Sergio Perez, Sauber, Suzuka, 2012

Perez targets championship after McLaren move

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Sergio Perez, Sauber, Suzuka, 2012In the round-up: Sergio Perez says he intends to win the world championship after he moves to McLaren in 2013.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Perez: I can win the title for McLaren (Telegraph)

“‘I am going there to win the title, not just to win races,’ he shrugs when asked about the expectations about to be heaped on him. ‘With McLaren there is no other option.'”

Sauber say Perez will not trigger Mexican exit (Reuters)

“Sergio Perez’s main Mexican backers will stick with Sauber despite the driver’s departure for McLaren at the end of the season, the Swiss team’s chief executive Monisha Kaltenborn said on Friday.”

F1: No Regrets About Losing Perez, Says Domenicali (Speed)

“I mean, he had this opportunity, and I think that what we wish to him is the best for his future. I think that he received this offer or he discussed this offer with a very important team, and I think that first of all we didn’t have any right to block him or to say something in that respect, because he was a driver who is working for the Sauber team.”
Whitmarsh Q&A (Sky)

“I think it was a very close decision, because I think [Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta] are two very good drivers. But we were looking at potential and I think what we were trying to do was pick someone who was going to progress beyond where they are now. We think [Perez] will, but we don’t know. Obviously we believe that and a lot of other people do as well.”

Nico Rosberg reveals he encouraged Lewis Hamilton to join McLaren (The Independent)

“I tried to stay quite objective. Yes, I mentioned the positives and he asked a few things and I gave honest answers. My answers are all positive because I am positive of the team.”

Lotus won’t run ‘device’ at Suzuka (ESPN)

Kimi Raikkonen said a number of problems with the ‘device’ meant it would not be fitted for Saturday and Sunday.”

Be clever and push like hell (Toro Rosso)

Jean-Eric Vergne:”I have to say that immediately afterwards [when Michael Schumacher hit him in Singapore] I was really angry, so I stayed in the car for a few moments to calm down. Slowly you come to realise that the race is over, there?s nothing more you can do about the situation and so that?s that. I got out of the car, went over to him to hear what he had to say for himself and all he said was ‘sorry, my mistake’. You just have to accept it and move on.”

Japanese GP – Conference 2 (FIA)

Ross Brawn: “Our agreement with McLaren is to supply engines to the same specification. None of us really know how it’s going to be in 2014 in terms of engine performance, engine reliability. There won’t be huge differences. We have a one team policy, a one team principle. Our staff at Brixworth and Brackley work together as one entity and that does bring them closer than can be achieved with a customer, but McLaren are an extremely professional customer. Our ambition is to have the best engine in 2014 as is Stefano’s and McLaren will have that engine as well.”

Live stream for international fans (V8 Supercars)

“V8 Supercars has extended its race telecast of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 to a live online feed around the world after huge demand from international fans.”

Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying Preview (Unibet)

My latest article for Unibet.


Comment of the day

Sumedh on Alonso’s performance so far this year:

Alonso’s season reminds me of his 2006 season. Very good in the first half (in 2006, it was a fast car, and brilliant driving; in 2012 it was rain, misfortune of others and brilliant driving).

In the second half of the 2006 season, Renault became second fastest and Fernando didn?t win a race until Michael?s engine died in Japan. That Japan win remained the only win for Fernando in the second half and that sealed him the title.

Fernando now needs just that. One more win and he will do it. That one win has to come in any of the six races. Other five, his consistency will be enough.

As a Ferrari fan, I hope that win comes on Sunday. He took the title off Ferrari at Japan in 2006. And six years later, he will have won it for Ferrari at the same circuit!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Gaston_pdu!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Watkins Glen saw its second F1 fatality in as many years during the 1974 race. Helmuth Koinigg died after crashing his Surtees one year after Francois Cevert lost his life at the same circuit.

The race produced a one-two for Brabham, Carlos Reutemann leading home Carlos Pace, with James Hunt third for Hesketh.

Here’s some footage from the race weekend:

Image ?? Sauber F1 Team

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  • 40 comments on “Perez targets championship after McLaren move”

    1. “I think it was a very close decision, because I think [Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta] are two very good drivers. But we were looking at potential and I think what we were trying to do was pick someone who was going to progress beyond where they are now

      Crikey, I guess Di Resta is off MW’s Christmas card list now then!

      1. Perez comes with more commercial potential than di Resta or Hulkenberg. Performance is secondary, Whitmarsh is talking the talk as usual.

        1. Perez comes with a career achievement of three podiums.

          Hulkenberg and di Resta come with a career achievement of no podiums.

          1. Yes, three podiums in the car which has been touted by most as the aerodynamic marvel by rivals who have got many more points than them. When the season started Sauber was the fourth fastest/fifth fastest car, while Force India was eighth fastest. If MW cannot see beyond a couple of podiums and rate their true performances, that is his loss.

            1. @chicanef1 – And I’m sure that there is more to it than Perez’s podiums. Whitmarsh has said that strong performances were what attracted the team to him as a potential driver in the first place. After all, consider this: when Perez finished second in Malaysia, he had started ninth. When he came third in Canada, he had started fifteenth. And when he finished second in Italy, he had started twelfth. In fact, this is something he has done on every occasion where he has scored points – he started twenty-second in Australia, and fiinshed eighth. He started fifteenth in Valencia and finished ninth. He started seventeenth in Germany and finished sixth. And he started fourteenth in Singapore, and finished tenth. Perez has had to work to get those results. He has had to preserve his tyres, maintain his speed, and get his strategies to work. His qualifying pace will need some work, to be sure, but you can see why McLaren were attracted to him.

              When I was pointing out Perez’s podiums compared to di Resta’s and Hulkenberg’s lack of them, I was really disputing the claim made by @bernard that McLaren took Perez because he had more commercial potential than either di Resta or Hulkenberg. I think that is flawed logic – when you look back over the season so far, who has been talked about the most: Perez, Hulkenberg, or di Resta? It’s easily been Sergio Perez. And why? Because he’s been the most impressive.

              Yes, there are commercial opportunities for McLaren is signing Perez. But there would have been other commercial opportunities in taking either Hulkenberg or di Resta. If they took Hulkenberg, McLaren could play up to the idea that he was a highly-rated rookie in 2010, who was unfairly and/or cruelly dumped at the end of the year before he had a chance to prove himself, who fought his way back into the sport and is now joining a top team the way he was seemingly destined to when he first arrived in Formula 1. And if they took di Resta, McLaren could easily emphasise their “Britishness”, that they were a British team with British drivers, taking British excellence head-to-head with the rest of the world.

              McLaren are, first and foremost, a racing team. And like any racing team, they are obligated to take the drivers who they feel are best for them. Furthermore, as a front-running team, they are not slaves to taking pay drivers – Perez has no sponsorship obligations to McLaren. So I suspect Bernard’s comments about the team taking Perez because of his commercial potential is because Bernard does not approve of the choice of Perez, and so is attempting to marginalise Perez’s results and success.

            2. @prisoner-monkeys

              Team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes the dilution of McLaren’s “Britishness” will make them more appealing to potential sponsorship partners.

              Sauber have benefited from the support of a number of Mexican sponsors over the last two years since the 22-year-old joined the Swiss-based team, and it is certain McLaren will now do likewise

              “Lewis and Jenson are great ambassadors and great assets, but for some of our partners to have a European and a Latin in our team is very appealing,” said Whitmarsh.

              “You’ll never please everyone, but there were some partners who were uncomfortable with the Britishness of our team and its line-up, and clearly we have a broader appeal now.”

              Those commercial considerations were perhaps why Perez was given the opportunity rather than Paul Di Resta, despite the Scot’s impressive performances over the last two years at Force India.

              “I know Paul very well and I rate him,” added Whitmarsh. “But it would probably have been a little bit too continuing with the British theme to have gone that route.”


              There is not much more to add other than McLaren are now more than a mere racing team, selling road cars, medical equipment and other specialised products and services which would benefit hugely from the wider exposure Perez (and Slim) would enable.

              “Our success is largely independent of our performance on the racetrack” – Geoff McGrath


              Add in having to pay Mercedes for engines and that they may soon loose Vodafone as title sponsor. As I said above, the commercial potential quite clearly is the greater draw – they all but spell it out themselves.

            3. @bernard – That still doesn’t prove what you said was true, namely that Perez was taken for commercial gain and commercial gain only. Virtually any driver that the team took could be used to present a certain commercial image; it’s not something exclusive to Sergio Perez.

              And you’re still ignoring Perez’s results to date.

          2. Well said.

            Plus he is not taking any sponsors to McLaren.

            Telmex, etc, will stay put at Sauber, possibly for Esteban.

            1. Plus he is not taking any sponsors to McLaren.

              He’s not taking them, but they could join of their own volition because they want to be associated with the team. Monisha Kaltenborn has said that Telmex is staying with Sauber, which I find to be interesting because she does not mention Claro, and Claro has much more prominent branding on the car. You can actually see the Claro decals from the grandstands, but to see the Telmex ones, you have to be up-close (or watching television). As Telmex and Claro are sister brands – they’re both owned by America Movil – it’s possible that Telmex will stay with Sauber and Claro will move to McLaren (which also works because Claro’s primary corporate colour is red, and the McLaren colours are silver and red).

              But if any of Perez’s current sponsors join McLaren, it will be because they want to be associated with the team and driver, and not because Perez was contractually-obligated to find them for the team.

        2. Spot On!

          I think when Martin went shopping this time, he skipped the British/Scottish section completely.
          It is a correct decision too. You can’t pull all your eggs in one basket in a global sport.

      2. @john-h To be fair, I think Whitmarsh is right. Di Resta is good, but he doesn’t light up the track like Perez does.

        1. You got me started thinking. Di Resta is more like Coulthard while Perez is (probably) more like Hakkinen.

    2. With all those Mexican sponsors, could Gutiérrez be getting the call up to Sauber next year?

      1. I’m not so sure about 2013 but they definitely have that in prospect.

    3. Good attitude from Vergne. Many drivers jump out the car and start kicking off after a crash so it was good to see a mature reaction from him.

      1. @mark-hitchcock ala Nelson Piquet? :p

    4. In the round-up: Sergio Perez says he intends to win the world championship after he moves to McLaren in 2013.

      Some people might consider that arrogant, but to me it’s nothing but a positive winning attitude from Sergio, I like that.

      1. Important to note too that he is more or less saying that he feels that’s his responsibility – he feels capable of it, and he feels that the team thinks he’s capable of it or he wouldn’t be driving a McLaren. The headline makes it sound a bit more arrogant than it otherwise should, in my opinion.

      2. Well like he said when you race for a team like McLaren, Red Bull or Ferrari winning the championship is what’s expected of you.

        He hasn’t said he is aiming to win it in 2013 (thats a tad unrealistic, but hey you never know) but that he aims to win it in his time with the team.
        Like you said, that is the right attitude to have as McLaren are a championship contending team.

      3. They all say that when they join a top team.

      4. Indeed, he means serious title contention comes with the territory at McLaren. Sounds better in Spanish.

    5. In some other news, there is website dedicated to “What will Kimi do next?”:
      An announcement will be made on October 17th.

      1. Hopefully he’s not leaving F1.

        1. October 17th? His birthday. :P

          1. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
            6th October 2012, 14:58

            Or he is moving to Ferrari? :-)

      2. This got promoted by the Lotus F1 Team’s facebook, so I doubt it’s him moving or anything.

    6. has a team ever been built up so much only to continuously disappoint as much as Lotus have this year?

      1. has a team ever been built up so much only to continuously disappoint as much as Lotus have this year?

        They’re called Mclaren.

        1. I see what you mean, but at least they have the speed and win races. Unfortunately they have an unrivalled ability to throw away championships

      2. The artist formally known as Lotus – Caterham, Mercedes also come to mind.

      3. @jleigh Mercedes. They win that coveted title.

        Disappointed they can’t get it working but it’s not yet been outlawed for next year soooo chances are that they’re just going to use these remaining races to develop what they can for 2013. If it was banned like the Mercedes alternative I would just be telling them to scrap it altogether.

    7. I have feeling Perez is saying too much, too ambitious since the Mclaren announcement. This season is far from over, fellah.

      1. I’m not really sure how you can say that. When you go to McLaren, you go there to win titles. Perez knows that. If he didn’t feel that way about it, McLaren wouldn’t have taken him. As Martin Whitmarsh said, they also looked at Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta, so it’s not like they were starved for choice.

      2. Well he’s saying the same thing that every driver has when joinging McLaren since the late 80’s. I don’t think he’s out of line at all.

    8. I had to laugh at this one: a lot of people think Jaime Alguersuari will be racing for Force India next year, because – wait for it – he’s very recently started following the team on Twitter. Apparently, Alguersuari hasn’t really followed anyone on Twitter until just now.

      Continuing the theme of this madness, Nico Hulkenberg will supposedly leave the team and take Massa’s place at Ferrari, again because he recently started following the team on Twitter.

      As far as driver choices go, I don’t think either Force India or Ferrari could do much better than Alguersuari and Hulkenberg, but I find the way people are making these connections to be utterly hilarious.

      1. I agree its stupid. But it would be great it it turned out to be true ;)

    9. That’s not Kimi’s KERS in that box, its his stash of Smirnoff and mini-milks.

    10. @keithcollantine
      I believe that Rosberg lured Hammi to Mercedes, not McLaren.
      But it wasn’t your slip, Independent got its headline wrong. The deamons of Ctrl-C Ctrl-V play havoc again :-).

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