Is Sergio Perez the rebound guy for McLaren after Lewis Hamiltonís departure?
Deep down McLaren is still unhappy about the way things transpired between them and Lewis Hamilton before the Briton chose to drive for Mercedes in the future. McLaren responded by replacing Lewis Hamilton with Sauber’s young Mexican driver Sergio Perez.
McLaren’s desire to keep Lewis Hamilton under contract was no secret, which is why the many are led to question the success and fame Sergio Perez will record with McLaren. Sergio Perez is in only his second year on the track, but the 22-year-old’s maturity and instincts set him apart from other drivers.
Ferrari looked eager to replace Felipe Massa with Sergio Perez, who hails from their Driver Academy, had McLaren failed to sign him in. McLaren’s team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes his side has truck gold by signing in Sergio Perez.
“I’m delighted to welcome Sergio on board,” said Martin Whitmarsh. “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.”
Sergio Perez has already recorded two podium finishes with Sauber this season. Presently, Sergio Perez positioned ninth on Drivers’ Standings.
“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,” Martin Whitmarsh continued.
“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.”
When time came to praise Lewis Hamilton, Martin Whitmarsh sketched a smile upon his face before paying a tribute to the 2008 Formula One champion.
“It's entirely appropriate that I should take this opportunity to pass on our thanks to Lewis,” said Martin Whitmarsh. “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.”