Ahead of his test outing in a Ferrari this week, the Scuderia's
team principal Stefano Domenicali has tipped Sergio Pérez to enjoy 'a great career', praising Sauber's F1 2011 rookie for his 'humble approach'.
Pérez has impressed during his eleven grands prix to-date this season, frequently running up inside the top ten, twice troubling the points-scorers at the chequered flag and out-qualifying rapid and more experienced team-mate Kamui Kobayashi seven times to four, including in the last four races in swift succession.
As a member of Ferrari's young driver academy, the 21-year-old Mexican is set to benefit from a loophole in the F1 testing regulations to climb behind the wheel of a two-year-old F60 at Fiorano in Italy this week – something of a tentative audition, given that he is one of the contenders reckoned to be in-line to potentially replace Felipe Massa at Maranello in 2013. Even before the test, he has already received a ringing endorsement from Domenicali.
“As you know, Sergio is part of our driver academy, and I think he is having a great season,” the Italian mused. “[The test is] part of the training programme that we give the drivers who are part of the academy. It's something that is related to his improvement, to his technical skill, to give him some laps with our cars and know better that situation.
“I think Sergio has a good chance of having a great career. He has started with a good, humble approach, and I have seen him growing very much.”
Pérez – who has re-signed to compete for Sauber again in 2012 – will be pitted against fellow Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) member and GP2 Series ace Jules Bianchi at Fiorano.
“It will be a very interesting test, because we will be putting Jules Bianchi and Sergio Pérez up against one another,” confirmed head of the FDA, Luca Baldisserri. “I think they will both be very motivated, and for us it will be the perfect opportunity to assess both drivers.”