Sergio Perez says he is confident of being a McLaren driver again next year, despite still waiting for a contract to be signed off.
In much the same way as team-mate Jenson Button, the Mexican claims to be waiting on the team to tie up the loose ends of the deal, but shows no sign of unease, despite the rumour mill linking other drivers to Woking in recent weeks.
Perez was taken ahead of Nico Hulkenberg as replacement for the Mercedes-bound Lewis Hamilton but, having failed to add a point to his 2012 tally once the announcement was made, has since been hampered by a blow-par McLaren that has yet to threaten the podium in 2013. Despite the frustration on both sides, however, Perez is expected – and expects - to take his place in an unchanged line-up next year.
“Yeah, pretty much everything done, I think, but the right thing to do is to ask [team principal] Martin [Whitmarsh] about that,” the 23-year old claimed, “We've been having some discussions about the contract [and] the contract is done, but we are just finalising the final dots. Obviously I cannot give much detail about them, but everything is pretty much done.”
Such is McLaren's malaise in 2013 that it finds itself battling Force India for fifth place in the constructors' standings, rather than taking on Red Bull and Ferrari for the title. Having moved ahead of its rival at Monza, McLaren holds a tenuous five-point advantage with seven races remaining.
“It's not a secret that we haven't had the year that we were hoping for, so we definitely have to try and finish as high as possible in the next seven races and maximise the full potential [of the car],” he admitted, “Last weekend in Monza, we should have got more points than we did, so I think we definitely have to make sure that we bring home all the points that we can. If, at the end, we beat Force India, it's good for us.”
In the meantime, the Mexican announced that he would be dedicating his Singapore weekend to victims of the tropical storm that struck his homeland this week.
“We're not having a great time right now,” he acknowledged, “A lot of people have lost their houses; other people have died. Things are getting a bit more complicated. That's a bit sad for my country.
“I will dedicate my race weekend for all my country, all the people that is suffering, losing their houses, their families, so hopefully things can get better.”