principal Vijay Mallya saying he had re-signed.

The Mexican had been linked with Ferrari before Kimi Raikkonen’s new 2017 deal was announced and then Mallya confirmed to Autosport that Perez’s deal had actually been concluded much earlier this season.

But when asked if it was possible to leave Force India after this season, Perez told reporters in Germany: “Yes.”

He added: “It’s up to me and the group of sponsors on what to do.

“The decision is not only down to me, I’m a lucky driver to have so much support.

“If we move around teams, we take the decision together with the group of sponsors that I have.

“That decision has not been taken.”

Autosport understands Williams and Renault are both potentially interested in signing Perez.

Perez said that he hoped to have something sorted by the end of the summer but conceded his deals take longer because it needs agreement with his sponsors.

“I hope I can come back after the summer break knowing what the future holds for me – that would be ideal,” he said.

“But you never know in this business.

“My deals are not so simple, I have a lot of sponsors that have to do deals so it takes longer than if I was another driver going into another team or doing just a contract with Force India etc.

“I hope that at least I can come back from the summer break knowing what is going to happen with my future.”

When it was suggested that it is difficult to judge which team to move to given the gap between the top three teams – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – and the rest of the field, Perez replied: “We’re so closely matched those teams.

“The last race McLaren and Toro Rosso were stronger but when we come to a more engine dependent circuit, we seem to be stronger. It’s so up and down.

“The top three teams seem to be on another level and then it’s the rest of us fighting for the rest.”

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