Perez will be driving at Force India alongside Nico Hulkenberg, and takes the place of Adrian Sutil, who in turn is moving to Sauber (where he's all but certain to partner with newcomer Sergey Sirotkin). A far more experienced driver than any of the other drivers named here, Sutil has been on the grid since 2007 with the same team since it was known as Spyker – but in six seasons has failed to score a single podium finish. Perez, meanwhile, landed on the steps three times (all in his second season at Sauber).
We're still waiting on word as to what Sutil's former wingman Paul di Resta (who was also released by Force India) will do next season. The Mercedes protégé is tipped to potentially return next season to DTM, the German touring car series that he dominated in 2010. Following these announcements (which you can read below), the only teams with seats still open are Caterham and Marussia.
12 Dec 2013
Sahara Force India is delighted to announce the signing of Sergio Perez as race driver for the team in 2014 and beyond.
The 23-year-old Mexican completes Sahara Force India's 2014 line-up alongside Nico Hülkenberg and helps create one of the most exciting pairings on the grid.
Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: "It's a pleasure to welcome Sergio to the team. He brings a healthy mix of youth and experience, and I've been very impressed with his recent performances. He already has several podium finishes to his name and being chosen by McLaren last year was a clear indication that he is a driver to watch for the future. We also recognise Sergio's incredible talent and we are proud to have him in our team. He clearly has great speed and plenty of fire in his belly. Our job is to make sure he settles in quickly by creating the right atmosphere so that he can realise his potential. By pairing Sergio alongside Nico, we enter the new season with an extremely competitive line-up, which will go toward helping us achieve our goals for the new season."
Sergio Perez: "It's great to announce my new team as Sahara Force India. Coming here was always my first choice and I'm really happy everything has now been confirmed. I want to say thank you to Vijay and the whole team for giving me the opportunity. This is a young team with a lot of determination and they've produced competitive cars for the last few years. It's all change for next season with the new regulations, but I already have a good feeling about 2014. My plan now is to visit the factory and get to know everyone in the team."
Sauber F1 Team announces Adrian Sutil as its driver for 2014
13.12.2013 - Hinwil, 13th December 2013 - The Sauber F1 Team is pleased to announce Adrian Sutil as one of its drivers in 2014. The German will embark on his seventh season in Formula One with the Swiss outfit.
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal:
"We are pleased, that we were able to sign Adrian, particularly as we have been wanting to work together with him for a while. Adrian had already visited the factory at the end of September to have a look at the infrastructure. Adrian is not only very fast, but also brings a lot of experience, which is very important looking at the new regulations for next year. We welcome Adrian to the Sauber F1 Team and look forward to a successful collaboration."
"I am very happy that we found common ground. Although I have known for a while where I wanted to go, in the end the negotiations took a bit longer than planned. However, now I will have all the more reason to celebrate during the Christmas season. I've been in contact with Monisha for a while and she always gave me the feeling my qualities are valued. After six good years driving for Force India, with a lot of highlights, it's now time to embark on a new challenge. I am determined to do my part in order to have a successful future together with the Sauber F1 Team. The long and successful tradition in motorsport, combined with an impressive factory and one of the best wind tunnels in F1, have been fascinating me for a long time. Thank you to Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn for your trust in me."
The second driver for the 2014 season will be announced at a later date.