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Di Resta looks for a fresh challenge as Perez takes his Force India seat

Sergio Perez yesterday replaced Scotland's Paul Di Resta at Force India with the intention of rebuilding his Formula One career at a team he claims was his "first choice" destination after leaving McLaren.

Force India Team Principle Vijay Mallya greets Sergio Perez
Force India Team Principle Vijay Mallya greets Sergio Perez

The 23-year-old Mexican signed a multi-year deal with the Silverstone-based team and will partner Nico Hulkenberg next season.

Di Resta responded to the news on Twitter, saying: "Just want to take this opportunity to thank @clubforce for 4 great years. As a team we've come a long way in our time together.

"But it's now time for a new challenge for me in the next phase of my career and I wish them all the best for the future #beenapleasure"

The 27-year-old Scot's next challenge may lie away from Formula One, with Hulkenberg's vacated seat at Sauber appearing to be his only hope for a competitive drive in 2014.

The Swiss team are searching for a partner for the untried Russian Sergey Sirotkin, while backmarkers Caterham and Marussia are also yet to complete their line-ups but would represent a major step back.

Di Resta could return to the German Touring Car Championship, which he won in 2010, or follow in the footsteps of his cousin Dario Franchitti and compete in America's IndyCar series.

Perez, who spent just a year at McLaren after being selected to replace Lewis Hamilton following a highly-impressive 2012 at Sauber, found it difficult to impress in an uncompetitive car last season.

The Mexican, whose best finish in 2013 was a fifth place at the Indian Grand Prix, has been replaced at McLaren by Kevin Magnussen and will now bid to reclaim the hard-racing reputation he earned during his two-year stint at Sauber. "Coming here was always my first choice and I'm really happy everything has now been confirmed," said Perez.

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