Sergio Perez admits it is a dream come true to have secured a drive on the F1 grid for the 2011 season.
The Mexican youngster will join Sauber for his debut in the sport after the team confirmed he would partner Kamui Kobayashi for the new season, bringing with him backing from telecommunications giant Telmex to give the Swiss team a welcome financial boost.
Perez will get his first taste of the Sauber car when he takes part in the post-season test in Abu Dhabi and he admitted he was already excited about making his debut.
“It is a dream come true,” he said. “I started racing at the age of six and always pushed myself to make it into Formula One. I had a very difficult time when going alone to Europe – to Germany actually – at the age of 15. It was hard but I took my chances. Now I'm looking forward to succeeding in Formula One.”
Perez was speaking on a visit to the Sauber factory in Hinwil, where the 20-year-old had a seat fitting in preparation for his Abu Dhabi debut.
“I came here to meet my future team and also to find out where I am going to live here,” he said. “I want to be very close to the factory and to spend as much time as possible with them in my first season. I'm looking forward to having this experience and succeeding with the Sauber team. I think they're a great bunch of people; they received me very, very well, and I am really happy. I did quite a lot of work with the engineers as it is good to get to know each other. All in all it was a very nice experience.
“It is a great factory, it is really huge. It seems that here you've got all the environment and resources which are needed to build a competitive Formula One car and to succeed. I hope everything goes well with preparations for the next season, and then we should have a good car.”