Sauber sign Sergio Perez for 2011

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sergio Perez, GP2, 2010

Mexican driver Sergio Perez will make his F1 debut for Sauber in 2011.

Perez will partner Kamui Kobayashi who has already be confirmed for next year.

Nick Heidfeld, who took Pedro de la Rosa’s place in the team at the previous round will not continue as a racing driver with the team beyond the end of this season.

Perez said:

Formula One is the dream of every young racing driver. And now this dream is about to come true for me. 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.

Perez currently lies second in the GP2 championship behind Pastor Maldonado, who has already been crowned champion.

Sauber has also announced it will be sponsored by Mexican telecommunications giant Telmex as of next year.

Team principal Peter Sauber said:

Telmex has been involved in motor sport for a number of years already and supports drivers in various race series. Now they are making the key step up into the top category of motor racing, and we are happy and proud that they are taking this step with us. Telmex is an outstanding company and represents a strong partner for our team. We are looking forward to a fruitful partnership.

Sauber previously announced another Mexican driver, Esteban Gutierrez, as their 2011 test driver.

The last Mexican driver to start an F1 race was Hector Rebaque for Brabham in the 1981 Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Read more: 2011 F1 drivers and teams

Image ?? GP2 Media Service

100 comments on “Sauber sign Sergio Perez for 2011”

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  1. puts all pieces in the right place, the Sauber timeline was like this:

    1: BMW gone and a horrible car and engine left,
    2: Key came in (and thanks to him Telmex bought themselves in, but it was kept secret),
    3: A press release said that Sauber had a proper budget for 2011, (but who?),
    4: Pedro left, Nick came in,
    5: And now this, I wonder why they swapped Nick for Pedro.

  2. If the 2011 Sauber is a decent car (better than this years!) then I have a hunch Perez will do well!

  3. Could it be they signed Nick just to get extra information for their next year’s car, then they “kick him out” and get money to implement what he told him!?

    1. my bad,:
      what he told THEM

    2. Heidfeld knew that he was signed for only 5 remaining races in 2010.

      I believe the word “kick him out” is not relevant when he already knew what he is expected to do, why sauber wants him for the remaining of 2010 season and how long his current contract with sauber.

      by the way; good move for sauber when they have 2 young and talented driver for next season.. kinda remind me when they have young raikonnen and Heidfeld way back in 2001 if i’m not wrong.

      so best of luck amigos!!!

  4. I’m very excited that we’ll have a North American on the grid again next year! Should help with the crowd at the first Austin GP too if that comes through.

    1. Of course, it would be better if Gutierrez/Rossi/Wickens all have great 2011 GP2 Seasons and find a way on the F1 grid in 2012. Having all 3 North American countries represented would be a huge morale boost for North American F1 fans.

  5. Good move for all parties involved. Sauber has a good brain trust and excellent infrastructure but lack funds to develop the car. This deal secures Saubers long term future. Kobayashi is going to have to work hard to keep his seat beyond next year. Perez looks like the real deal to me. Guiterrez has politics on his side. Tough luck for Heidfeld.

  6. I like this move specially since it introduces a new nationality in the grid. In order to expand the number of viewers, I think we need drivers from different countries. Right now there are 4 or 5 different countries which monopolize most of the drivers in the grid.

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  8. I’m very curious to see the extent of the Telmex-Sauber arrangement. While it will be nice to see a new colour on the grid (of late it seems the only shade of blue that Formula 1 team know of id dark blue), the article does not state that Telmex has purchased naming rights. While I wouldn’t be surprised to see the car dominated by the Telmex name, all of these articles have been very vague about Telmex’s exact involvement.

  9. finally :D we have a 2 mexicans in F1, so long ago they started suporting racing in mexico and finally they got it

  10. As a Venezuelan, I am disappointed that this seat did not go to Pastor Maldonado. Oh well. Life goes on.

    1. Gaston, there are plenty of other seats available. For example, Jacques Villeneuve is said to be looking to buy a team, and popular rumour links him with Toro Rosso. If he does indeed buy the Faenza-based squad, Maldonado would be a very attractive driver because of his sponsorship endowment. Likewise, Hispania are believed to be up for sale, and they’re said to be working on building an actual car for 2011, so they could be a dark horse. Virgin are said to be looking to replace Lucas di Grassi, though Jerome d’Ambrosio is linked to the drive. And Jarno Trulli is rumoured to be retiring, possibly to make way for Vitaly Petrov, but even if Petrov stays at Renault and Trulli leaves, Pastor Maldonado could do a hell of a lot worse than to join Team Lotus.

  11. Very sad to hear that Nick wont be their in 2011, I thought he could have been a better option but I think this time it is more about money that Perez will bring for the team matters more to them more than a driver who could have develope their car a lot.

    Among all the team that have announced their 2011 line up I think this is by far the weakest team.

    1. Don’t forget – Sauber have a reputation as a finder of new talent. Weak they may be, but the other teams watch them with interest because they’re a midfield outfit and they’ve uncovered some very promising drivers in their time. Both Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen started with Sauber, and while Perez might be bringing cash into the team, the bad old days of pay drivers being playboys who fancied themselves Grand Prix drivers are truly past us. You have to have a basic level of talent to be able to qualify for a Superlicence, so don’t write Perez off totally just yet.

      1. I am not writing him off, Peter Sauber do find some raw talent but what I am telling that Nick isn’t that bad a driver, he had worked with the team before & with his experience the team could have build a better car.

  12. 1 .- Carlos Slim (Mexican): world’s richest man according Frobes

    2.- Esteban Gutierrez (Mexican) GP3 champion 2010- third driver for the Sauber team.

    3.- Sergio Pérez (Mexican) second place in GP2 championship 2010 – now official F1 driver.

    Question: Sauber will become a semi Mexican team?

    1. That makes one more “nationality oriented” team.(Ferrari: Latin; Mc Laren : English; Merc: German…) I doubt Kobayashi is a credible Mexican though.

      1. Force India with Chandok on board will become Team India.

      2. call kobayashi Juan Gonzales and no one would doubt wheter is mexican or not

  13. I believe nick must be in talks with some other teams,mainly Renault and Lotus. Its not all done and dusted for Nick. I still want him to win his coveted first win and also a decent run amongst the top of the championship runners for at least one season to justify immense talent he has. And also congrats to Sauber for choosing the young and exciting line up for the next season. All the best Nick for next year.

  14. nick was brought up only to test real kobayashi performance. i think this is the deal:

    nick comes in and puts kobayashi to a test (5 races are enough)

    perez joins next year, and gutierrez is probably set up for 2012, peter will then decide who (from those 3) will sticks with the team

    he will have prety good look at the situation because nick will value kobayashi, and obviously kobayashi will value perez

    i think gutierrez is a lock if he proves him self next year in gp2, he surely has talent.

  15. This is a guarantee of Sauber remaining in the sport.

    1. Yes I think that is positive about the deal.

  16. Might this pave the way a litte for the return of the Mexican GP?

    1. Anything that brings back the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is good news in my book. Not that I’d imagine they’d dare to use it in its 1992 form.

  17. Another new driver, I wonder if Nick Heidfeld will get a car for next year.

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