Sergio Perez has revealed that he is close to finalising a deal that would see him remain at Force India in 2019. The Mexican would likely team with Lance Stroll next year, after the Canadian's billionaire father completed a takeover last month.
Stroll's consortium stepped in to save the team after it was put into administration as a result of action taken by Perez and his team to protect - an ultimately save - 406 jobs at the Silverstone-based squad.
Perez had also been linked with moves to Sauber or Haas if Force India did not opt to pick up the renewal option in his deal, but the driver has suggested that a sixth year with his current employers is on the cards.
"I think it's a great opportunity to continue with the team," he told Fox Sports. "When you don't have a chance at Ferrari or Mercedes, I think Force India is a very attractive option.
"We are almost there [for 2019]. In fact, it's just a matter of days or weeks. It's just about clearing up the situation with the team.
"My contract doesn't need signing. The renewal [option] is there and it's just about seeing what position the team is in to continue."
Mercedes may be able to put Ocon into a Williams seat, as they had with their other engine customer Force India, while he has also been linked to McLaren as a partner for Carlos Sainz.
News of Perez's likely deal with Force India came as the team's future began to take shape somewhat.
The Force India name is expected to leave F1 in 2019 as Stroll looks to rebrand the team and former title sponsor Sahara was dropped from the team's social media profiles on Monday as the new era begins to take shape.
Hello everyone, we’re back after our summer break!
Did we miss anything while we were away? Drivers’ market, big announcements... surely not? Everyone was on holiday anyway... ???? — Force India F1 (@ForceIndiaF1) August 20, 2018