Date: 14th November 2013 at 9:05am
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Sergio Perez has announced that he is to leave McLaren at the end of the season.

The young Mexican, who only joined the team less than a year ago had been the subject of much speculation along the Formula One paddock.

The 23-year-old who had impressed during his time with Sauber was quickly snapped up by McLaren following Lewis Hamilton’s shock decision to leave McLaren for Mercedes last year.

Sergio Perez had come through the young driver development programme at Ferrari, but had been snubbed by the team with Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo believing it was too early for Perez to make the move into Ferrari. Instead they opted to extend Felipe Massa’s contract.

Many in Formula One at the time believed that Ferrari had missed out on one of F1’s most promising talents, with his move to McLaren an extra blow to the team.

But following a poor season with McLaren, it would now perhaps seem that Ferrari’s decision has been vindicated.

‘I would like to say to every single one of my fans around the world and in my country that I am eternally grateful to them. They have never let me down, especially in difficult moments like these. I truly appreciate their support, they have never forgotten me. Perez told Sky Sports.

‘I would like to wish the team the very best in the future. I will always be a fan of McLaren, in the meanwhile I will be looking at my future to ensure my position in the best possible package to fight for wins,

‘Thanks to McLaren and all its partners for this season, you can rest assured that I will never give up.’


In a statement released after Perez’s announcement McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh said: ‘We wish him well for the future, and are sure that he will have many successes ahead of him.

‘As regards our driver line-up for next year, no 2014 deal has yet been signed with any driver except Jenson [Button], and we therefore have nothing further to announce at this time. As and when that situation progresses, we will make a further announcement accordingly.’


McLaren have been linked to promoting 21-year-old Kevin Magnussen to the seat.

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.

Meanwhile Sergio Perez’s options could be limited, Red Bull Racing, Ferrari, Mercedes, Toro Rosso and Williams have all confirmed their drivers for next season.

A possible return to Sauber could be an option, while Force India are also yet to confirm their drive line-up for 2014.

 

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