Sergio Perez has admitted that he nearly quit Formula One after being ditched by McLaren at the end of last season.
After finishing on the podium for Force India in Bahrain last week, the Mexican admitted to Autosport during an exclusive interview that he, at one stage, doubted whether or not he would ever have that opportunity.
"When the McLaren decision came I was really frustrated with how things went," he told Autosport.
"I said to myself it isn't for me. I was not willing to just go to anything.
"I really wanted to find the thing that motivated me to stay in F1 because otherwise I was willing to look for other options.
"But when the Force India came it was a straight forward decision, and we managed to do a deal."
While he had two poor races to start the season, Perez believes his podium finish at Sakhir has confirmed what he has always known - he has a future at the front end of the grid.
"This is Formula One," he continued.
"It changes your life from one day to another.
"Now that I look back I'm very proud of myself, and now it's time to look forward. We know in Formula 1 you go from hero to zero. And the opposite way as well.
"So now it's time to look forward. I have a very good experience from my time in McLaren and they made me a much better driver.
"But Bahrain was my first weekend of the year without having any issues, and there was some very encouraging pace. So now I am looking forward.
"I think there's more to come.
"It's only my third race but I signed with Force India very late, so my adaptation has been slow to try to get to know everyone.
"So to get it on the podium in the third race is pretty amazing."
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