Perez takes Hamilton’s place at McLaren for 2013

2013 F1 season

Sergio Perez, Sauber, 2012Sergio Perez will drive for McLaren in 2013 after the team announced a “multi-year” deal with the Sauber driver.

Perez will take the place of Lewis Hamilton, who is widely believed to be about to confirm a move to Mercedes.

A trio of podium finishes in his second season so far has marked Perez out as a driver of the future.

“I?m thrilled and delighted to have become a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver,” said Perez.

“The McLaren name is one of the greatest in the history of Formula 1. For more than 40 years McLaren has been a team that every racing driver has aspired to drive for ?ǣ I was brought up on the great stories of Ayrton Senna’s many world championship triumphs for McLaren ?ǣ and I’m truly honoured that they’ve chosen me to partner Jenson from 2013 onwards.”

Perez added: “I’d like to thank Carlos Slim Jr, who has helped me since I was 14 years old, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today.

“Our journey together over the past eight years has been an incredible one, and I’ll do everything in my power to deliver with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes the results that he and I have been working so hard and so long to achieve together.

“As I say, I’ve worked very hard to get to this stage in my career, and I’m now massively looking forward to this next even more exciting stage. It’s fantastic that all the sacrifices I’ve made are now paying off.

“For example, I remember very clearly the first day I left my family, when I was 15, to live in Germany to race in Formula BMW. It was tough for me – I was sleeping in a restaurant at that time – but the dream of one day becoming a Formula 1 driver kept me going through those difficult days.

“Finally, I’d like to thank my beloved family, who’ve encouraged me at every turn, and last but far from least the people of Mexico, my home country, whose magnificent support I’ll do my very best to reward with future successes with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.”

“Giant-killing performances”

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “On behalf of everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, I?m delighted to welcome Sergio on board. His performances throughout 2012 have convinced us that he’s an extremely exciting prospect for the future.

“It was a string of giant-killing performances, a trio of podiums and a brilliant fastest lap in this year?s Monaco Grand Prix that showed us that Sergio lacks nothing in terms of speed and commitment.

“We’ve been monitoring his progress carefully for some months – and, now that he’s become part of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, our task will be to refine and develop his abilities as his career progresses over the coming years.

“Uniting Sergio alongside Jenson will give us a very broad base of driver ability. Jenson is one of motorsport?s greatest ambassadors, and his unique blend of prodigious speed and canny race-craft makes him formidably well-armed to fight for victory on any Grand Prix circuit in the world. While Sergio is still developing his palette of skills, we’re convinced that he’s not only talented and quick, but also that he’s willing and eager to learn.”

“He’s perfectly poised to develop into a world championship challenger. His addition to the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team provides us with the perfect two-pronged driver line-up for the new season.”

Whitmarsh also paid tribute to his outgoing driver: “Finally, it’s entirely appropriate that I should take this opportunity to pass on our thanks to Lewis. He wrote a huge chapter of his life and career with us, and was, and always will be, a fine member of an exclusive club: the McLaren world champions’ club.

“It goes without saying that we all wish him well for the future, just as it also goes without saying that we hope and believe that Sergio, too, will become a member of that exclusive club before too long.”

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247 comments on Perez takes Hamilton’s place at McLaren for 2013

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  1. dot_com (@dot_com) said on 28th September 2012, 13:43

    Really happy for Checo. This was absolutely the right move from McLaren. Perez is extremely fast, and seems to be a really nice, humble guy. Can’t wait for 2013!!

  2. Jamie Carter said on 28th September 2012, 13:44

    What I hope to be seeing come next season! :)

    http://tinypic.com/r/i3a2xz/6

  3. Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 28th September 2012, 13:44

    Jenson is a solid driver and he will retire in future with a F1 career to be proud of. He is however close but maybe just not close enough to be part of the stratosphere that the likes of Alonso reside in. If you put Button in the F2012, he won’t disgrace the car and he would definitely outpace Massa but he probably won’t wring as much out of the car as Alonso – which is what the super-elite drivers will do.

    Put it this way, if a poll were to be done now on which current drivers would squeeze in into a revised list of all-time top 20 F1 drivers, Jenson’s name probably won’t figure in the discussion as prominently as super-elite drivers like Alonso, Vettel, Raikkonen, Hamilton and of coz, MSC.

    It is degrading to call Button McLaren no 2 material but neither is he outright McLaren no 1 material. He is probably erm, a McLaren no 1.5 material if there is such a term.

    Now that Perez is paired with Button, it will be really interesting to see who has the upper hand next year at McLaren.

  4. I’m thrilled by these news! Checo is fast and likeable, add maturity and consistency and we’ll get another Latin American WDC contender.
    Slim will place two young + fast drivers in contention by a 2015 Mexico race, and Sauber a #5 team!
    McLaren secures funding post Vodafone and a development future.
    We fanatics get possibly 10 contenders for podium in every race next year.
    Can’t wait!!!

  5. sHAHRIAR aHSAN said on 28th September 2012, 14:52

    Damn it, i was hoping Ferrari would sign Perez.
    Now what? Shumi to Ferrari or is it Vettel?

  6. so bottas got promoted for drive for williams for senna, as senna will move to sauber to patch up bugdet?or maybe glock/kovalainen will get a chance to drive something better??

  7. Gaston (@golarrazabal) said on 28th September 2012, 15:14

    I have just read on “Auto Motor und Sport” that Sauber’s Telmex sponsorship is long-term and not bound to Perez being in the team. Ifthat’s the case, that’s good news.

    I think Sutil might also be a good replacement for Checo at Sauber. Experienced, reasonably talented and brings some sponsorship money. Not a bad deal at all. But I still hope they go for Kovalainen or Glock.

  8. Now we can Checo his teeth even more.

  9. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 28th September 2012, 17:00

    Wow. I went to sleep yesterday, and I open the page today to discover a revolution!!!!! Good luck for Sergio, a let’s see for Lewis and a probable good bye for Schum. BTW, where is Luca now to say he isn’t good enough yet?

  10. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 28th September 2012, 17:19

    And Luca said he didn’t have the skills to join a top team. I’ll have fun watching how many times Sergio will beat the ferraris next year

  11. Good for Perez, good for McLaren, bad for Sauber, bad for Ferrari.
    I knew Perez was going to go to McLaren, they have always aimed on young talent while Ferrari has done the opposite. Shame on the Scuderia.

  12. DC (@dujedcv) said on 28th September 2012, 20:38

    I think that Button should get a body armor, because Checo is going to start kicking his ass next year

  13. the limit said on 28th September 2012, 21:16

    I don’t think anybody is really surprised by this news. It was obvious watching Sergio Perez this year that he was going to be snapped up by a big team, and until Spa that team appeared to be Ferrari. As with alot of other people, I am stunned at just how fast Lewis Hamilton’s relationship with McLaren soured, and it only confirms that all of Whitmarsh’s claims of a ‘unified team’ earlier in the year was just propaganda.
    When Fernando Alonso left McLaren in 2007 we had an F1 rookie as team leader to the second most successfull team in F1 history. He won the title the next year, but since then, the love story has gone south and with it to a degree Hamilton’s reputation. In my mind two factors are behind everything aside from money naturally. They are Martin Whitmarsh and Jenson Button.
    Hamilton never seemed to have the chemistry with Whitmarsh as he enjoyed with Ron Dennis. It never seemed to be happening, and I think this irked Lewis. When Alonso was at the team it was
    obvious who Ron Dennis was supporting, and this must have given Hamilton such a huge boost. When Dennis stepped aside in 2009 for Whitmarsh to take charge I feel this was the beginning of the end. A year later, Whitmarsh had replaced Heikki Kovalainen with the defending champion Jenson Button. Now Button comes across as Whitmarsh’s man, very corporate and polite, professional and does what is asked of him. Hamilton, at this point, is as appealing to Whitmarsh as a red headed step child!
    When Hamilton made the now infamous comments concerning a quote from Ali G at the 2011 Monaco Grands Prix, I was struck by one of the questions Lewis was asked. Asked about what had gone wrong with one of his pitstops Lewis responded by saying, ‘I was told to box for tyres and when I came in the mechanics weren’t there, nobody was there’. This for me was more telling than his attack on Maldonado or suggestions that his skin colour affect decisions made by the stewards, it was obvious that he had lost the support of the team. He had lost their respect.
    When you look at this season alone, I have lost count of the number of races in which McLaren have botched pitstops or strategies for Lewis Hamilton. The events of Spa and Twittergate or whatever you want to call it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Hamilton, if he had any respect within the team, had now lost it for sure. With Twittergate exposing Button’s data on his car, for the first time we saw the true nature of their ‘relationship’ exposed. It was obvious that Button, as nice a guy as he portrays himself to be, would be suggesting he have a new team mate for 2013.
    Sergio Perez fits that bill. Jenson Button rules to roost now, and it is up to Sergio to put him to pasture. And I think he can and he will, especially over one hot lap. At McLaren he will get the chance to grow and mature which would not have been the case at Ferrari, not when Alonso’s there anyway.
    As for Hamilton I believe leaving was the only answer. Look for instance at Alonso. His career was far from certain five years ago when he turned his back on McLaren, he spent the next two seasons making up the numbers at Renault before finally joining Ferrari in 2010. Like Hamilton, when he left McLaren, Alonso’s reputation had taken a mauling. He had done some bad things, we are told, when at McLaren which were far from sportsmanlike. Yet, largely, that has been forgotten and Fernando is enjoying life at Ferrari. He has a team around him thats ‘his’ in all but name, a team mate that has largely been nullified into submission, and now a machine under him that could make him a triple world drivers champion.
    Ofcourse, the question that is almost as large as the salary Mercedes will be paying Hamilton is how good will their new car be? Personally, I don’t think we will see it winning right away in 2013, but there is potential for later in the season. If Ross Brawn and Mercedes are smart it would be prudent to make Hamilton ‘believe’ atleast that it is ‘his’ team. Big ego’s at times like to be pampered, in order to get the best results out of him. If Hamilton wants to have a successfull, championship filled career in F1, he needs to take a leaf out of Fernando Alonso’s book. Perserverance!

  14. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 29th September 2012, 17:41

    This news is probably less shocking than Hamilton leaving but a damn site more exciting than Hamilton at Mercedes!

    What a brilliant opportunity for Checo and he thoroughly deserves it. Than you to Sauber for bringing him to us.

  15. I can’t believe that Perez takes Hamilton’s place ?

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