Sergio Perez has confirmed that he is to leave McLaren at the end of the 2013 F1 season.
Following reports earlier this week that Kevin Magnussen
was to replace him for 2014, the Mexican released a statement ahead of his 'home' event in Austin, Texas this weekend to confirm he would be moving on after just a single season with the Woking-based team.
The youngster had joined McLaren on the back of a number of impressive drives with Sauber last year, but has struggled to replicate those performances this season with an uncompetitive car.
"First of all, I would like to thank McLaren for giving me the opportunity to be with them this season,” he said in a statement
. “It has been an honour for me to have been in one of the most competitive teams in the sport and I do not regret even a bit having joined them. I have always given the best of me for the team and still despite this I could not achieve what I aimed for in this historic team.
"I am committed to deliver very good results in these last two races, especially Austin. I am so much looking forward to see all my people gathered together, feel their energy and show them the best of me. I would like to say to every single one of my fans around the world and in my country that I am eternally grateful to them. They have never let me down, especially in difficult moments like these. I truly appreciate their support, they have never forgotten me.
"I have met a lot of new people at McLaren this season and I have made many good friends as well. From the top management level to the marketing, accounting and engineering departments to the mechanics, the catering people and basically everyone in the team, I am eternally grateful to them. It has been a learning experience for me.”
Thanking the team for its work over the course of the season, Perez added that he was now looking at the options available to keep him on the grid next season.
"I would like to wish the team the very best in the future,” he added. “I will always be a fan of McLaren. In the meanwhile I will be looking at my future to ensure my position in the best possible package to fight for wins.
"Thanks to McLaren and all of its partners of this season, you can rest assured that I will never give up."
McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile has issued his own statement in response.
“First of all, we would like to thank Checo for his kind and gracious statement, and for being a fine team member during the 2013 Formula One season,” Whitmarsh stated according to ESPNF1.com
. “There are still two grands prix yet to run this year, and our collective focus is on scoring as many points as we can in those two remaining races.
“Checo has made many friends during his time at McLaren - and, together, as a team, we intend to do our utmost to help him finish his year with us with two good results, especially here in Austin, where he has so many fans. We wish him well for the future, and are sure that he will have many successes ahead of him.
“As regards our driver line-up for next year, no 2014 deal has yet been signed with any driver except Jenson, and we therefore have nothing further to announce at this time. As and when that situation progresses, we will make a further announcement accordingly.”