Sergio Perez says he was “quite stunned” to learn that Nico Hulkenberg was taking the Renault race-seat that he had rejected.
Last season Renault were known to be chasing Perez, however, instead of swapping to the struggling manufacturer team, he opted to remain with Force India.
That was later followed by an announcement that his team-mate Hulkenberg would be heading to Renault.
“To be honest, I was quite stunned about it,” Perez told Autosport.
“I knew Nico was very high on their list and I knew if I didn’t go there they’d definitely look at him.
“They are taking a great driver.
“Only time will tell who took the right decision but I’m happy with the three seasons that I had together with him.”
Perez and Hulkenberg first teamed up in 2014, which was the only season in which the German finished ahead in the Drivers’ Championship.
It was, however, Hulkenberg’s second stint with Force India as he previously raced for the team in 2012 having spent 2011 as their test driver.
Perez added: “We spent three years working together and they went really quick.
“I think we learned a lot from each other.
“It’s time for Nico to move on to a new challenge.
“Nico had been longer than myself in the team, so he probably felt the need to work with new people, something different, to learn new things.
“It was great to learn so many things from Nico.”