Sergio Perez's deal to join Sauber next season isn't only good news for the Mexican or his new team, but also for the latest edition of the United States Grand Prix.
That is the view of promoter Tavo Hellmund, who admitted at the time of Austin being announced as the new host of the event that Mexican involvement in F1 could only benefit the race. Perez, who become the first Mexican driver since Hector Rebaque in the early 1980s, was confirmed at Sauber earlier this week, bringing Telmex backing - and the support of the world's richest man, Carlos Slim - to the Swiss team.
Speaking to US-based Speed TV
, Hellmund said that he was excited by the deal, claiming that it would help to attract a strong Mexican presence from across the Texan border when the USGP returns to the schedule in 2012.
“I have followed Sergio's career closely and I am ecstatic that he will be an F1 driver next year," he said, "I congratulate Sergio on this great accomplishment, [and] I look forward to following his career at the highest level of motorsports and assisting in any way possible.
“I spoke with both Carlos and Sergio and we all agree that the 2012 United States Grand Prix will be like a home race for Sergio. In 2011, we will have a driver for the Americas with Sergio and, in 2012, we will have the Grand Prix of the Americas with the United States Grand Prix. We all look forward to working together to maximise this wonderful opportunity.”
Perez is expected to make his Sauber debut in the 'young driver' test scheduled for Abu Dhabi immediately after the final race of the 2010 season, and will line-up alongside Kamui Kobayashi in one of the more inexperienced pairings next season. Fellow Mexican, reigning GP3 Series champion Esteban Gutierrez, will act as the team's test and reserve driver in 2011, and could join his countryman in Abu Dhabi.