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Perez: I want to win the title next year

Tuesday 13-November-2012 12:08

Sergio Perez admits he has "big shoes to fill" at McLaren next season, but the Mexican has already set his sights on winning the World Championship.

After impressing at Sauber the past season and a half, Perez will get a chance to mix it with the title challengers from 2013 onwards after McLaren decided to sign him as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton, who is moving to Mercedes.

When asked by CNN about his goals for next season, the 22-year-old replied: "Just one goal - to be World Champion."

He added: "My target straight away is to win the World Championship. I need to get wins to do that. I know it will be very hard to win the Championship but it's the challenge I want."

The departing Hamilton finished second in the World Championship in his first year in Formula One in 2007 and then won the title the following year.

Perez concedes he has a hard act to follow at McLaren.

"For sure, I've got big shoes to fill," he said. "I rate him very highly and he's maybe the fastest out there. It's going to be tough to follow what he did."

The Mexican will team up with Jenson Button at the Woking squad next year and Perez knows it won't be easy to get the better of the 2009 World Champion.

"I've spoken to Jenson a bit since I signed for McLaren," said Perez. "He seems to be a great guy and I think he'll be good fun as a team-mate. He's a very tough guy to beat and is very experienced. He's one of the fastest guys out there."

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