Sergio Perez admitted on Thursday that he would have had to leave Formula One had he not secured a drive with Force India.
The Mexican was replaced by Kevin Magnussen after just one season at McLaren and although several of the smaller teams were interested in acquiring his services, he revealed that he wasn't interested in a drive for a back-of-the-grid team.
"I was close [to leaving F1] because the [McLaren] decision came very late, and I was not willing to join the smaller teams," Perez told Autosport on Thursday.
"I am very hungry and willing to prove myself in F1. I always thought if I don't get the Force India drive it would be difficult to stay in F1. Luckily we got that, now we look forward to the future."
Perez added that he is eager to prove to his doubters that he can compete near the top of the F1 grid after a disappointing season at the Woking outfit.
"Of course, to prove myself to the top teams once again," Perez said of his goals while partnering Nico Hulkenberg at Sauber.
"I did it last year, so I don't see any reason why I cannot do it again. I have confidence in my talent and I know what I can do.
"We never know what the future holds, especially in Formula 1, so what I am hoping to is look back in a few years time and say this was the best thing that could have happened for my career.
"Hopefully joining Force India will be really good for my career in F1. Obviously I have big targets and dreams, and I want to make them happen."