SEPANG, Malaysia (AFP) - Sergio Perez warned on Thursday that he could walk away from Formula One if he cannot secure a seat for the 2017 season by next week's Japanese Grand Prix.
The 26-year-old indicated at the Singapore Grand Prix two weeks ago that he would like to stay with Force India for 2017, after being sounded out by Renault.
But the Mexican is frustrated at delays in striking a deal.
"I believe that next week is crucial to sort out my future, so by next week I need to know if the option remains or if I have to look somewhere else (other than Formula One)," Perez told reporters ahead of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.
"At the moment I hope it works out with one team, and if it doesn't then by next week we will have to look at something else. Obviously I want to keep my career in Formula One going, but I cannot wait much longer."
Perez was asked about rumours that the deal has been delayed because he only wants a one-year deal, to keep his options open for a move to the works-backed Renault team for 2018.
"Other people are saying that," Perez replied. "But for me it's more important going into the next generation of cars with a team I know, and with people around me I know, and build from that.
"I don't even know where I'll be in 2017, so 2018 is miles ahead."
Perez is eighth in the drivers' standings with 66 points.