Sergio Perez could be on his way to McLaren, if Lewis Hamilton does opt to leave and join Mercedes, it is being reported.

According to British newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, contract negotiations between McLaren and Hamilton have now reached 'crisis point' and it is 'understood contact has been made with Perez as Hamilton ponders a ?60million offer from Mercedes'.

"McLaren's approach to the 22-year-old Sauber driver is an indication the team are growing impatient with the negotiating strategy of Hamilton's management, XIX Entertainment," read the report in the 'paper. "The move is the beginning of the end game. Hamilton may find his future is taken out of his own hands with the spectre of Perez being courted by McLaren, who do not want to be outmanoeuvred by the 27-year-old British driver."

Perez has impressed this season and most recently took his third podium of the year in the Italian Grand Prix.

However it should be remembered the Sauber driver is also part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and whether the Scuderia will let the highly rated Mexican join arch rivals, McLaren is open to debate...

A 'senior F1 insider' meanwhile allegedly told the The Mail on Sunday that Hamilton should be wary of just chasing money.

"Lewis Hamilton is playing with fire, and when you play with fire sometimes you get your fingers burned. He'd be crazy to leave McLaren. If he wants to know what happens when you leave a top team to chase money, he needs only to Google Jacques Villeneuve," the unnamed source said.

On Friday, the same newspaper, also reported that it is now no better than 'no better than a 50-50 chance' that Hamilton will stay with McLaren. It was also noted that Hamilton's future might be decided before the Singapore GP next weekend [see separate story - HERE].

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