SERGIO Perez has said he took the legal action that put Force India into administration only to save the team.
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The Mexican driver said afterwards that he had been asked to act by team members and did so to protect them.
“The last month or so has been extremely tough for me, with the situation our team was in, and I ended up in the middle,” he said.
“We got to a point where action had to be taken, to protect the 400 people that work in the team.
“I should not really like to be involved in this because at the end of the day I’m just a driver, but it got too much and I was asked by a couple of members of the team to go ahead and save the team.
“There was a winding up petition from another customer, which would have closed down the team completely. Therefore, I was asked to basically save the team — to pull the trigger and put the team into administration.
“It has nothing to do with my outstanding amounts. The only reason I’ve done it is to save the team and for the better future of the team.
“It was extremely hard, emotionally and mentally. It’s really tough. I haven’t been able to focus on my driving.
“I don’t really understand all the terms with the lawyers, but certainly the bottom line of this is that we either do this or the team will have gone bust.”
Force India went into administration following a High Court hearing in London on Friday evening.
This will prevent the team being wound up in a separate legal action.
Perez added that he felt his heart was “really broken” by taking action that affects the team’s main shareholder Vijay Mallya who is fighting extradition to India from Britain after being accused of financial irregularities.
Earlier, Force India said that they felt no animosity towards Perez for taking legal action.
The team’s deputy principal Bob Fernley made this clear when drivers Esteban Ocon and Perez qualified 18th and 19th for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
“There can’t be any animosity,” Fernley told www.autosport.com. “Whatever happens, like everybody else, ‘Checo’ (Perez) is entitled to be paid. “Unfortunately we were not in a position to be able to pay him, and patience runs out for everybody. So, that’s a process.
“I don’t think we in any way look negatively at him. The responsibility for payment is on the team, not on Checo.
“He’s been put in a difficult position. I think we have to respect his position, and not criticise it.”
Perez’s Mexican sponsorship has been a mainstay of the team’s operations since he joined in 2014 and helps to ensure he is paid his salary.