Perez confirms McLaren exit at the end of the year

2014 F1 season

Sergio Perez, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2013Sergio Perez has confirmed he will not drive for McLaren in 2014.

Perez joined the team from Sauber at the beginning of the season. McLaren’s development driver and Formula Renault 3.5 champion Kevin Magnussen has been tipped to take his place.

“First of all I would like to thank McLaren for giving me the opportunity to be with them this season,” said Perez in a statement.

“It has been an honour for me to have been in one of the most competitive teams in the sport and I do not regret even a bit having joined them. I have always given the best of me for the team and still despite this I could not achieve what I aimed for in this historic team.”

“I am committed to deliver very good results in these last two races, especially in Austin,” he added. “I am so much looking forward to see all my people gathered together, feel their energy and show them the best of me.”

“I would like to say to every single one of my fans around the world and in my country that I am eternally grateful to them. They have never let me down, especially in difficult moments like these. I truly appreciate their support, they have never forgotten me.”

“I have met a lot of new people at McLaren this season and I have made many good friends as well. From the top management level to the marketing, accounting and engineering departments to the mechanics, the cooks, the catering people and basically everyone in the team, I am eternally grateful to them. It has been a learning experience to me.

“I would like to wish the team the very best in the future. I will always be a fan of McLaren. In the meanwhile I will be looking at my future to ensure my best position in the best possible package to fight for wins.

“Thanks to McLaren and all of its partners this season, you can rest assured that I will never give up.”

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166 comments on Perez confirms McLaren exit at the end of the year

  1. This was expected by many, but not by me. Of course Magnussen is a great driver and has a bright career ahead of him, bot so does Perez. And with three seasons’ experience, one of which with McLaren, the new regulations for 2014 will be easier for Perez to overcome than for Magnussen. Surely, Kevin will start from 0 and won’t have to change his driving style, while Perez might, but Sergio has the bases to turn the car’s development in the right direction. Maybe they thought Button was enough for this, and they wanted to sign Magnussen to steal him from competitors? I think a début season at a lower team would have been better, to give him time to adapt and Perez time to improve.
    If they have actually had talks with Massa, this prompts the question as to whether he would’ve replace Button or Perez. If the former, that means McLaren need an experienced driver and a young one to be helped by him, but replacing him over and over again does not help get the results.
    If the latter, that means they would’ve signed another experienced driver. Then why get rid of Perez for a rookie? Or do they think Massa is faster than Perez and Magnussen?
    Best of luck to Sergio. Like Maldonado, and more than him, he deserves a seat in F1 and he has shown this year again some signs of his great speed. Perhaps his consistency was underestimated against his raw pace, and the opposite has turned out to be true.

    • Robbie said on 13th November 2013, 22:43

      It might be that in fact the new regs will be easier for KM to deal with as he won’t know anything different to cloud his mind and body ahead of 2014…at least for the minimal running he’s done in a 2013 car. And you say SP has the basis to turn the car’s development in the right direction, but I wonder if, based on the lack of progress at Mac this season, that is what SP lacks that has Mac going another direction with KM. I acknowledge that JB’s presence has not exactly brought that car up to fighting for podia either, however, he does have the experience of being a WDC on his resume.

  2. The big question, now, is… How will they off Perez in Tooned?

  3. I suppose in a way, the biggest difference between Perez and Magnussen is that one is a longterm investment – and both Mclaren and red bull have shown that kind of investment can pay off.

  4. Maciek (@maciek) said on 13th November 2013, 19:39

    This both disappointing for Perez and worrying for McLaren. Rarely a good sign when an organization opts to change personnel that quickly – hope for them it’s only a glitch rather than a pattern. Mind, I didn’t think that hiring him was a good move in the first place – premature. It’ll do him good go back to a team like Sauber and get some more experience.

  5. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 13th November 2013, 19:47

    It only took McLaren this long to realise their mistake. Should never have signed him in the first place. Been useless and inconsistent this year.

    Good riddance.

  6. roodda (@roodda) said on 13th November 2013, 19:53

    This is such tripe. Poor Perez, he’s been given a total dog of a car and has taken the fight to JB. Two tyre blow outs cost him more points. Probably threw away 5th at Monaco by trying one too many dives but hey, at least he was trying to race which is what the sport is about. Outraced Button last two GP and looked to be hitting his straps. He should have been given a second season to prove his worth.

    Driver market wise, this makes things incredibly difficult to pick and I have a hunch someone at FI will have to go to make way for a Maldonado/Hulkenburg/Perez. Sauber won’t pair Sirotkin and Gutierez together. Lotus is a straight fight between Hulk and Maldonado. FI like Sutil so I think di Resta could be unlucky and miss out altogether. Stranger things have happened though, Karthikeyan drove in F1 and he was abysmal.

  7. Girts (@girts) said on 13th November 2013, 19:55

    I don’t see how di Resta is worse than Perez or Maldonado. The collision at Spa wasn’t his fault. Yes, the following three races were a disaster but the season consists of nineteen races. And Di Resta has been more than decent in most of them. Given how many potential points he lost because of his team’s mistakes during the first half of the year, he has done really well and convincingly outperformed his more experienced team mate, too.

  8. svianna (@svianna) said on 13th November 2013, 19:56

    To me, the big picture and concern is the fact that F1 is doing a very poor job of managing itself. The legacy of Ecclestone’s shrewd business practices have permeated way too deep in F1. The richest russian hydrocarbon billionaire will buy seats for his protege’.

    While the pinnacle of motorsport has always been money hungry, for obvious reasons, there is something profoundly amiss with Formula 1 Ethos. This should be the place where, for the most part, racing talent would speak much louder than personal sponsorship.

    I am not sure if F1, with it’s current stakeholders can fix itself and go back to it’s purest mission. Ecclestone’s legacy, such as bribing people like Alain Prost, Eddie Jordan, etc… has brought F1 into disrepute. The knee jerk reaction of sacking Perez is just a symptom of something profoundly wrong with the “sport”

    • Hm, I honestly don’t know if talent – if there is any substantial difference between the pilots at this level at all – is such a factor. The scope nowadays goes much wider than that. As a driver you do not only need to be a “system manager” rather than a driver, you also need to have PR skills, be diplomatic and all that. Those qualities, plus a whole lot of money to back you up, is what makes you a top F1 driver in this era. Look at Vettel. And Button. And Alonso. Those who slam doors too much, don’t make it in the end. Except Iceman of course, but he just wrecks doors completely, that seems to work as well ;-)

    • I fail to see how replacing Perez with Magnussen has anything to do with money or rich russian hydrocarbon billionaires buying seats for their protege. The former comes with money, the latter dont, or if any only very limited.

  9. Hairs (@hairs) said on 13th November 2013, 21:14

    McLaren are once again proving masters of executing the simple things badly.

    They start off the year with a brand new design instead of refining the concept which gave them the fastest car last year. Then boasted about it before it ran on a track.
    They once again failed to understand the tyres, and once again missed the loopholes and design ideas which other teams have exploited.

    They lost their biggest sponsor and enigmatically decided not to announce a replacement until the end of the year, fuelling speculation that no deal was actually signed.

    They told the media button had a job for life, then sort of retracted it, then held off offering him a contact for so long that the press were asking him why no announcement had been made.

    They pushed Perez to race harder, but didn’t give him credit when he did beat button, and left both drivers out to dry with a dog of a car which bounces all over the track and is impossible to handle.

    Now they’ve decided to ditch Perez, but have allowed the announcement to leak out in whispers before his “home” race and basically publically derided their “number one” world champion driver as mediocre along the way to God knows what purpose. Meanwhile they’re publicly chasing a driver whose disloyalty almost shuttered the team and who has done nothing but vehemently expressed his dislike of them ever since he left under a cloud.

    The team boss announces that the new sponsor won’t agree to be unveiled in December as originally planned, but says he hadn’t spoken to his own pr department about the whole thing!

    What ARE these people thinking.

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 13th November 2013, 22:14

      Interesting when it is put this way.

      I don’t have a neutral opinion on the matter at the moment, but I would just like to comment that from what I know, McLaren treated Alonso just as, if not worse, than how he treated them. I guess that just adds on to the point though!

    • f1freek (@f1freek) said on 14th November 2013, 8:00

      Well said. Perez was definitely right about Mclaren they “lacked organisation and a little bit of humility to face the reality”. Hopefully Honda will bring a much needed revamp to Mclaren

      • Hairs (@hairs) said on 14th November 2013, 18:31

        @f1freek Honda? That would be the Honda who had the second highest budget during the boom years and got nowhere? Who designed cars by committee in 3 locations? Who came up with earthdreams?

        • f1freek (@f1freek) said on 14th November 2013, 18:38

          Yeah Honda. You know the same engine manufacturer that with Mclaren won 4 consecutive titles with Prost and Senna…By the way it is very different running a team than being the engine supplier

          • Hairs (@hairs) said on 14th November 2013, 22:35

            Of the two, the more recent incarnation is far more relevant.

            Your comment is like saying “Williams will win the championship next year because they had the best car in 92 and 93.”

    • Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 14th November 2013, 15:57

      @hairs Perfect analysis . Hardcore Mclaren fans won’t agree . But it’s the truth .

  10. Mackeine Loveine (@cocaine-mackeine) said on 13th November 2013, 21:19

    What a shame, Mclaren took the decision? If Mclaren did, what a stupid decision, he wasn´t good because he didnt had the car to compete! Remember 2012? He was good enough with a SAUBER. He wasn´t able to fight because he had a worse car than the Sauber, and now he´s out of the team?! If I were Whitmarsh, I would allow Perez to take another chance, with a BETTER car.

  11. I’m a huge McLaren Fan and the season of the Checo has been desapontoing.

    The team has inumerous tools to see the potential of a driver. The simulator is the best one.

    Perez has fail to understand the tecnical side of the car like Button, his performance has up and downs. He makes a lot a mistakes. Last year he show how to keep tire wear, this year he has been a tyre eater.

    He lives in another planet, sometimes he keeps quiet and don´t talk to anyone.

    Sergio Perez has potencial, but McLaren can´t wait.

  12. Girts (@girts) said on 13th November 2013, 21:28

    @celeste Boullier actually said that Di Resta was one of the candidates for 2014. McLaren and Red Bull have chosen their own youngsters so there probably wasn’t much Di Resta could do to get any of these seats anyway.

    For sure, I’m not saying that Di Resta is definitely better than Raikkonen or Hulkenberg now as there is no evidence for that. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Vandoorne on the grid. But I’m absolutely convinced that Di Resta deserves to stay in F1.

  13. Girts (@girts) said on 13th November 2013, 21:34

    @celeste Sorry for posting this here, I probably shouldn’t use my cheap phone to post comments on F1F…

  14. McKenzie (@mckenzie) said on 13th November 2013, 21:53

    New poster here – I sometimes post over at Joe Saward’s blog. I’m not really a forum person but this one is (far) better than any of the other discussion forums I’ve seen.

    Anyway, I’ve been following the moves of the various drivers and had always thought Maldonado would go to Lotus. As we all know, PM carries substantial sponsorship. However, I just saw an article that was originally published by Reuters on 12 Nov. The gist of it is PDVSA is going to “Issue $4.5B In Bonds”. The yield on the PDVSA benchmark bond is near to 15% which is…pretty much staggering. And Venezuelan bonds were routed on Tuesday. Basically, Venezuela is in deep, economic trouble.

    Going out on a limb here: given the fact that PDVSA has resorted to this measure, will PM even be on the grid next year? It might be difficult, politically, to justify throwing tens of millions at an F1 driver, when the country is in serious, economic trouble. In fact, is this the reason why Williams severed the relationship with him?

  15. Kimi4WDC said on 13th November 2013, 23:11

    For Lotus to keep at float they need get rid of Grosjean and hire Maldonado plus either Gutierezz or Perez for Sims money.

    Total money are not enough.

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