Sergio Perez has revealed he chose a drive at McLaren in 2013 despite having an opportunity to join Ferrari in 2014.told the official F1 website he had discussions with Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenciali in 2012 about joining the team for the 2014 season. Perez was a Ferrari Driver Academy member at the time and the deal would have involved him spending a third season with their engine customer Sauber in 2013.
Instead he decided to join McLaren for 2013, but lasted just one season at the team before being dropped. “I think probably given how McLaren was at that time that ride came just at the wrong moment for me,” said Perez. “Because if you go back to 2012 I was a Ferrari member, I was going to get a contract for 2014, I had to say one more year with Sauber and then get the ride with Ferrari.”
“I went to Maranello and discussed with Domenicali, he told me ‘let’s do a pre-contract for 2014’,” he explained.
Perez said he had approaches from several top teams during 2012. “At that time Mercedes was interested, Ferrari was and McLaren so I was in a really strong position back then. And I thought to myself ‘I need to get into a competitive car because I can win the title’.
“The opportunity with McLaren came and McLaren was winning races, was fighting for titles for the last five years, so how can you say no? It was quite an obvious thing.”
He said it was a “mistake” to sign a one-year deal for McLaren at the expense of his relationship with Ferrari.
“I had to say basically goodbye to the Ferrari academy and I went to McLaren. I think the mistake there was to sign a one-year deal. My management at the time didn’t do a solid job with the contract.
“That was a sad thing, I think that has damaged my reputation in Formula 1. But then I came to a fantastic team and I had good success with the team.”
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