26 October 2013
Indian Grand Prix: Perez: Rumours and reality are different
Sergio Perez remains convinced that his seat is safe at McLaren, despite paddock speculation suggesting otherwise.
Sergio Perez insists that he is not letting himself be concerned by speculation that he may not be a part of the McLaren line-up in 2014.
The Mexican is coming to the end of his first year with the Woking team but, despite the expectation that he would be there for longer, is facing whispers that he may be the odd man out should McLaren decide to change its line-up. Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg have already been mentioned as possible – if unlikely – candidates to fill Perez's seat, while the team's protégé, Kevin Magnussen, recently won the World Series by Renault 3.5 title, although the Dane is thought more likely to serve an apprenticeship elsewhere, possibly Marussia, if he is to graduate to the top flight next season.
Perhaps because of that, Perez is adamant that he is not too worried by the rumours, preferring instead to concentrate on the four remaining races in 2013.
“What you see in the media and what is reality in the team are two completely different stories,” he told the official F1 website, “I am happy with the situation I have - and rumours don't change anything.
“I am determined to succeed and to do my best for my team - that hasn't changed. We still have four races to go to try to show our true colours; to score as many points as the car allows us to do, to put on a good show - and to look forward. I think we still can walk away from the season with our heads up.”
When Perez signed his deal with McLaren, of course, the team was among the frontrunners, eventually ending the season on a high with Jenson Button winning the Brazilian finale, but its form has disappeared in 2013, without a podium finish in sight through 15 rounds. As a result, the two drivers languish in ninth and 13th places in the championship, while McLaren continues to fend off challenges from Force India and Sauber for fifth in the teams' standings.
We are in a difficult situation, [and] the season has been disappointing - not only for me, but for the whole team,” Perez admitted, “It is not the nicest situation, coming to a race knowing that you will not win - that your target is to just make it into Q3 and just make it into the points. It is tough for me as a driver and it sure is also tough for a team that is used to winning. But we have shown that we never give up and this is the approach that we have to take.
“Looking back, I had the option to join other top teams for 2013 but, when McLaren knocked at my door, it was very clear that I would join them - that it is the right place for me. It is clear that, with the material we've been given, [Button]'s done a better job, but what is also very clear is that we are not fighting for anything. I've had pretty bad luck lately with a puncture, pit-stops going wrong, problems with other drivers etc but, in terms of speed, there is a little bit to come. I am optimistic that in the future we have a very strong potential together.
“We have four more races to go and that is good news - we are all looking forward to the future and having a car that enables us to win, to be up there on the podium and consequently fighting for the championship. I know the situation and I am looking very much forward to it.”
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