Sergio Perez has admitted that moving to Renault had been a serious option for him, before he eventually decided to commit his Formula 1 future to Force India.
The Mexican's contract extension for 2016 was announced ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, and the news brought a swift end to speculation linking him with a move to join the potential new works team being put together by the French car manufacturer.
But although talks with Renault took place, in the end Perez believed his immediate future was best placed staying put for another year.
His deal is for one year, with options beyond that.
When asked by Motorsport.com about the Renault interest, Perez said: “Obviously you always listen to other options and other offers, and obviously Renault – if they come – they are a very attractive team.
“But at the moment, I knew that the best for me and the best place available was staying here.”
Perez made it clear, however, that continued uncertainty about if Renault's plans will get the green light was not a factor in his decision.
“No. It has nothing to do with that,” he explained. “It was obviously a serious option but for me I always made my mind clear, knowing the prospects of the team and knowing what we were doing in the background.
“That is why I always wanted to stay. I am very happy to stay.”
Force India progress
Perez is upbeat about the potential for Force India next year, and thinks the outfit can make progress to challenge nearer the front.
“I am very happy here, and I believe in the team,” he said. “I think the team has very good prospects in the future.
“We are improving what we did last year and I see no reason why next year we cannot do even better than this year.
“I think the team is finding good stability in all the aspects, which definitely is important for us. That made me feel very comfortable with my decision and I want to say I am happy to confirm that one now.”