Perez expected he’d get Ferrari contract for 2014

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Sergio Perez has revealed he chose a drive at McLaren in 2013 despite having an opportunity to join Ferrari in 2014.

The Racing Point driver 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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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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37 comments on “Perez expected he’d get Ferrari contract for 2014”

  1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    17th April 2019, 18:25

    I suppose there’s no way he could have known McLaren were going to go into a downward spiral. Shame though, I think Perez would have been a great fit at Ferrari.

    1. With McLaren having only a single driver’s championship in 13 years… and no constructor’s… and being thrown out of championship for mega-cheating…

      Yeah, right, he couldn’t have known McLaren can’t deliver a sustained challenge…

      1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
        17th April 2019, 19:57

        McLaren would have been constructors champion in 2007 if it wasn’t for spygate
        The 2012 McLaren Mp4/27 was the fastest car of the pack when it did work, scoring 7 wins across the season, including the last two

        1. McLaren wouldn’t have been constructors champion in 2007 because of penalty from Hungarian GP

        2. Were they Champions?..

          Was it known in 2012?

          That’s all what is needed to be said.

        3. And yet, even with the fastest car at the beginning and end of the season, McLaren didn’t win the constructor’s title. They didn’t even finish second. They finished third – behind Ferrari. Remember the car Ferrari started 2012 with? They couldn’t even beat that.

          1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
            18th April 2019, 7:29

            the car wasn’t reliable and that season was nuts at times, not to mention how much Alonso outperformed that Ferrari.

            There was no way in hell anyone would have expected them to finish 2013 5th with 0 podiums

      2. @dallein, this was also a team that was usually winning between 5 and 7 races a season and had only once failed to finish in the top three since 1998. After all, by that same logic, Ferrari had delivered only two World Drivers Championships from 2004 to 2014 inclusive, so why would going to them be much better?

        Equally, whilst you criticise McLaren for cheating, Ferrari’s F2007 also appears to have been operating in an illegal configuration as well – the flexible floor of the car is fairly well known about now, and the hearing into the whole “Spygate” affair also indicated that the braking system on the F2007 was potentially breaching the regulations as well (they appear to have had a system for automatically modulating the pressure applied by the rear brakes independently of driver brake application, which would potentially have broken what was Section 11.1.4 of the regulations at the time).

        1. Has a car ever won the championship without questionable innovations though?

  2. I read “expected to get” as describing something in the future, saw 2014, got confused, and wondered how that happened on my first glass of wine. :)

  3. Ferrari was awful in 2014 anyway, so it probably wouldn’t have been that different than his McLaren year.

    1. You don’t think Alonso would have smashed him much harder than Button? I like Perez but it would have been some kind of record smashing.

      1. And Perez, who was smashed by Kobayashi, had smashed Hulk who currently smashes Ricciardo who smashed Vettel and has been smashed by Kvyat. And let’s not forget that Button had smashed Hamilton so you can certainly claim Jenson is the greatest driver of all time and it’s not a surprise Perez was smashed by him… See, how stupid all this smashing thing? /sarcasm
        Maybe Checo is not as great as Nando, but he’s definitely a good driver and by no means worse than Massa, whose role he was supposed to take at Ferrari, I assume.

        1. That explanation was, wait for it… smoking!

        2. Maybe you should look up the definition of “smashed”.

        3. A S (@aminsarur)
          23rd April 2019, 0:21

          Perez smashed Kobayashi

  4. So –
    After the first race he said that Lance is the toughest team mate he has had.
    Now he says Ferrari wanted him years ago.

    I predict that by mid season it will turn out that he has been cloned from Nigel Mansells right nipple, that he single handedly designed the DRS system during a dream, and that all the other drivers call him “Master” in private.

    Actually shame on me – he drove good last weekend so what if he says some odd stuff … keep it going – Master ;)

    1. I have to confess that Mercedes considered me instead of Hamilton!
      I decided to remain on Couch…

      I can’t remember, was it in some F1 simulator… all’s a blur)

      1. I expected to get a Bentley for Christmas. Got a book token and pair of socks instead.

        1. Bummer!

        2. BlackJackFan
          18th April 2019, 2:57

          I just got a socks token…

  5. First when i saw the title i read it like “Perez expected to get a Ferrari contract for 2024” and got exited at the same time as i thought “thats really early to start speculate and Why not 2020 then?
    Then i saw the real title and my hopes went out the window.

  6. “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.”

    Yup, checks out! The problem, in hindsight, was only going with McLaren for one year, back then.
    In a few years he’ll be telling us he should have let Ocon stay with Racing Point and switched with Stroll to Williams in 2019!

  7. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
    17th April 2019, 19:37

    I just saw Perez Ferrari contract and almost died for a moment.

  8. Just imagine if he indeed had joined Mercedes for 2013 instead of LH. He then probably would’ve remained there for the following season as well, and thus, got to enjoy the utter dominance of the team and potentially win the WDC along the way. The funny thing is that I’ve occasionally thought of this possible alternate reality in which Perez would be driving at Mercedes as Nico Rosberg’s teammate from 2013 onwards and into the hybrid era. The same could be said about Jenson Button as well, had he remained at Brawn GP for 2010 when it became the Mercedes works team. The history of F1 is full of what ifs.

    1. Rosberg would have destroyed him each season though.

      1. Would Rosberg have improved as much as he has alongside Hamilton though?

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          18th April 2019, 21:18

          @tomsr Rosberg destroyed Schumacher for 3 seasons in a row. What chance would Perez have?

  9. I miss the Kimi McLaren days. 2002 – 2005 He was sooo good and the car kept falling apart

    1. Great days.
      Ferrari signed Kimi in 2005, 2 years before he started with them.

      Perez was still in nursery school then, but still expected to get the drive…..

  10. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    17th April 2019, 21:52

    Instead he got a breathe right strip (see article photo) and has been happy!

  11. His manager back the was ex Indy car Mexican racer Adrian Fernandez, they fell out because of that contract situation.

  12. I think Perez like Massa, Romain, KMag..etc is a solid driver but World Champion material he is not. Perez had a solid 2012 season and Mclaren, Ferrari thought he is the next superstar and wanted him. He chose Mclaren and got smashed by Button. Mclaren realized early that he is no next Hamilton which they are looking for and dropped him after just 1 year.
    Its very tough now for him to be getting a top 3 car. I personally dont rate him highly and i think he would struggle to beat Kimi 2.0 in the same car.

  13. McLaren dropped him because they thought magnussen was the next Senna and didn’t want to lose him.

    1. Yep indeed @joac21, and they thought themselves, if not the 1980ies McLaren, the one from 1998-2005 at least. Maybe their judgement should not be taken as gospel either!

  14. Ouch

  15. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
    18th April 2019, 8:35

    Let’s see the glass half-full Checo: with where McLaren ended, it was a good thing to have signed only a one year contract.

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