Perez was Mercedes Plan-B after Hamilton

Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton on the Monza podiumOct.1 (GMM) Newly signed McLaren driver Sergio Perez was also a candidate to possibly oust Michael Schumacher at Mercedes, according to a report in a German magazine.

Auto Motor und Sport said that this means that the great seven time world champion was therefore only the third choice to line up alongside Nico Rosberg in 2013, after Lewis Hamilton and Mexican Perez.

Ultimately, Mercedes secured its number one choice in Hamilton, leaving McLaren to sign Mexican Perez to succeed him – and Schumacher out in the cold.

Prior to signing Hamilton, “the Silver Arrows bosses had stretched out their feelers to the Mexican (Perez),” journalist Michael Schmidt claimed.

It remains a fact, however, that Schumacher could have definitely kept his seat if, early in the summer, he had exercised an active, unilateral ‘option’ for 2013.

“Why play poker until October when the best time to extend the contract had already come?” Schmidt wondered rhetorically.

“Had he signed after qualifying in Monte Carlo, Hamilton would never have been a topic.”

A Mercedes insider is quoted as saying: “Michael’s stalling until October forced Mercedes to think about alternatives.”

But other issues were also at play, including Ross Brawn, Norbert Haug and Niki Lauda’s task in convincing the paymasters in Stuttgart to sign a new Concorde Agreement and keep the three-pointed star in Formula One.

Correspondent Schmidt said that the task was easier when pitching the contemporary star Hamilton or the “fresh blood” of 22-year-old rising sensation Perez, rather than “the 43-year-old veteran”.

So Hamilton will join Rosberg in Mercedes’ 2013 garage, but only after his final title tilt with his boyhood marque McLaren is done and dusted.

It could be an awkward last six races in one shade of silver, but McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh insists he is not worried.

“Lewis has assured me that at the moment he is a McLaren driver and he’s focused on winning,” he told the BBC.

“He will be professional, the team will be professional around him and we will be seeing if we can do the best job we can.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • Retire Schumacher

    LOL, wow even Mercedes really did not want another year with Schumacher. Why would any other team want him?

    Lotus is not interested in Schumacher, Ferrari is not interested in Shcumacher, the only team who has said they would like to have him is Sauber but that will never happen either because that is just Peter Sauber running off at the mouth again.

    Maybe Schumacher could hook up with HRT LOL!!!

  • Matthias O’keeffe

    @Retire Schumacher

    Just shut ur mouth, will ya… You don’t like him, don’t comment negative things about him. I’m sure all the other Schumacher fan must be angry and mad reading ur comment.

  • El mexicanito

    I think everybody should respect Mr. Schumacher and not come to conclusions that nobody like him. Being fair it’s obvious he is not at his top, but undeniably he still a great racer and is well into the top10 of the current grid. So any comment that question his ability and deny him as the most succesful F1 racer is senseless and without any consideration to his very succesful career.

  • scotto

    Hopefully this will put an end to the ridiculous notion that Lewis Hamilton forced Schumacher out of Mercedes. They clearly had no intention of re-signing him for 2013.

  • aks

    perez is just a million dollar baby,Everybody wants him not b’coz of his race pace but b’coz of his sponsorship pace he will never be a world champion and as far as schumi goes he was a great legend he shouldnt have come bak he should have just left with that winning note and stayed in ferrari management anyways thats past for now i guess his age is showing and the young guys r showing their nerves so no mistake of schumi just that he shouldnt have come bak but wat i would suggest is he should not move to a team like sauber.