OCTOBER 4, 2010
Sauber confirms Perez and Telmex
As we predicted, Sauber has today confirmed a partnership with Mexican telecommunications company Telmex and has signed 20-year-old GP2 series runner-up Sergio Perez to partner Kamui Kobayashi in 2011.
Telmex is owned by Carlos Slim Helu, the world's richest man. Perez has been a member of Escuderia Telmex, which supports drivers in various categories, for a number of years. Mentored by Indycar series runner-up Adrian Fernandez, he contested two years in Formula BMW before moving to British F3 and then becoming the youngest GP2 Asia race winner at 18.
"Formula One is the dream of every young racing driver and now this dream is about to come true for me," Perez said. "Although I'm very much aware that this is also a big challenge and responsibility, I'm happy to accept that and am proud to be representing my country in the highest category of motor racing. I would like to thank Peter Sauber for the faith he's shown in me and I'll do everything I can to make the most of this wonderful opportunity."
Peter Sauber added: "Sergio has been on a continuous upward curve over the past few years. He demonstrated his fighting spirit in races over the course of last season and proved that he's ready to take the step up into F1. I look forward to working with him and am in no doubt that we will have a strong driver pairing."
Sauber also announced the start of a wider partnership with Telmex, whose logos will be prevalent on cars which have been largely bereft of backing in 2010.
The 43-year-old Carlos Slim Domit is the eldest son of the Mexican business tycoon and the man behind the Slims' racing programme. Also the chairman of Telmex, he commented: "Sauber has been not only a very successful racing team but also a strong talent developer of some of the most recognised names in racing since their early stages, as well as one of the most respected people in the sport. Their decision of having Sergio with them is very significant to him becoming a top driver representing Mexico. For Telmex and our racing project, Escuderia Telmex, it's a great step forward, and we feel very proud to be able to consolidate these years of work and have a Mexican driver in F1 with Sauber Motorsport."
Rather than a total sell-out, Peter Sauber is speaking of his desire to see a 'fruitful partnership' with Telmex, but it would be no surprise to see 45-year-old racer/entrepreneur Fernandez performing a leading role within the team.