McLaren have lined up Sergio Perez to replace Lewis Hamilton after losing their star driver to rivals Mercedes, The Daily Telegraph understands.
By Tom Cary
12:57AM BST 28 Sep 2012
Sauber’s 22 year-old Mexican was known to be top of their wish-list in the event that Hamilton succumbed to Mercedes’ overtures and an announcement could even arrive as early as Friday morning.
A member of the Ferrari academy, Perez has impressed in his two seasons in Formula One to date, his ability to manage his tyres seeing him fly through the field in Malaysia, Canada and most recently Italy, where he drove from 12th on the grid to finish second to Hamilton.
In Singapore last week, Perez denied that he had been approached by the Woking team but made it clear that he was available, insisting his relationship to Ferrari would not count against him.
“I have a nice connection to Ferrari through the Ferrari Academy, but I’m just part of the academy – not part of the Ferrari team,” he said.
“So it doesn’t affect [any possible move]. I feel ready to fight for championships at top teams.”