Perez gets his big chance – but not with Ferrari

2013 F1 season

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Having lost Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes, McLaren wasted no time singing up Sergio Perez to take his place.

The 22-year-old Sauber driver has racked up three podium finishes in his second season. And on more than one occasion he’s come close to ending Mexico’s 42-year wait for a Grand Prix winner.

Arguably he should have won the second race of the year in Malaysia, but for a conservative final pit stop which cost him time on a drying track, and a costly mistake while hunting down winner Fernando Alonso.

Earlier this month he finished second to Hamilton at Monza having ripped through the field from 12th on the grid, passing both Ferraris on his way to finishing second.

But following this drive Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo poured cold water on suggestions Perez could join his team. For the second time this year di Montezemolo insisted Perez, who joined Ferrari’s drive academy in 2010, was insufficiently experienced to drive for Ferrari.

“Next season is too early,” he said, adding: “To put a young guy to Ferrari with the pressure of Ferrari, you need more experience.”

McLaren clearly don’t feel Perez lacks the experience to drive for them having snatched him from under the nose of their bitterest rival. In the press release announcing Perez’s arrival, Martin Whitmarsh praised Perez’s “string of giant-killing performances, trio of podiums and brilliant fastest lap in this year’s Monaco Grand Prix that showed us that Sergio lacks nothing in terms of speed and commitment”.

His performances have not gone unnoticed by F1 Fanatic readers either, who have voted him Driver of the Weekend three times in his 31-race career (twice so far this year, once last year).

Perez gushed with enthusiasm for his new team on Twitter: “McLaren is the best place to be in the world of F1!” he said, thanking Whitmarsh: “for his faith he had on me and all the McLaren family”.

Graciously, he also admitted a debt of thanks to those who had not quite as much faith in him, a few hours later.

It goes without saying that being signed by a team as successful as McLaren is a considerable vote of confidence in Perez’s abilities.

McLaren’s mantra when it comes to hiring drivers, recently reiterated by group chairman Ron Dennis, is to sign the best two available drivers. Given who was available after Hamilton had made his decision to join Mercedes, it’s hard to argue they haven’t done that here.

With Perez out of the picture, it is unclear who Ferrari might turn to as a replacement for Felipe Massa. Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg might offer the requisite blend of potential and appetite for success, but neither has significantly more F1 experience than Perez.

Michael Schumacher returning to his old team is a romantic but surely fanciful notion.

The signs increasingly point to Massa staying put, perhaps as a seat-warmer for one year until Sebastian Vettel exercises his rumoured option to join Fernando Alonso at the team in 2014.

The idea of Ferrari as a team of two number one drivers, both multiple-champions, is an exciting one, though not one that tallies with their history of preferring a strong number one and a solid back-up driver.

And retaining Massa even on a short-term basis may prove undesirable. Mired in a shocking season, he’s scored barely more than a quarter of Alonso’s points haul so far.

What Ferrari need is a new Massa – a fresh young driver who’s had a few years in a Ferrari-powered Sauber and done a spot of testing in a pukka prancing horse. The problem is, he’s just signed for McLaren.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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118 comments on “Perez gets his big chance – but not with Ferrari”

  1. I would have never thought Pérez would go to Mclaren due to his sponsorship. Button and Pérez,. wow what a duo. Both are “Tire Whisperers”

    1. And neither are “polemasters”.

      1. +1.

        Perez is highly overrated. Sauber split their tyre strategies most the time, and when it works for Perez, who usually qualifies dismally behind Kobayashi, he does great, yet when they don’t split strategies, he’s nowhere. It’s a poor move by McLaren here.

    2. Thing is, it will allow McLaren to focus development down a specific route, rather than try to accommodate two very different drivers.

      They haven’t had a 1-2 since Canada 2010, it’s not hard to see why.

      1. The fact that only one of the cars has finished the last three races, you mean?

      2. He is experienced enough for a top team, look at Vettel; one great year at STR followed by becoming championship runner-up at RedBull Racing. Perez has shown he’s quick and that he’s a fine talent, he will do well at Mclaren in the long term, I’m sure and he will only get better learning his trade from Button.

        A fantastic steal for Mclaren.

      3. the no 1-2 since canada 2010 is pretty telling, button cannot perform in qualifying – usually having to fight his way up to a position he should have qualified in, while hamilton doesnt perform as well in races the way he does in qualifying. perez may sort this out for mclaren, and be good in both, he could be, in the next 2-3 years what vettel has been for redbull – a “dominant” driver that makes the best of a great car. hamilton failed to become a dominant driver in the 6 years at mclaren, he had opportunites nearly every year. He came into the sport as the young upstart, but then another young driver came and did better things. now there is a possibility of another young driver taking command of the sport in Perez.

        1. artificial racer
          28th September 2012, 19:08

          The greatness of the car during his career there is up for debate. Last year was pretty bad for Hamilton with various issues and crashes. Presumably Mercedes at least is chalking that season up to emotional growing pains. HAM has seemed mentally more mature and focused this year, and generally has been dominating that car as far as circumstances allow.

      4. @justinf1, @alehud42, @ilanin – what do you think, does that mean McLaren better try and mimic the RB7 pole-monster to keep them near the head of the field (or was it the RB6-7/Vettel combo?) or a sauber like tyre converser to make them do it in the races?

        I suppose the MP4-27 tendency to be better in quali (but again, is it in HAM’s hands?) and the troubles Sauber, Lotus (and last year McLaren) have on capitalising in a race after a not-great Saturday point to the quali-monster approach, that helps BUT and PER to not have balance/under-steer, and lack of grip.

        Then again, I suppose most teams will be trying that next year, as unless it rains or the guys ahead just drop out, pole still is the best place to win from, even with KERS and DRS.

    3. Tire Whisperer — I like that.

    4. Actually, his sponsors probably helped a lot, McLaren could’ve kept Hamilton for 10mill a year, OR take Pérez and Telmex sponsorship, who knows maybe it was McLaren who turned down Hamilton. Anyway, I think this is a great opportunity for them to finally change their boring livery given that Mercedes will not give them free engines anymore and Telmex is coming in.

      1. Yeah, I said it in another thread: Telmex McLaren Mercedes – Vodafone will leave, maybe even after this year.

        I have no ‘hard source’ but there Vodafone admitted they were evaluating their sponsorship. Given the State of mobile industry with revenues under enourmous pressure in especially Europe, I think they can’t justify the expense. Especially now star Hamilton Has left.

        Time will tell.

    5. “I would have never thought Pérez would go to Mclaren due to his sponsorship. Button and Pérez,. wow what a duo. Both are “Tire Whisperers” ”

      This thing about Button being so light on his tires is so overplayed. Canada this year when everyone’s tires were falling apart and Hamilton swept to victory, where was Button? Oh yeah in 16th place being lapped…..

      1. By now I realy should have learned that people have selective memory. About 2012 Canada you only remember that Button was lapped, but do you remember, that he had to sit out FP1 & FP2 to complete only a handful of laps on an untested rear-suspension setup? Or that the team (including Button) chose this setup, without race simulation? Now I dont know how smooth Button is compared to other drivers, but I remember that in 2010&2011 he could go on mutch longer than Hamilton on the same tyres.

        1. Last year it did seem often true, yes, but this year that hasn’t really been the case @bag0; Button seemed to have issues with getting temperature in the tyres – he sure wasn’t the only one, but HAM didn’t suffer as much and thus kept his tyres working during the race when BUT couldn’t.

          It seems to be that some teams/cars have those issues more than others this year, and leading to Silverstone HAM too seemed to develop similar problems, so that points to a misdirection in development earlier in the season.

          Since then there hasn’t been evidence that BUT is better than HAM, though with three DNF’s between them there is of course rather little data. But HAM did say he drove differently now.

          1. From what I’ve read, the main difference with HAM and BUT with the tyres this year is their driving styles. HAM is quite heavy on the breaks then turn in, getting a lot more heat into the front tyres. BUT struggled getting heat into them because he breaks a bit lighter carrying more speed into the corner which really didn’t work for him in the mid part of the season.

            And HAM after being know for his fast use of rubber has actually got his wear rate down by adapting his style, although would love to see Bridgestones come back, or at least some harder rubber so that he could just thrash the life out of them :)

        2. @bag0 It was a similar situation in Barcelona.

      2. @aledinho

        You don’t dismiss a driver’s reputation (which he has built up over the last 10 years) of being kind to its tyres because of a single race… in which he obviously had setup problems after sitting out 2 FP sessions.

        I think it is you that’s underrating Button, instead of everyone else who’s overrating him.

  2. It’s great for Perez. At Ferrari, he’d have teamed up with Alonso, and that’s a big no-no to his chances. At McLaren he’ll be able to develop himself as a contender a lot quicker, rather than wait in the wings for Alonso to retire or move on.

    As for Ferrari, I think they missed a huge chance. But maybe they didn’t want to ruin Perez’s chances either, as putting him against Alonso would’ve been difficult for both of them. They have what they want, a fast and successful driver as Number 1, and some random clown as Number 2.

    1. I wonder how they’ll cope if Vettel signs for them in 2014…two years of Alonso vs Vettel is a a recipe for a great fight!

      1. I think Alonso would prevail and by a larger margin than most people would anticipate.

        1. +1
          ‘Overrated’ is what I describe Vettel’s career as. A win in a very good, almost front running Toro Rosso in Monza, and then 2 titles courtesy of Adrian Newey and his magical box of tricks otherwise known as the EBD.
          He is, for certain, one of the 3 best drivers on the grid, but if he was put alongside Fernando…

          1. Well, Alonso only really had a solid driver in the other seat once, and that was a rookie who gave him a pretty decent run for his money…

            So you can point the finger that way as well.

          2. @alehud42

            “Front running” and “Toro Rosso” have never gone together. Sixth in the WCC (only achieving 4 points from the other driver) out of ten cars is barely front running at all. And don’t get me started on the consistent run of strong results other than Italy.

          3. @david-a
            Please watch that race weekend.

          4. @infy – I did watch that weekend. And Vettel’s drive was very impressive, as all the observers said at the time.

            You please go back and watch that season.

          5. And also before you use “Bourdais qualified 4th”, he was 43s slower in the race, and started behind Webber’s Red Bull, which slipped to 8th by the end of the race.

          6. Almost every team had an EBD last year

          7. I’d love for Vettel to join ferrari.. maybe it’s finally going to shut his nay sayers up.. you know the ones that keep saying how lucky he is.. even when he proves them wrong time and time again they find some other thing to moan about..quite pathetic..

        2. @victor – I have no doubt that in his current form Alonso is the better driver, but if anything I think Vettel is underrated by many. He’s had some great performances this year also (Spa springs to mind). I think it’d be relatively close…

          1. I think that Vettel has grown a lot since the start of 2009 and will continue to grow fast, indeed as you say, @vettel1 (heh), Spa was a good example of how assertive/confident and well executed he can make overtakes happen, so it would be great to see a head-to-head between a ripe Alonso and a further matured Vettel!

        3. +1

          Vettel is good for sure. However, I don’t believe he is as good as Alonso and Hamilton. I’d place him alongside Raikkonen. I’m a diehard Kimi fan.

        4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          28th September 2012, 17:23

          … Alonso would prevail over Vettel because he is a double champ… wait, Vettel too!!! I but Alonso won championships fighting as a lion… oh wait again, Vettel did it in 2010 too!!! So how can you say he would prevail by a larger margin?

          1. Vettel only can win a Championship with the best car. This is the diference with Alonso and Hamilton

          2. @nico74 – Yes, as the Mclaren MP4-23 and Renault R25/R26 were clearly backmarkers.

          3. artificial racer
            28th September 2012, 19:20

            @nico74 LOL! Where are HAM’s other championships? His car was objectively the best in his championship year. Your only data point is possibly this particular season with Alonso… but this is not clear at all since Vettel and Ham both lost a lot of points now to reliability issues. Best car is not best car if not reliable. The Ferrari’s consistency so far can’t be denied and race pace has been decent.

            I’ve said it before, the best thing you can have in F1 is an underperforming teammate. Two good teammates fighting makes them both look bad (e.g. Toro Rosso last year)

          4. What a ridiculous comment

        5. I would also put my money on Alonso against Vettel, but it wouldn’t be as easy as you suggest. I imagine Seb would cause Fernando a lot of trouble, especially in qualifying, where I’m pretty sure he’d be better!

      2. While I think Alonso will come out on top (provided age does not catch up to him), I dont think it will be a clean sweep. I’d expect Vettel to beat him in Qualifying and win races due to track position. Alonso has always had mighty race pace with average one lappers, while Vettel is very much the opposite.

    2. Mexico’s best chance at making a huge impact on racing since Pedro Rodriguez met his untimely end.
      I think Sergio is a legit potential champion, he has speed and quite unpredictable as to what he will do making use of tyre selections, ability to make tyres last or overtaking through the field. I think he’s the most exciting thing to come through GP2 since.. well, Hamilton actually.

      I think Ferrari, and LdM will rue the day they thought he wasnt ready for Ferrari.

      1. Unless of course they sign kubica or Vettel.

  3. It’s going to be a strange sensation seeing Perez wheeling out in a McLaren, and Lewis in a Mercedes at the beginning of next year’s championship. Familiarity; it’s a killer really. This feels like the end of an era as a Lewis fan, especially so when, given the history he has with the team, I’d never seriously considered that he’d finally decide to seek pastures new, at least not this soon anyway. I’m still sort of shell-shocked. I was so confident he would just stay put. However, he has to be applauded for making such a bold move. I’m just hoping it reaps the rewards he’s after.

    1. +1 on that 1. I think he sees it as the chance to make it his own team. Mclaren are so pre-occupied with being equal to both drivers (which you cant complain about) they seem to have allowed their relationship with Hamilton (surely the most naturally gifted british driver in the last 25 years??) fall apart. Plus there’s a hell of a technical team at Merc now….

  4. What Ferrari need is a new Massa – a fresh young driver who’s had a few years in a Ferrari-powered Sauber and done a spot of testing in a pukka prancing horse. The problem is, he’s just signed for McLaren.

    Good one xD

    1. Great piece of writing there. :D

    2. I loved it. :D

  5. “What Ferrari need is a new Massa – a fresh young driver who’s had a few years in a Ferrari-powered Sauber and done a spot of testing in a pukka prancing horse.”

    Kobayashi to Ferrari? Could be interesting :-)

    1. I agree, imagine next year Suzuka-all in RED!

    2. I would prefer to see Kobayashi at McLaren as I’m not Ferrari’s biggest fan.. However, if they signed him to replace Massa.. I may just have to re-evaluate my position.

    3. Montezemolo is a funny guy. Does he seriously think that Perez could do worst than Massa ? And if Alonso would be considered as a great champion, he should race against a “real” teammate that challenge for the tittle and not a N°2.

  6. I’m not sure Perez is Tier-1 class driver. or he can evolve much further from now. I’ll wait and see. Ferrari has known how good Perez is. I don’t know why they release(?) him. perhaps because not good enough or too god.

    As for new Massa, I’m not concerned about it. There’re still good enough drivers out there for number 2. The question is whether Ferrari really think they should replace Massa to someone.

    1. Ferrari has known how good Perez is

      There’s still people thinking that Ferrari are that stupid to drop Perez & Mclaren are that smart to take Perez from them Ferrari want someone better than Perez (maybe Vettel in 2014)
      Mclaren took Perez because there’s no other driver available let me explain :
      Mclaren’s policy is to have the 2 best drivers available Hamilton already signed with Mercedes so they have to replace him who are the best drivers available on the market : Perez , Di Resta & Hulkenberg we can say that they are from the same material but Perez have a strong sponsorship behind him Telmex & Mclaren have to pay for the engines next year & Vodafone sponsorship is not secure so …..

      1. thatscienceguy
        29th September 2012, 4:15

        So you’re saying Perez is just a pay driver?

        1. No a pay driver doesn’t necessarily have the skills to back up his money, he’s just there to fund the team really.

          Perez, Di Resta and Hulkenberg are all of fairly similar quality, so why take someone who’ll deliver the same results and give you half the money for it. Or if he does have the ability everyone on here thinks he has (I’m confident they could be right, but lets wait and see), then to take a better driver and his much bigger resources is just plain obvious. Especially with Vodafone maybe going bye-bye and them having to fund their own engines for the first time in I don’t know how long.

  7. Ferrari have just lost one of the most promising young drivers on the grid due to their reluctancy to sign “inexperienced” drivers. Red Bull capatilized well upon their star driver in the youth academy and turned him into a two-time champion (and possibly a 3 time come the end of this year), and McLaren turned their’s into a champion too.
    I really hope Perez performs very well indeed at McLaren, just to rub it in the face of Luca Di Montozemolo. I honestly think, provided he gets a car capable of it, he could be world champion next year.

    1. Ferrari have just lost one of the most promising young drivers on the grid

      Did he signed forever with Mclaren??????
      The last problem Ferrari could have is a driver problem, don’t forget that every driver on the grid would like to drive for them during his career that’s a fact,Sergio is talented there’s no doubt about that but the guys behind this decision have their motives , maybe they want to hire a better driver than Perez ,maybe Vettel (as massa would keep the seat warm until 2014)

      Red Bull capatilized well upon their star driver in the youth academy and turned him into a two-time champion

      In 2009 they were desperate to sign Fernando Alonso , Vettel was not their first choice in the beginning plus the fact that Red Bull & McLaren are not FERRARI
      Ferrari is not just an F1 team , Ferrari is the greatest manufacturer of sports car in the world to drive for them you have to be an experienced driver

      I honestly think, provided he gets a car capable of it, he could be world champion next year

      what he was driving this year???this Sauber has been the fastest car by a big margin in at least 2 gran prix (Malaysia,Monza) ????

      1. You don’t win a title by being fastest in 2 races

        1. Looking at Alonso’s Ferrari, maybe you can this year @xjr15jaaag :-p

          Though in addition you apparently also need a lot of great driving, some luck and a well-oiled team behind you, so not on that alone, indeed.

          1. But the Ferrari is always among the top 3 in terms of performance pretty much every race.
            The Sauber was only really competitive at Monza, malaysia and canada; at all the other races pretty much, it was in the midfield.
            (Just felt a clarification was justified, as the previous comment wasn’t specific enough)

    2. “Ferrari have just lost one of the most promising young drivers on the grid due to their reluctancy to sign “inexperienced” drivers.”

      I think Ferrari’s obsession with itself is sometimes a detriment to its success. Some members of management have convinced themselves that the realities that other teams face don’t apply to them. Yes they have the longest and most storied history with lots of success, but they should always be pragmatic when it comes to driver selection and contracts. Putting their team on some pedestal so that “inexperienced” drivers aren’t welcome just means they ignore obvious talent, and so that talent goes to their competitors.

      1. artificial racer
        28th September 2012, 19:28

        To be fair though, aside from sponsorship Perez hasn’t proven himself yet to be something uniquely excellent. He came out of the gate as a rookie performing well and certainly seems to have potential. But the Sauber this year has been very good.

        There are other drivers.

    3. Ferrari have just lost one of the most promising young drivers on the grid due to their reluctancy to sign “inexperienced” drivers.

      I can’t understand why people keep saying that. Just because Montezemolo said it doesn’t mean it is true.
      Perez can’t be at Ferrari because, as any young talented driver, he will not keep his head down just to be an Alonso’s useful tool. (Remember Alonso-Hamilton-McLaren issue). Sooner or later this kind of situations derive to conflicts.
      But Montezemolo can’t say it, so talks about experience, and stuff. They will look for a good driver, (not brilliant, just good), someone that can help with their evil intentions.

      I honestly think, provided he gets a car capable of it, he could be world champion next year.

      In every race I’ve seen this year, I’ve thinked at least one time per race:”This guy is gonna be WD Champion”. I honestly think that 2013 is a little too soon, but hey, anything can happen.
      Anyway, I didn’t want Hamilton to go away. But, facing the facts, I’m really glad that this boy is gonna be his replacement.

    4. Wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Perez replacing Alonso at Ferrari a couple of years down the road. Now wasn’t the right time for Perez to join Ferrari for both parties, but that doesn’t mean they “lost” him.

      1. I agree, some people are interpreting these driver moves as if Ferrari are the big losers. If someone actually lost something from this whole affair it’s McLaren. They lost Hamilton (a driver considered to be one of the fastest on the grid in any situations) and got Perez (a talented young gun but with still much to prove). After all Sergio got most of his good results (Malaysia, Monza) due to some very fortunate tyre strategies. Will he be able to perform so brilliantly in ‘normal’ races? – Time will tell. Plus qualy isn’t his strongest point.
        Ferrari still have their star in Alonso and have plenty to chose from for a No 2 driver so they lost pretty much nothing. The only reason why there aren’t 2 great drivers driving for their team is because they only need one.

  8. God!! Why can’t someone at Ferrari Tweet some of Massa’s telemetry!!!
    It must be a truly amazing sight to behold, since they’ve given up on the potential of
    Perez, ushered Micheal Shumacher out prematurely, and did the same thing to Kimi all while
    keeping the masterful Massa’s seat secured.

    There must be some pretty impressive figures on those ‘Massa’ telemetry sheets…
    …all of which don’t add up to lap time.

    1. +1 comment of the day this 1! haha!

    2. The TRUTH is that Massa is doing in-race testing for Ferrari since no testing allowed. This is the real reason for his below bar performance and both he and Ferrari are happy with each other but cannot say it publicly or lose their market in Brazil. Ask Rubben :)

      1. Yah that’s why we always see development parts on Felipe’s car and not Alonso’s.

  9. Checo @ McLaren, fast on Sundays & charismatic. Telmex (replacing Vodafone eventually?), securing development funds. Better resouced strategy to help along, stable rules, 2013 should be fun for McL and fans.

    When will Gutierrez be ready for a Sauber seat? he’s fantastic but still immature. Amazing passes in Spa, Singapore Quali. Wonder if Telmex will keep Sauber’s funding level for a 3rd driver, and what that would do over the ’13 season for their ranking.

  10. Perhaps McLaren may ask Perez to help them win the constructors this year by taking out the red bulls ! Hahaha just joking :)

  11. It’s evident that ‘lack of experience’ was just an excuse for Montezemolo. I think the rumour about Vettel moving to Ferrari in 2014 is true and thus Ferrari will need a driver who would drive for them only for one year. Most drivers (who are still free) would, but Perez had better options such as joining McLaren. Most big rumours have turned out to be true on recent years (Räikkönen to Ferrari, Alonso to Ferrari, Button to McLaren, Schumacher’s comeback, Räikkönen’s comeback, Hamilton to Mercedes and so on), so I have a feeling that this one is true too.

    1. Schumacher’s comeback, Räikkönen’s comeback

      Does it still count if the rumor went around every year?

  12. Whise move for McLaren, wrong one for Ferrari.

    Martin 1 – Domenicali 0

    1. no if they have vettel and alonso, while perez is still an unknown quantity.

  13. “What Ferrari need is a new Massa – a fresh young driver who’s had a few years in a Ferrari-powered Sauber and done a spot of testing in a pukka prancing horse. The problem is, he’s just signed for McLaren.”

    As a Ferrari fan (but not a fan of its silly internal politics or of deMonte), I agree 100%. Ferrari made a mistake not snatching up Perez. He would have been the perfect driver to fill the second seat. He’s fast but not crash-prone, he has a good head on him and is a team player. Nobody is going to go to Ferrari and oust Fernando from his central position in the team. Everyone will expect Alonso to beat his teammate, so Perez’s reputation wouldn’t be damaged by finishing behind him in the WDC. He would have had the ability to maximise his potential in a fast and reliable car and make the most of the structured environment of a top team. A couple years of that and Sergio would be in a position to challenge for the WDC. Instead Mclaren will benefit from him.

    At this point Ferrari are pretty much stuck with Massa. Felipe is a great driver but the current environment at Ferrari is hurting him badly. He needs a fresh challenge.

    The only scenario under which any of this makes sense is if Ferrari already have a pre-agreement with Vettel for 2014, which seems unlikely considering ALO is there for the long term.

    This whole mess is confusing and disappointing.

    1. The TRUTH is that Massa is doing in-race testing for Ferrari since no testing allowed. This is the real reason for his below bar performance and both he and Ferrari are happy with each other but cannot say it publicly or lose their market in Brazil. Just ask Rubben :)

      1. I asked Rubbens and he said “no testing in mead season in track, there was no point on my time. You could do a lot of testing back then”. I really don’t see your point. The fact that they still have Massa, is somewhere else. They are not a bunch of stupids like some like to describe Ferrari. Just look at their history, success and dominance. No one can survive in this high competitive sport by chance, fortune and being stupid at the same time. I think they have their cards well hidden, and only time will tell what they are up to.
        Personally, I think it is better for Perez not to go to Ferrari right now. He may run the risk of being subdued. And Ferrari knows that as well. Let him have some experience in other top teams, and after that he will be ready for Ferrari. When was the last time that Ferrari hired a young talented driver as team leader? Only Gilles Villeneuve comes to mind.

  14. Does this mean Heikki will join Sauber?

    1. No, it means Schumacher WILL join Sauber as Sauber himself said so few days ago that he would offer Michael a seat.

      1. In one way (if it turns out to be true) I’ll be happy, but also in another disappointed

  15. I haven’t been a Schumacher fan all my life but the way he’s been treated in the UK media over the past couple of seasons has made me root for the underdog.

    I think Ferrari should take Schumacher back as it would be a win win. They already know they are getting Seb a year later. Schumacher knows his return wasn’t great but this year quite a lot of his troubles were with the cars reliability. I’m sure he does not want to leave the sport with the current run of results and wants to finish on a high.

    He could have been leading the Title Race this season after 5 races but for the reliability of the Merc and pit crew errors . Schumacher would put the past 3 years into distant memory if he competed with Alonso ( who most people think is the best driver in F1 today ) in the same car and beat him regular. At the end of the season im sure if Schumacher won a few races with Ferrari they could keep him as management or pit boss and he would be happier to retire with his head held high.
    Schumacher has proven in the past that he is one of the best people for car development and in the long run if you had Schumacher in your team in any type of roll sometime soon he will deliver a title winning car.
    Having spent so much time out of the sport and with regulation changes it did take him 2 years to find his mojo again. He’s been the better Merc driver this season although the points don’t show it he could have won the Monte Carlo GP had it not been for the grid penalty. I think in the long run it would make sense for Ferrari to take him back as they would get
    a. A better driver then Mecca who they are getting rid of soon anyway
    b. Car development improvements ( knowledge of Merc tech would help them a lot for top end speed )
    c. A massive sponsorship asset
    d. A long term team member / future pit lane boss manager
    e. A driver already familiar with how Ferrari work
    f. Seb would find it easier to join Ferrari if Schumacher had a roll in the team.

    Schumacher would receive a chance to redeem the past 3 years. The whole key to this is if Alonso would be happy to have him as a team mate. Im sure Schumacher would want equal billing at Ferrari at the start of the season to test which driver would emerge as the title contender.
    Schumacher will most likely not join another team as he would see it as a step back. I think he has Ferrari in his blood and I think most fans would probably agree it would be great for the sport for him to be given the chance to see out his career in the prancing horse.

    1. I agree. It would be fantastic to see Schumacher on a Ferrari again.

    2. +10 , if Schumi goes back to ferrari, and happens to beat Alonso every now and then, 2013 is already an awesome year in my oppinion

      1. Ferrari should welcome back Schumacher with open arms,they should give him a year for what he did for them,by lifting the team up from the gutter to where they are now.

        Schumacher has nothing to reproach himself for,nothing at all. On the other hand Brawn and Merc GP have plenty to hang their heads in shame for what they didn’t do for him.

    3. +313 simple pure prime move !!!
      313 is said to be pure prime because it is prime number and its digits are prime and their sum (3+1+3=7) is prime too :)

  16. Yes Perez takes good care of his tyres from outside the top-10, but he’s no match for Button.
    JB will definitely be no.1 at Mclaren.

    1. True – it stands to reason that the first season will have Perez learning from and following Button as the new team leader, but considering the promise he’s shown so far in his career, Sergio could very well take over the reins as the #1 driver in McLaren in a few seasons.

  17. Anyone read Will Buxton’s post on his personal blog regarding the silly season? Though it sounds crazy at first, he makes a pretty sound argument for why Ferrari didn’t take Perez – they are waiting for Vettel to arrive in 2014!

  18. Do you know that feeling when you predict something and you don’t tell anyone but then it happens and nobody believes you predicted it? That’s exactly how I feel.

    Good move for him, he is guaranteed with fine machinery and fair competition. Raikkonen in 2002, anyone?

    1. For Perez sake, I hope in 2013 that McLaren wont be performing as it did in 2002 :)

  19. Mclaren’s options were Kimi, Di Resta, Nico H, Grasjean, hey maybe even Maldonaldo :D.
    Has Perez shown better promise than all of the above?

    1. Would have been so amazing to have Maldonado in that McLaren…geeee. I can just see Button crying in the corner every race :)

    2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      28th September 2012, 17:40

      yes @jason12, because Di Resta and Hulkenberg haven’t got a podium yet this year.
      Because Maldonado, despite winning a race, is barely above Senna, who in my opinion is better than Maldonado in CONSISTENCY for points
      grosjean is still a crash kid
      Kimi (I’m fan of him but) can get that promising victory the people are waiting for. And who knows how that McLaren – Kimi relation ended
      And you can say Perez hasn’t won either, but is more balanced, I mean, he is regularly on the big points, he has overshadowed Kobayashi many times during the race, and he has (don’t forget that) BIG SPONSORS

      So yes, he was the best option available

      1. artificial racer
        28th September 2012, 19:40

        The only part of that which is really relevant is the sponsorship. The Sauber has clearly been a faster car overall than the Force India. Maldonado is pretty hard to understand.

  20. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    28th September 2012, 17:33

    Yes, this is possible to be a BIG dejavu. Raikkonen and Perez…
    – started in Sauber
    -went to Mc Laren
    – I hope I’m wrong, but i can’t see Perez as a Mc Laren champion, but yes he will win a bunch of times
    Ferrari might understand (later, remember how young Perez is) he can drive a Ferrari. Imagine if Vettel champions or Red Bull in 2013. Would he move to Ferrari? Probably not. So Ferrari can take the Perez option in 2014, and wwho knows, as Raikkonen, he can become a red champion.

    Let see if all this happens or i’m just day dreaming

  21. As both a Ferrari and Perez fan I’m utterly confused why they failed to sign him. Are they really pinning their hopes of Vettel signing for them in 2014 because, correct me if I’m wrong here, Vettel has shown almost no interest in leaving Red Bull. In fact he seems to be very loyal to them, just as Red Bull is very loyal to him.

    However Ferraris loss is McLarens gain and even though I’m not big fan of McLaren I wish Sergio all the best there. Ferrari will be kicking themselves next season if he turns out to be every bit as good as MW says he is.

  22. Enter Kovalainen. Somewhere.

    1. Ferrari 2014!!!

  23. Does Perez remind anyone else of a young Ayrton Senna? His story, attitude and ambition make me think this move is going to be the start of something great!!

  24. I know Perez is quite talented and certainly a good racer. I would rate him miles higher than some of the other hypes such as Ricciardo and Pastor and to a large extent Di Resta as well. The trouble is that most of his great performances have been when he was able to preserve the tyres to such an extent that he was doing strategies that were almost impossible to fathom. Yet, I think that a lot of this was possible due to the Sauber car in addition to the Perez skill. I wouldn’t like to predict how he would do at McLaren and do hope that he does well but a good part of me says that the same level of brilliant drives might not be there. He will score points and maybe a good number of podiums but at the same time he will be racing alongisde the best drivers of our time on a very consistent basis.

    1. Ferrari made a very good decison here (not falling for the recent/unqualified hype around Perez), they’ve got bigger fish to fry.

  25. William Brierty
    28th September 2012, 19:10

    “Tooned” is gonna look a bit different from now on. Actually thinking about it, this is a branding disaster from the formerly “all-British” team.

  26. My prediction was spot on! Well for Perez, a great deal with McLaren – team that has produced champions. Well I personally am a bit puzzled seeing the potential legendary driver of my time – Lewis Hamilton- going on a downward slope opposite to his predecessors!! Changing trends I guess!

  27. McLaren have apparently signed Perez for the money and to dilute McLaren’s “Britishness” (again for money), not because he’s ‘the best available’ as was suggested in recent interviews.

    1. Feels like the decision to reduce ‘Britishness’ was made a long time ago.
      Reducing Lewis’ salary was probably a deliberate move then, to achieve just that.

  28. Little offtopic, but the car on the picture is beautiful. Is it the F2010? Best post-2009 car built!

  29. If McLaren re-brands to silver + Telemex’s colours, it’ll look quite similar to the Merc :D

  30. what a shame for Ferrari

  31. Perez is finally going to get a descent qualifier of car, if he can start on top 5 no one can catch him !

    At two seasons full Ferrari & Sauber know how, and about to get the Mclaren hard drive too, only Hamilton can stop him but not in a dog car, Perez has bit everyone in track already, a few times actually and in a Sauber……

  32. What if Montezemolo is right?

  33. The problem of Ferrari not related with drivers, actually they have the best driver for now.
    If they can produce a car close to top runners Alonso and Massa (or another driver) are good enough to win both titles.

    It is better for Perez to team up with Button than Alonso. Perez is a good choice for Mclaren but no one can ignore to lost Hamilton was a big blow for them.

  34. davidnotcoulthard
    29th September 2012, 0:18

    “Next season is too early,” he said, adding: “To put a young guy to Ferrari with the pressure of Ferrari, you need more experience.”

    Isn’t that what Ferrari did with Gilles Villeneuve? How did he turn out?

    The idea of Ferrari as a team of two number one drivers, both multiple-champions, is an exciting one, though not one that tallies with their history of preferring a strong number one and a solid back-up driver.

    Quite an irony when we look at the 1982 pairing…………….

  35. Michael Brown (@)
    29th September 2012, 1:20

    Perez is on a similar path to Kimi Raikkonen: spends some time at Sauber, shows what he’s got at McLaren, and then gets picked up by Ferrari when he has the experience.

    Here’s a wild guess: Alonso is contracted to Ferrari until 2016, so Ferrari allowed McLaren to take Perez so he can get the experience he needs for Ferrari, then sign him a year or two before Alonso leaves after 2016. Of course I’m assuming Alonso will leave Ferrari after 2016 or retire.

  36. Ae you mexican? Perez hasn’t shown much speed. He has had good results because of the strategy he has used.kobayashi has beat him regularly in qualifying and since perez has been quite slow in qualifying it has allowed perez to choose his tires and race strategy. Perez has never shown he is fast under the same circumstances to other drivers. Perez is overrated. Divresta should have been the driver mclaren should had chosen. Instead the factor $ came into account when they decided to hired the mexican driver. The good thing is that next year we will be able to see how good or bad perez is! We will becable to compare him with button and hamilton will have to eat all the bitching, bad words, etc that he said Nd did to mclaren . Hamilton will have to spent years fighting in the middle of the pack and mark my words! He is going to regret having left mclaren and nit having taken advantage of the fact that mclaren gave him the best and second best car in all of his f1 seasons. He is going to eat the humble pie.

  37. I’m not sure I see Perez as potential WDC material- yet anyway. He’s had some standout drives this season, but is quite inconsistent and his qualifying pace isn’t brilliant. Perez is flavour of the season, but the atmosphere and expectations in a frontrunning team are very different to those at Sauber (just ask Heinz-Harald Frentzen) and he might struggle with those. I’d have taken Di Resta, personally. He’s incredibly levelheaded and intelligent, probably faster over 1 lap than the Mexican and makes less mistakes (in fact I can’t remember ever seeing Di Resta throw the car off the road or crash into anyone, which is phenomenal for someone with his limited F1 experience). He’s also previously won a championship in a Mercedes powered car. Both are part of the triumvirate of the most impressive up and coming drivers (along wit Maldonado) but I think Di Resta should have edged it. I hope I’m wrong though and I’d love to see Sergio do a Lewis in his first season with a top team.

  38. Ferrari will regret this I believe Checco is the natural successor to fernando within that team and is the current MAN in the ferrari young driver programme, Massa has been poor for a while now and annoyingly I dont think they will replace him, but I really wonder if Seb will go to ferrari as a neutral it will be amazing but it dont sound like ferrari to have two lead drivers if you like.

    If fernando sanctions the only reason I think is beacuse he doont rate seb as highly as he does lewis, i think fernando knows he can beat vettel.

  39. Ron Dennis never failed to pick up his driver,neither did he did this time around,Ferrari just lost it.

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