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Fri Apr 18 16:12:23 SAST 2014

Perez says he's ready for move to top F1 team

Chris Lines, Sapa-AP | 20 September, 2012 13:470 Comments
F1 Grand Prix of Italy
Sergio Perez of Mexico and Sauber celebrates on the podium after finishing second during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at Monza on September 9, 2012 in Monza, Italy
Image by: Clive Mason / Getty Images

Sauber driver Sergio Perez says he’s ready to drive for one of Formula One’s top teams as speculation grows about a potential move to Ferrari and McLaren.

The Mexican’s impressive performances this season have seen him linked to potential vacancies at the series’ top teams, even though Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo said he does not think Perez has enough experience yet to make the move in 2013.

“I fully respect his opinion ... to become a Ferrari driver you probably need more (experience),” Perez said ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

“It’s only my second year in Formula One but I feel ready to do a good job with a top team, to fight for the championship. In that respect I feel ready.” 

Perez said he has not received any formal approaches from F1’s leading teams, despite the rumour mill putting him at the top of the list as a potential replacement should Ferrari drop Felipe Massa or if Lewis Hamilton does not reach agreement on a new deal with McLaren for 2013.

“Before it was Ferrari, now it’s McLaren,” Perez said. “Always when I have a good race, they (the media) put me in a different team.” 

Ferrari’s top driver, Fernando Alonso, said he was amused by the amount of drivers linked with a move to Maranello next season, saying not many would reach the team’s standard.

“I have worked with Felipe for two or three years, we have a good relationship,” Alonso said. “If the team decides to change Felipe, someone who arrives would have to be better than Felipe.

“In my opinion we need a driver that respects Ferrari, the tradition of the team.” 

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg is another driver linked with a possible Ferrari vacancy, even though he remains under contract next season.

“There is a good chance I will be with Force India next year, but nothing has been announced yet,” Hulkenberg said.

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