Sergio Perez has described 2018 as the "most complicated" season of his career due to what has occurred both on and off the track. Force India started the year behind rivals Renault and Haas, but managed to pick up an unexpected podium at Baku.
As the mid-season approached, the pink panthers improved its results, however behind the scenes, the team was stooping downwards and towards bankruptcy. During the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, it entered admission with the hope of finding a buyer.
A consortium of investors, led by Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll, purchased the team and secured its future in the sport. Since then, Perez has signed a contract extension with the Silverstone squad that will keep him tied for a sixth consecutive year.
Force India's points were reset at the Belgian Grand Prix following the change in ownership, however it has climbed its way back into seventh place. This weekend in Abu Dhabi, Perez is aiming to end his hectic year on a high.
"Abu Dhabi will be the closing chapter of a very unusual year for both me and the team,” Perez said. “It was probably the most complicated season of my career, having to deal with so many things happening inside and outside the cockpit.
“The final race of the year is the opportunity to look back at the work we have done in the last twelve months and I am proud and grateful to everyone working back at the factory, in the garage, and in the hospitality. This team never stops fighting; we never stop working and now we are looking at a very promising future. I am really happy to be part of this family and I am already looking forward to 2019.”
Perez has set his sights on claiming the 'best of the rest' spot in the driver's championship, looking to turn over the 11-point deficit to Renault's Nico Hulkenberg and end the season in seventh place for the third season in a row.
“[Abu Dhabi] is a track where we have been competitive for the last few years and I would love to end the season with a strong result,” he said. “I am still aiming for seventh place in the drivers’ championship.
“I know it is going to be hard, but on Sunday anything can happen and I want to be ready if the chance is there. The team is also aiming for sixth place in the constructors’ so we need to deliver a perfect weekend.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing