Sergio Perez, Sauber, Singapore, 2012

Perez says he feels ready to join a top team

2012 Singapore Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez, Sauber, Singapore, 2012Sergio Perez says he feels ready to join a top team despite Luca di Montezemolo’s repeated insistence he is not experienced enough to drive for Ferrari.

Speaking in the press conference ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix Perez said he “fully respects” Montezemolo’s view.

The Sauber driver added: “It’s only my second year in Formula 1. I feel ready to do a good job to a top team, to be able to fight for the title, for the championship. So in that respect I feel ready but I fully respect his opinion.”

Perez denied he’d had approaches from any major teams for next season and played down speculation he could join McLaren:

“Regarding the McLaren rumours, as I say there are so many rumours around. Before it was Ferrari and now it’s McLaren.

“Always when I have a good race, they put me in a different team. So the most important thing is to keep doing a good job and maximise the car potential we have for the next races.”

Perez said that his association with Ferrari would not be an obstacle to him joining McLaren if the opportunity arose:

“No, not really. I have a nice connection to Ferrari through the Ferrari Academy but I am just part of the Ferrari Academy, not part of the Ferrari team. So it doesn’t affect [it].”

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Keith Collantine
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32 comments on “Perez says he feels ready to join a top team”

  1. I wonder whether if it transpires there is a real chance of a role going at McLaren/Mercades next season Luca might change his tune; it’s one thing saying he’s inexperienced when there is no where else for him to go but another if there is a seat at another of the big three + mercades…

    1. He won’t change tune. He said it twice this year and there was a reason for it. If Perez accepted being Alonso’s lapdog, right now we would have confirmation of his move to Ferrari. But Checo refused to be “team player” for Scuderia and that is why di Montezemolo is saying he’s ‘inexperienced’, that’s the only reason for it. Perez himself thinks he’s good for wins and fighting for championship and together with his management is smart enough to know he won’t get that opportunity at Ferrari, where Alonso is really The King.

      Just look what Ferrari and Alonso is looking for:

      Alonso says Ferrari’s main priority for his team-mate should be to find someone who respects Ferrari and works for the team. Also labeled the drivers linked to Massa’s seat as “little names”.

      1. Exactly, Perez is a rising star and everybody knows playing second fiddle to Alonso until 2017 will ruin his career.

        I actually believe di Montezemolo could be planning to use McLaren or another top team as a training/proving ground for Perez until Alonso calls it quits, so they can lure in an established star as a replacement and Ferrari will continue looking like the team every great driver wants to go to.

        1. I personally think Perez will be fast enough to regularly challenge Alonso, and occasionally beat him although Fred will probably come out on top at the end of the season.

  2. So Ferrari seems likely to re-sign Massa by now (Alonso wants a teammate to respect his interests – see today’s press conferences), and McLaren is probably working on keeping Hamilton with them.

    Lets then start the Perez to Red Bull rumours :-)

    1. I would love to see Perez with the Mac team, also I want MS to stay with the Merc team, that way they could say byby to Hamilton and leave him without a drive, that would shrink his head a few inches

      Hamilton has grown too sulky and thinks he is greater than all, he needs a huge shock and lesson to bring him back to earth

      1. As much as Hamilton irritates me personality wise and I think his ego is a little inflated at times. I do believe he’s probably the fastest driver on the grid when he gets his head in the right place.

        It’s just a shame he booted his dad from his Management team, he doesn’t have somebody to take the heat off him and keep him out of trouble so he can focus soley on his racing.

        1. Completely agree. Not a fan of him as a person.. but he is absolutely awesome when he’s focused purely on racing.

  3. And rightly so. He improved massively from last year and right now he’s ready for it. McLaren, that is :D

  4. If Perez goes to McLaren, then Ferrari will once again be undone by their failure to act on young talent programs. There was a time when they would have pounced on the likes of Vettel and Hamilton, but they have been forced to sit back and watch powerlessly as Red Bull and McLaren swept them up and turned them into World Champions. I know they’re Ferrari, the team that every driver wants to race for, but at this rate, they’re only going to get talented drivers late in their careers once the other teams have finished with them. They’ll have gone from being motor racing’s most prestigious team to being motor racing’s most prestigious nursing home. Now that they’ve finally gotten their act together and found a talent in Sergio Perez, they’re in danger of losing him before they can put him to good use, spirited away by a rival team.

    Fool me once, shame on you.

    Fool me twice, shame on me.

    1. I pretty much agree, although I don’t think Hamilton is a great example to make your point with: he was “swept up” by McLaren pretty early in his career!
      I agree it’s a shame that they don’t take risks with rookie talent. About the only thing I respect them for is sticking with Massa after his accident, but I expect that even there, their motives aren’t my cup of tea but rather a reflection of something I don’t like about that team: the #1 driver philosophy. Each to their own but that’s always turned me off. And though I wish it were different that’s gone on too long now, Massa needs to find a place where he can shine again and Ferrari needs to find some balls. But they won’t, they’ll get another #2 driver. I guess the plus side is it let them bag the most complete driver to take point

    2. @prisoner-monkeys I’m not sure if Ferrari really want Perez and if they plan to put him alongside Alonso in 2014, 2015 or even later. If the rumours that Vettel is going to join Ferrari in a year or two from now are true (and I think they are), then it doesn’t make much sense for Ferrari to hire Perez for 2013 or try to keep him from joining McLaren (or any other team).

      I don’t know how much money Ferrari have invested in Perez and how seriously they take their young driver scheme in general but it could well be that the Mexican has never been more than their plan B. Unless Ferrari are paranoically afraid of any new team mate for Alonso and plan to stick with Massa until the end of Alonso’s Ferrari career, LdM’s and Alonso’s statements don’t sound reasonable. OK, Massa might have reached a lot in the past but that doesn’t mean anything today. Now he is underperforming and, while Perez might not be very consistent yet, that is no reason for Ferrari to hold another inconsistent driver. So I believe that Ferrari’s unwillingness to hire Perez is rather another sign that they are waiting for another superstar to join the team soon.

  5. Is it just me or did anyone else think the journalists at the drivers’ press conference were a total shower of ****? To have six F1 drivers available for questions and run out of ideas after 15 minutes was shocking. No wonder Kimi and Sebastian spent the entire time larking about. When Sergio was asked whether he’d been approached by any big teams and responded with a story-crushing “no”, the interest drained out of the room – presumably the journos were wondering where today’s Hamilton story was going to come from…

    1. LOL, it seems the journos were putting all their eggs on one Checo-basket of empty news ……

      …. And BTW Dan, are you sure Kimi will not answer questions with a “story-crushing: I don’t care”? Whereas Vettel would smile and show off his pointing finger? That way the interview will still end after 15min.

    2. Thursday conference at Monza was pretty bad too, some journos got intelligence of 10 years olds. I don’t know how they have decency to ask and re-ask some of the questions again and again.

  6. I think he hit the nail on the head when he said that whenever he has a good result the rumours start flooding around. He’s a great driver, it’s difficult to deny that, but consistency is what the guy needs. Unfortunately I don’t think the C31 is always at the sharp end so it’s difficult for him to shine as much but what he needs to do is make sure people take note of him when he’s not finishing on the podium and that can only come with time.

    1. What I find interesting is Kamui does overall a better job in Qualifying getting into Q3 many times and Qualifying his best to date, P4 in China(P3 after promotion) and then P2 in Belgium, yet the pace, accidents or car failures have ruined his chances. On the other hand Perez often hasn’t made it into Q3 and so Sauber give him an alternative strategy which turns out to be the fastest for the Sauber, resulting in 3 podiums as he breezes past his opposition.

      So I don’t think he’s ready for Ferrari quite just yet. If he gets his Qualifying pace sorted out and can still deliver great race results then he’s ready, although i personally would prefer to see him at Ferrari and Kamui at Mclaren if Hamilton decides to get the musical chairs going.

      As it is, I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t much change between the teams until the end of 2013/2014. We keep expecting a massive driver change, but each year we are disappointed.

      1. I think you’re right regarding Perez’s qualifying. It reminds me of Vettel last year, but the other way around. Vettel has now gone on to prove he has good race craft as well as being an outstanding qualifier and I’m sure it will come to Perez as well.

    2. Exactly right, well said.

      Good drivers get better in better teams. Consistency or regular results come from better teams. As I look to the past I recall better teams taking chances with Gilles Villeneuve, Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna and of course Mike Schumacher among many…..I think Perez has that potential.

  7. I believe this is Perez’s way of saying, if an offer from McLaren is made he wouldn’t refuse that. Also given that LDM’s reluctance to pick Perez till now, a change of heart is possible only if Perez performs one more miracle drive. But what if nothing else comes after Monza and a McLaren offer is made? No matter what happens Ferrari will lose out again. Can’t believe that it is the same team that wanted to sign up Jean Alesi from Tyrrell?

    1. “Can’t believe that it is the same team that wanted to sign up Jean Alesi from Tyrrell?”

      When you consider that a ‘team’ is a group of people then it’s a completely different team.

  8. Does the status quo change if/when Perez wins a race this year? It’s safe to assume the Massa wont be doing that this year. LDM really needs to consider Perez. He can act as a rear gunner for Alonso in the short term, with scope of him being the lead driver when Alonso calls it a day. In the mean time, Perez can learn the team’s working, start to build an empire of his own of sorts.

    Plus, financially, it would be a massive boost for Ferrari for Perez came on board. Perez has massive sponsership behind him from Mexico. Ferrari as an F1 team could be a profitable team! (Have they ever made a profit..?)

    1. I’m pretty sure Ferrari make billions per year.

      1. The car company, yes, but the F1 team? I doubt it. There’s an opportunity for them here. I’m sure the fat cats of Ferrari wouldnt say no to an extra $1,000,000 in their pocket if they can help it.

    2. He can act as a rear gunner for Alonso in the short term

      Perez doesn’t want to be lapdog. He already wants to fight for wins and title in a team, when he’s treated equally. Ferrari in 2013 still will be one car team.

  9. Alguersauri to replace Kobayashi at Sauber is my bet for the only driver move announced this weekend …

    1. No chance – neither driver has left the team. It’s all resting on Hamilton/Schumacher. That needs to take place first, then the rest will fall in line.

      Sauber have zero need to make such a bold move. They’ll only replace one of their drivers (who have both done a good job this season) if they need to, one would presume.

      Saying that, I think you’ll eventually be right. There’s been rumblings of Jaime ending up there. Still a very young driver, and Sauber seem to enjoy nurturing young talent.

    2. Also, think how silly Sauber would feel if Kobayashi went and won this weekend.. There’s just no good reason for this to happen, especially making it public.

    3. I wouldn’t see any reason for this to happen. Kobayashi has, is his time in F1, stood out more than JA did in a similar time-frame.

      1. *in his time in F1

  10. Peter Windsor’s questions really stand out, good man. More people like that and drivers wouldn’t be bored out of their mind when talking to press.

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