SEPTEMBER 28, 2012
McLaren confirms Perez!
McLaren has just confirmed a new multi-year deal with Sergio Perez to partner Jenson Button at McLaren, effectively confirming Lewis Hamilton's move to Mercedes.
The 22-year-old Mexican, a member of the Ferrari Young Driver Academy, which has obviously been no barrier to the move, said: "I'm thrilled and delighted. The McLaren name is one of the greatest in the history of F1. For more than 40 years McLaren has been a team that every driver has aspired to drive for and I was brought up on the great stories of Ayrton Senna's world championship triumphs for McLaren. I'm truly honoured that they've chosen me to partner Jenson from 2013 onwards.
"I am and will always be grateful to Peter Sauber and everyone involved in the team for their belief in me and for giving me the chance to race in F1.
"I'm under no illusion that it will be a big step -- as it would be for any driver -- but I'm ready for it."
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh explained: "It was a string of giant-killing performances, a trio of podiums and a brilliant fastest lap in this year's Monaco GP that showed us Sergio lacks nothing in terms of speed and commitment. We've been monitoring his progress closely for some months."
Perez thanked a number of people for their roles in his career to date, among them Telmex owner Carlos Slim. While McLaren has a title sponsorship agreement with Vodafone for 2013, a betting man may well lay money on Telmex assuming that position should Vodafone change its marketing strategy relative to F1 in the future