Sauber sign Sergio Perez for 2011

2011 F1 season

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

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100 comments on Sauber sign Sergio Perez for 2011

  1. JUGNU said on 4th October 2010, 18:32

    So Nick have time to properly announce his retirement from the Sport. He should go like DC. A special livery Sauber for Abu Dhabi and all drivers attending his final media speech and autographs…etc.

  2. xabregas said on 4th October 2010, 18:33

    Poor Nick.
    Great move from Peter Sauber, sureally he´ll be a lot more confortable for next´s year F1 championship.
    I can´t blame Sauber for putting a young driver that has a big sponsor behinde him in his F1 cars, after all he rescued this team from not being in this year´s f1 championship.

  3. iBlaze said on 4th October 2010, 18:43

    The way I see the 2011 driver market going now is as follows:

    - Trulli to retire, Petrov to move to Lotus from Renault as part of the engine deal.
    - di Resta in at Force India, Liuzzi out.
    - HRT to fold, unless somebody buys them out.
    - Heidfeld/Klien/Chandhok to get the Renault seat (sorry Kimi fans, I think he’s only talking to Renault to get a better deal from his WRC team). Heidfeld is a known quantity alongside Kubica, Klien impressed in Singapore, Chandhok has Ecclestone’s backing. This is a tough one to call but I think Klien has the best chances.
    - If HRT are bought out, I expect the same names as above to be in contention, along with Bruno Senna too. However, the line-up will probably not feature Senna and will instead feature Chandhok (with Ecclestone pouring some money in) and either Klien/Heidfeld as the experienced driver (whichever one misses out on the Renault seat.

    So, my 2011 line-up predictions is this:

    Red Bull: Vettel & Webber
    McLaren: Hamilton & Button
    Ferrari: Alonso & Massa
    Mercedes: Schumacher & Rosberg
    Renault: Kubica & Klien
    Force India: Sutil & di Resta
    Williams: Barrichello & Hulkenberg
    Sauber: Kobayashi & Perez
    Toro Rosso: Buemi & Alguersuari
    Lotus: Kovalainen & Petrov
    Virgin: Glock & di Grassi
    (HRT?): Heidfeld & Chandhok

    • Todfod said on 4th October 2010, 20:25

      Klein in a Renault?!? Are you joking? I do not think the thought of hiring Klein has even crossed Boullier’s mind.

      Heidfeld would never goto HRT as well. Other than those two predictions I think everything else could happen.

      • iBlaze said on 5th October 2010, 0:22

        Nope I’m not joking, it’s a definite possibility. With the HRT musical chairs there’s every chance Klien can get a few more races under his belt in 2010 and prove himself worthy of that seat.

        Also, Heidfeld would not be going to HRT – if you read my post I suggest he would be going to the team which buys out HRT if they do indeed run out of money. Heidfeld wants a race seat, a new team needs an experienced driver (Glock and Kovalainen have come out of the experience looking quite good, so there’s no reason to think Heidfeld wouldn’t consider it).

        • I think Nick at Sauber is a definite possibility.

          I think it all comes down to how much money the Russians put up for Petrov.

          I like Nick and Petrov, but would far rather see Kimi return.

          But I think Nick being around, and motivated means that if there is a change at Renault it will be Nick on the seat.

          I tend to agree with your opinion on Kimi. Much as I’d like to see him return to F1 motivated and on fire again.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th October 2010, 2:33

      Renault: Kubica & Klien

      That is … well, interesting, I suppose.

  4. Oliver said on 4th October 2010, 18:46

    Well Sauber has done it again. This time he sacks Heidfeld in advance :)
    At least Heidfeld should have seen this one coming, he’s had 2 previous experiences.

  5. Adam Tate said on 4th October 2010, 18:51

    Interesting choice, Perez has lot’s of potential, but it’s clearly a money choice. Good to see Sauber signing a title sponsor though. Curse you BMW for screwing over Peter Sauber. Nick should not pull a DC and retire though, he would be a perfect fit at Renault. It would be great to have Kimi back, but with Renault putting all their eggs in the Kubica basket, an even bigger star would steal the attention. That said I’d love to see Nick with Kubica next year, in an improved Renault where he could maybe, finally sneak in that first win. It’s where he should have been all along, were he there now, Renault would surely be ahead of Mercedes in the standings. But Force India wouldn’t be bad either, give Liuzzi the boot. There are too many good drivers, for not enough good teams, and yet there are more good teams than ever before, such is the weird state of problems in F1 today!

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 4th October 2010, 19:23

      There are too many good drivers, for not enough good teams, and yet there are more good teams than ever before, such is the weird state of problems in F1 today!

      So true, but this is really a great problem as problems go. The fact that there are so many drivers trying to get into the sport right now was the main reason I was disappointed we won’t have a 13th team next year. It would have also been good to have a new team so that HRT has someone to race. I doubt they’ll be making the same leap forward next year as Lotus or even Virgin.

  6. Sebas said on 4th October 2010, 19:27

    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.

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

  8. geo132 (@geo132) said on 4th October 2010, 19:54

    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!?

    • geo132 (@geo132) said on 4th October 2010, 19:54

      my bad,:
      what he told THEM

    • 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!!!

  9. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 4th October 2010, 20:05

    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.

    • rmac923 said on 4th October 2010, 22:16

      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.

  10. Randy said on 4th October 2010, 20:18

    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.

  11. Santi said on 4th October 2010, 20:29

    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.

  12. Senna-fan said on 4th October 2010, 21:20

    Hi Everyone,

    There seems to be a lot of you asking for the old races. Well guess what ? I have them, ALL of them. 1978 to 2010 Every single race and qualifying session ever transmitted on British TV.

    Plus loads of F1 races from the 1930s to 1970s. They are mostly on VHS cassette and DVD. I put a transcoded high quality DVD version of them on a pair of 2000 gb usb hard drives.

    So if anyone would like a FREE complete collection of every single F1 race email me at senna-fan@hotmail.co.uk
    Senna-fan

  13. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 4th October 2010, 21:52

    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.

  14. ObedSPS said on 4th October 2010, 23:00

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

  15. Gaston said on 5th October 2010, 1:22

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

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th October 2010, 1:32

      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.

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