Mexico’s Sergio Perez revealed that he was in talks with Ferrari and Mercedes in 2012 before he finally joined the McLaren team in the alongside the Jenson Button.
In the 2012 season (his second year in F1), Sergio Perez has impressed his world when he stumbled out of the pouring rain to pick up his first podium at the Malaysian Grand Prix at the wheel of a modest Sauber.
“I remember that day very well. To be on your first podium is an important thing and I was there next to two world champions (Alonso and Hamilton). ” Perez explains.
“To have the respect of my idols was so great for me. It was a bit of a shock to be next to them in such a difficult race. Fernando told me
‘Don’t worry, the victories will come soon’. ”
Linked to Ferrari through his membership of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Perez’s name was already circulating to join the Maranello team the following season, but Luca Di Montezemolo said the Mexican was still far too young to join a top team like Ferrari.
However, the former boss of the McLaren team, Martin Whitmarsh, didn’t agree with Montezemolo and immediately signed Sergio Perez for the 2013 season, whilst Lewis Hamilton joined the Mercedes team.
“2013 was the year I was closest to signing with Ferrari, it was very close. Looking back, if I hadn’t gone to McLaren, I would certainly have gone to Ferrari, but things change very quickly in F1. It’s a very fast change in F1,” Perez said.
“McLaren was dominant at the time and they offered me a contract, which made a lot of sense at the time. Unfortunately it didn’t work out.
“The car was pretty bad and I couldn’t fight for podium places, things have changed a lot since then. ”
Sergio Perez finally revealed that he was also in discussions with Mercedes if Lewis Hamilton didn’t sign with the German manufacturer’s team.
“We were talking to Mercedes, but it really depended if Lewis didn’t go. I was the second option, that’s what they told me.”
Finally, after only one season with McLaren, Perez has finally joined the team Force India in 2014 with whom he is current racing with and whom he will leave at the end of this season to be replaced by Sebastian Vettel.
“I am satisfied with my career,” he insists. “I’m proud of what I’ve achieved with the equipment I’ve been given. It’s a sport linked to the car’s performance, and it also depends on the team you belong to.
“I feel privileged to be here, and looking back, many may say that I have been unlucky with cars, but on the other hand I am very lucky to have been able to make a career in this sport. ”
Now Sergio Perez is looking for a seat for next season, but the options are more than limited for the Mexican driver.
At the moment, the Red Bull team seems to be the only real option available for Perez, while the Racing Point driver expects that its future will be determined in the coming weeks.
Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)