Sergio Perez insists Ferrari was never an option for him after signing a multi-year deal to race for main rivals McLaren…
Sergio Perez insists Ferrari was never an option for him after signing a multi-year deal to race for main rivals McLaren.
As a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy many expected Perez would eventually head to Maranello if not as early as next season, replacing the beleaguered Felipe Massa.
However, instead of signing with Ferrari, the Sauber driver is off to their main rivals McLaren, replacing the Mercedes-bound Lewis Hamilton.
“We were talking to them but it was never an option,” Perez said.
“I’ve been talking with them because I was part of their Scademy and I have contact with them and communication, but really the place that I’ve got [at McLaren] is the best place where I can be.
“I’m so happy and I thank them [Ferrari] also because they’ve helped me a lot to come into Formula One, but now I’m moving forward and I want to thank McLaren for taking me on board and to trust in me.”
The Mexican also denied speculation that he was destined to one day drive for Ferrari as part of a pre-set career path.
“It was never clear with them if they wanted me or not. It was difficult for them, probably, to make a decision.
“I think they’re happy with Felipe, he’s a very good driver and a proven driver as well. I’m not a proven driver or as much as a guarantee as Felipe is, so probably that’s why I was never an option for them.
“The opportunity never came so I never saw them as an option for me.”
The door, though, has been opened for Perez to show what he is capable of with the three-time podium finisher admitting that there is just one goal at McLaren.
“With McLaren there is no other option, you have to win,” he said.
“You have a car that can win every race – it’s a guarantee, McLaren is always a guarantee. So I have to work very hard to give everything to my team and I am ready to do it at the end of this season.”