Perez’s race seat for 2014 at McLaren not yet a done deal

Sergio Perez in Singapore

Sergio Perez in Singapore

Just because Fernando Alonso has played down the McLaren rumours, it does not mean that Sergio Perez’s place at the British team is now a sure thing.

The Mexican indicated on Thursday that he is yet to actually sign a new deal for 2014, “The contract is done, we are just finalising the final dots.”

Teammate Jenson Button, however, seems to be in a different situation.

The 2009 world champion told reporters his 2014 deal is completely “done”.

Asked if that’s right, team boss Martin Whitmarsh told the British broadcaster Sky: “That’s accurate.”

That leaves a question mark above Perez’s name, amid the latest reports that he might be about to replace his current manager, Adrian Fernandez.

“Sergio has a tremendous benchmark in Jenson, who is consistent, a great quality driver, a great team player and who brings a tremendous amount of benefits to our team,” Whitmarsh told reporters.

“For a young charger like Sergio, he knows and I know that he has to come in and beat him. He hasn’t done that consistently enough so far this year. He is going to give it a good go this weekend I expect,” he added in Singapore.

Ferrari‘s Alonso is apparently out of the running, but McLaren also has two young chargers in its pocket — Formula Renault 3.5 title challengers Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne.

“They’re in the frame,” said Whitmarsh, who admitted 2014 might be slightly too soon for the youngsters to leap straight into Formula 1 with McLaren.

“There’s no doubt they will come into Formula 1, and openly, we’ve spoken to a number of Formula 1 teams about them.”

  • Spartacus

    Perez qualifying in 14th and Button 8th should tell you everything you need to know if McLaren should resign Perez. The simple answer is no.

    They seriously need to look at other drivers. Personally I have absolutely nothing against Perez; he’s just not fast enough.

  • BigE

    Easy to say they shouldn’t resign him, but who will bring the millions of sponsorship money to the team then?

    Remember, Vodafone are done at the end of this season and Mclaren are crippled by their unsustainable road car projects, plus will earn less this season than ever finishing this low in the Constructors…

    Maldonado, Alonso, and Gutierrez are the only three drivers I can think of capable of bringing the same amount of sponsor money. (And none of them are Japanese – looking ahead to 2015).

  • Spartacus

    @BigE,
    you’re right. It’s the money they need. Not just them but every team.

    When the team is on the back foot they’ve got to get these pay drivers who bring sponsorship to the team. But when they have a winning driver who’s setting the tarmac on fire sponsors want to be associated with them. It’s very simplistic to say that’s what they should be aiming to achieve, but signing a slow driver at any cost isn’t going to bring the results they need. Re-signing a slow driver and expecting different results is madness.

    As for their cars, let’s face it, it’s their second attempt at a road car ever. The F1 is a legend. The MP4-12C wiped the floor of all the established equivalents. While the 458 is busy showing it’s back end sticking out the corner, the McLaren is quietly driving round that corner, faster, under control, and like it’s on rails. Precision is the difference and I’ll take that any day of the week.

  • BigE

    @Spartacus: I wasn’t imply their road cars suck, just that any new company (think of a restaurant for example) isn’t going to make profits for the first few years… and automobiles it’s even longer than most products, doubley-so for supercars thanks to the R&D and exotic materials and labour costs.

    Also, be sure to post links to the videos of your test drives, lol.

  • iceman 2.0

    Drop that perez chap…expectations from him turned out to be hot air in a balloon..but yes F1 is now all about surviving .. he brings good money…yet mclaren should explore possibilities…

  • R35

    we all know perez is just a rebound for mclaren after lewis left. yes he is fast but he hasnt got the brains to deserve a seat in that mclaren.

  • HamsterFAN

    Cant understand why Checo’s cartel funding would be needed by McLaren. My 2cents says Massa unlike Alonso cant ring the performance out of an unpeforming car so going to McLaren a def no-no. Seeing as Lotus have a thing for 1 hit wonderism in the likes of Grosjean i think Massa could do well there. As for the Hulk, man this guy should stay with Sauber, refine his style and got scooped up by McLaren in future.

  • Spartacus

    @BigE,
    “Also, be sure to post links to the videos of your test drives, lol.”

    When the MP4-12C arrives I might. But the dealers don’t like you take videos of the test drives. Plus, to be honest with you, when it was really going quickly it was a better driver than me at the wheel.