Telmex staying with Sauber despite Perez switch

Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C31. Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday 23 September 2012.Oct.5 (GMM) Telmex will continue to sponsor the Sauber F1 team, despite the Swiss team losing Mexican Sergio Perez to McLaren.

Perez made his debut with the Hinwil based team last year with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s backing, primarily through the telecoms giant Telmex’s branding.

So the 22-year-old’s switch to McLaren for 2013 had triggered rumours that the British team also wanted Telmex to replace its reportedly flagging title sponsor Vodafone.

But Telmex is staying with Sauber, chief executive Monisha Kaltenborn announced on Friday, sparking immediate rumours that the brand might push for its other Mexican charge – 21-year-old Esteban Gutierrez – to replace Perez.

Referring to Perez’s switch, Kaltenborn said at Suzuka: “We were informed by Telmex about this change and Telmex also told us that they have a long-term project with Sauber which will not be affected by Sergio leaving the team.”

Sauber’s other driver, Kamui Kobayashi, admitted on Thursday that his future is unclear at present.

“I have no idea,” said the Japanese charger, when asked about his future.

Subbed by AJN.