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GP Week : Issue 169
While McLaren are no doubt stunned to have lost Lewis Hamilton, the Woking racers have put their best foot forward, signing up and coming young Mexican racer Sergio Perez, neatly poached from Ferrari’s Young Driver Academy. It’s a gamble for McLaren, as Perez is still a young driver with a lot to learn. But if successful, it is a gamble that will reap dividends for McLaren as they seek to strengthen their brand in Latin America by providing the region with the next Formula One World Champion. In his two-and-a-half years in the sport, Perez has made something of a good impression in the F1 paddock. Several millimetres and the FIA rulebook prevented the Sauber driver from scoring points on his debut in Melbourne in 2011. A string of decent performances that season confirmed Perez was one to watch, but it is over the course of 2012 that the young Mexican has really found his stride, winning fans as the result of sterling performances in Malaysia, Montreal, and Monza. And Perez has vowed to continue to fight to prove himself worthy of a seat with a front-running team. “I’m thrilled and delighted to have become a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver,” he said. “The McLaren name is one of the greatest in the history of Formula 1. For more than 40 years McLaren has been a team that every racing driver has aspired to drive for – I was brought up on the great stories of Ayrton Senna's many world championship triumphs for McLaren – and I'm truly honoured that they've chosen me to partner Jenson from 2013 onwards. “I'm under no illusion that it is indeed averybigstep–asitwouldbeforany driver – but I'm ready for it. So, while I'm still fully focused on doing my best for Sauber for the remainder of this season, I'm already massively looking for ward to working with everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, and with Jenson, who's someone I’ve long admired as a brilliant driver and a great champion. “As I say, I've worked very hard to get to this stage in my career, and I'm now massively looking for ward to this next even more exciting stage. It's fantastic that all the sacrifices I've made are now paying off. For example, I remember very clearly the first day I left my family, when I was 15, to live in Germany to race in Formula BMW. It was tough for me – I was sleeping in a restaurant at that time – but the dream of one day becoming a Formula 1 driver kept me going through those difficult days.” SERGIO’S EDITOR: Adam Hay-Nicholls email@example.com ASSISTANT EDITOR: Kate Walker F1 ANALYST: Peter Windsor MOTOGP EDITOR: Michael Scott firstname.lastname@example.org RALLY EDITOR: Martin Holmes email@example.com STAFF WRITER: Adam Leveridge PRODUCTION ARTIST: Cedric Dufour PHOTOGRAPHY: Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org: Mark Sutton, Patrik Lundin, Dirk Klynsmith, Emily Davenport PUBLISHER: Chris Lambden email@example.com PUBLISHED BY: Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom ADVERTISING: n Richard Partridge firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 n Mark Sutton email@example.com n Adam Hay-Nicholls firstname.lastname@example.org n SE Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) email@example.com .com WEEK F1 >>> NEWS GREAT LEAP FORWARD 5 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: