Date: 13th November 2013 at 8:47am
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It’s looking increasing unlikely that Sergio Perez will be driving for McLaren in 2014.

The young Mexican who made the move from Sauber to McLaren always had a difficult job on his hands. How do you step into the McLaren team and replace a driver of the calibre of Lewis Hamilton who had quit McLaren to move to Mercedes?

The answer was, you simply don’t, especially when the team fail to design and develop a competitive car.

Of course it’s easier to impress in a well performing car, but Perez despite McLaren struggling on the track doesn’t seem to have been given any leeway and has simply failed to impress his new bosses.

McLaren have continued to delay their announcement for the 2014 Formula One World Championship, but until now there had been a distinct lack of rumours linking anyone else with the drive.

2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button was happy to confirm that his contract extension talks had been concluded some time ago, but McLaren refused to officially confirm the news.

Instead they wanted to wait so that they could announce both drivers at the same times and as talks with Sergio Perez appeared to stall, the only credible rumour was that of an unlikely return for Fernando Alonso to McLaren which circulated around the media.

But with the Alonso rumour appearing to die down, although some suggest a pre-contract deal for 2015 could have been signed, a Button-Perez partnership looked odds on for one more season season.

Sergio Perez remaining at McLaren looked even more favourable when speculation surrounding a new title sponsor with the Mexican’s sponsor Telemex was rumoured.

Vodafone have opted not to renew their deal with McLaren, while the Mexican company has closely supported Perez’s career in motorsport.

If the communications group have agreed a title sponsorship with McLaren then it would be easy to assume that a deal with Sergio Perez would go hand-in-hand, but mounting speculation appears to suggest otherwise.

The media and rumours in the paddock now point towards McLaren partnering Kevin Magnussen the 21-year-old Dane with Jenson Button.

Kevin Magnussen has come through McLaren’s Young Driver Development Programme and won the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship this season had been linked with a seat at Marussia alongside Jules Bianchi, but instead could be set for a shock move straight into McLaren.

He remains the favourite, but following signing for the Williams Formula One team, Felipe Massa revealed that he had also held talks with McLaren.

So from a lack of options, we now know that Perez, Magnussen and Massa have all been considered to partner Jenson Button. Could there actually be anyone else?

?Lots of people are being considered, When we?ve come to the end of those considerations we?ll make an announcement.? McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh told a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in.

‘The fact is at the moment we haven?t confirmed our driver line-up, we haven?t signed contracts with drivers, and we?re still talking about that. There?s a lot of honest feedback both ways, but that?s best done in private.?

 

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