Perez announces he will leave McLaren at the end of the season
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Nov 2013   |  8:12 pm GMT  |  230 comments

Mexican driver Sergio Perez has announced he will leave McLaren at the end of the season after just one year with the Woking-based team.

It comes a day after JA on F1 reported that the team had dropped Perez and replaced him with Dane Kevin Magnussen – however the latter’s signing has yet to be announced by the team.

Perez, who revealed his decision via a statement on Twitter, joined McLaren this year after two solid seasons with Sauber. While the car has struggled for pace, Perez has failed to match team-mate Jenson Button, scoring 35 points to the 2009 world champion’s 60.

“First of all, I would like to thank McLaren for giving me the opportunity to be with them this season,” said Perez, 23. “It has been an honour for me to have been in one of the most competitive teams in the sport and I do not regret even a bit having joined them. I have always given the best of me for the team and still despite this I could not achieve what I aimed for in this historic team.

“I am committed to deliver very good results in these last two races, especially in Austin. I am so much looking forward to see all my people gathered there, feel their energy and show them the best of me.

“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.

“I have met a lot of new people at McLaren this season and I have made many good friends as well. From the top management level to marketing, accounting and engineering departments to the mechanics, the cooks, the catering people and basically everyone in the team, I am eternally grateful to them. It has been a learning experience to me.”

Perez’s best option to stay in Formula 1 appears to be Force India, although he is also known to be talking to Sauber with regards a return to the Swiss team.

The Mexican added: “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. You can rest assured that I will never give up.”

In response to Perez’s announcement and ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh released a statement – but refused to say who would replace Perez alongside Button next season.

“We would like to thank Checo for his kind and gracious statement and for being a fine team member during the 2013 Formula One season,” he said. “There are still two grands prix yet to run this year, and our collective focus is on scoring as many points as we can in those two remaining races.

“Checo has made many friends during his time at McLaren – and, together, as a team, we intend to do our utmost to help him finish his year with us with two good results, especially here in Austin, where he has so many fans. 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, and we therefore have nothing further to announce at this time. As and when that situation progresses, we will make a further announcement accordingly.”

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Tornillo Amarillo

Why some people say PEREZ was arrogant?

When Checo said something about himself that it’s not true?

He was driven an horrible machine, that McLaren, the worst ever, and he was a valuable three-podium finisher for Sauber last year.

Was not McLaren arrogant to let HAMILTON go, thinking he would never quit his almost eternal team? So they hire the star of the moment, Checo PEREZ, they redo a winning car for getting the worst possible McLaren and now they showed the boot to the most espectacular over everybody Champion-on-paper ever… OK.


Personally all that comes to my mind with this news is c ya! Kobayashi should have been promoted out of Sauber not Perez. Dumb decision in the first place.


What a difference a year makes!! This time last year…

Mclaren had the fastest car! Perez was looking like he got his dream ticket in driving for them and Alonso was right up there battling Vettel for the title… ah memories!


You really have to question McLaren’s decisions over the last year…


In F1 for Perez,

it really is a driver is only as good as their last race!


I feel bad for Perez. He never seemed totally at ease at McLaren and McLaren (i.e. Whitmarsh) seemed ill at ease with their decision quite early in the season.

I think it was a mismatch of expectations. McLaren didn’t want to develop the young driver they signed, but wanted him to turn himself into a different sort of driver. Whitmarsh’s statements that “Checo needs to get his elbows out,” just led Perez to drive aggressively and desperately, e.g. Monaco, etc.

I think McLaren had a talented young driver whom they could have developed, but were trying to turn him into something he inherently wasn’t. (The absolute pig of a car that’s this year’s McLaren didn’t help).

If they were unhappy with him, they should have done something sooner. They didn’t have to hose him so badly by dropping him now when he has very limited chances for a seat next year. That’s like something you’d do to a driver you hate.


Perez never got the support that he needed from McLaren. He was first encouraged to drive like a mad man and then he was kicked out for driving the way they told him to.


During last year when McLaren announced they’ve signed him, I always thought the decision was inspired – that he’d turn out to be another Raikkonen (outstanding in a Sauber, impeccable in a McLaren). Oh wel…


The timing is quite frankly awful. You’d have to ask why they chose now rather either after the race or announce it weeks ago. Not sure Perez has much chance of a drive now. Saying that, he didn’t exactly blow me away at Sauber.

Hulk has to be top of the shopping list. If you had to pick between Maldonaldo, Sutil, Di Resta and Perez, it is not looking great for some of them. Maldonaldo is seriously rapid but has not blown Bottas away. I rate Bottas very very highly. I have visions of Pastor with Grosjean at Lotus. On track battles between those two would be nail biting stuff and probably expensive for the team.

Sutil is just ordinary and nothing outstanding in F1. Di Resta is the most overrated driver in F1. He’s so arrogant, always blaming others and refers back to a time he beat Vettel as if it has relevance. I once could beat Usain Bolt in a race. He wasn’t two years old but that is besides the point right?

Up against Sutil and Di Resta, Perez has a chance. Then again we’ve seen Kovi, Kobayashi, Buemi and Jaime all kicked out. I can’t forget Glock either, that guy was awesome.

I am also not sure why McLaren keep putting faith in Whitmarsh and Button. Button is a wonderful cautious and consistent driver when the car is spot on but at all other times, he is woeful. Sure he has a world title but all he had to do was beat Rubens who let’s face it was not the fastest guy around. Button made hard work of that title too and was lucky he had such a huge lead.

His stock was raised when he matched Lewis but let’s face it, he matched Lewis because Lewis was forever involved with tangles which happens when you actually try to overtake rather than sit behind someone and moan about understeer. Whitmarsh won’t fire Button though and since Whitmarsh cannot ever be fired, it may well be a dire few years for McLaren. Maybe Honda has an ace up its sleeve.

Lastly, nice site James. I have followed this site since the launch and never commented. I love the podcasts and am glad you keep us all up to speed and in the know about F1.


“On track battles between those two would be nail biting stuff and probably expensive for the team”

“I once could beat Usain Bolt in a race”

Nice 🙂

I think you’ve pretty much summed up where everyone’s at at the moment, and what’s more I think you’re mostly right.


We could all beat Usain once upon a time. Right up until the point he was about two and learned to walk!!

Grosjean vs Pastor would be epic on track. The crash kid in each would emerge, safety cars galore and finally Vettel backed into the pack.


Thanks! Tell your friends!


I wouldn’t get your hopes up; it took him five years to get this far 😉


Haha my friends know 🙂 Like me they all lurk. Lurking is the first choice these days on most F1 sites because as you’ll no doubt have seen on the other F1 sites, trolls and fan boys mess it up. Glad it is civilised here 🙂


I’m pretty sure that Whitmarsh said he wasn’t looking at Hulkenberg because of the weight issue. Maybe the fact that he also took Hamilton out at Brazil last year may explain why Whitmarsh might not like him.

It all depends on this Lotus investment by Quantum, if it goes through then Hulkenberg is by far the preferred option, if not it’ll be Maldonado.

I think Eddie Jordan might have been right in saying that Hulkenberg might be going back to Force India, especially after Di Resta’s crashing streak. I also don’t think Di Resta is the nicest person in the world from all his criticism of the team (eg Monaco)

I could easily see Maldonado at Sauber next year if he doesn’t get the Lotus drive, but I don’t know where Perez could go. Indycar wouldn’t surprise me.

This is a rather crazy ‘silly season’ this year though


The Quantum deal is toast.

Maldonado will go to Lotus and (hopefully) Hulk will go back to FI.


I really feel for Perez he was clearly raw but he was just starting to get things together. Then they fire him but keep pretty boy who really is just a safe pair of hands nothing more nothing less. If they get Hulk then this may make some sense but otherwise I struggle to see the logic.


On one hand you gotta feel for the kid – he’s 23 years old! On the other, he knew what he’d signed up for when he joined Mclaren. They’re a tough bunch and it was expected of him to perform…LDM’s comment is jsutified it seems

However, although the Macca is a dog, we wonders if either Button or Perez really got the best out of the car. Perez was in good positions in a nummber of races but mucked it up having incidents and penalties. The kid’s a racer for sure, but maybe not as polished yet as one would want in a (supposedly) top flight team. Hope he gets a drive next year…with Telmwx money it may just happen…i’d rather have him in my car than Maldonando, for sure…and with another year or two who knows…

Martin Whitmarsh best be on top of his game next year, Mclaren cannot afford another season like this for at least…uuuum, 33 years again?

Really hope they don’t go the way of Williams…

Button…hmm…hard to tell. Great some days (witness Canada!), junk on others…and almost cracked under pressure in 2009 – Vettel came oh so close to mugging the title off him…


James any news on who will be the main sponsor Mclaren next year? I have heard Vodafone are pulling out next year… can’t imagine there will be much in the way of Mexican sponsors now.


I’m not sure they have one yet.

Honda in 2015 will put in a lot of money as well as engines


Good riddance. If it’s true that Perez’s relationship with Slim has broken, we probably wont see him at F1 next season.

I hope Maldonado is out of the picture too. Grosjean is the only one of these guys who stopped harpooning and started racing.


Perez wasn’t bad but he wasn’t good either.

I never understood Mclaren taking him.


McLaren has handled this very badly. They should have waited until the end of season to confirm their 2014 drivers. This is not good for the team.


Very badly managed by McLaren, Martin Whitmarsh hasn’t got a clue.

This is another dysfunctional organisation. I mean who gave the go ahead for a radical new car for 2013 instead of developing the fastest 2012 car and all this 12 months from the biggest rule changes in years.

If some of these organisations had to survive in the real world they’d be bankrupt years ago.

I feel sorry for Perez, ok maybe he’s not the greatest driver of his generation, but he’s a young man with reasonable talent who’s been treated very poorly by his employer and he’s now facing a very uncertain professional future.


Better late than even later…this gives Perez a chance at a seat at another team.


On the eve of the US Grand Prix in Austin, where half the crowd are Mexicans!

Only in F1….


Then again there are still seats left, so there’s Slim hope of driving next year. Might not be so when the season ends.


I sometimes wonder that PR Dept of some teams is of engineering background as well.


While waiting until the end of the season might have been better PR, It would have stitched Perez up, at least now he has a [Slim] chance of finding another drive somewhere else.


Oh, Robert. Now we’re pun brothers 😀


I am a sad Maclaren fan. My suspicions are that both JB and Perez were vulnerable- If I recall neither of them had signed when they had expected to several races back. I even recall the interview that JB gave on Sky where he was sort of joking around about it. The whole situation smacks of desperation, there is absolutely no need to push Perez out of the door as far as we can see. Is Magnessun really that good? I bet if the Slim money had been forthcoming then it would have been JB out the door. It also does not make much long term sense if they really have an expectation to sign Alonso again- would he really like to go against an LH clone as then it would be JB who would be pushed out for Alonso in 2015? JB would I have no doubt be the ideal no 2 for him, thats how I see JB, he is the best no 2 driver for a top team. IMO its not his fault that Perez got the boot. Maybe thats it, they see Alonso and Button as the best pairing for 2015, and see taking a long shot on Magnesson in 2014 as a gamble worth taking?


I feel a bit bad for Perez here, because it wasn’t the greatest signing my McClaren in the first place and all they’ve done is realised their mistake; Perez is a 2nd tier driver at best. I’m mostly worried about who we’re going to be watching in a few years time; There’ll be no Alonso, Raikkonen, Button or Webber so is it basically a straight-up race between Hamilton and Vettel? I just don’t see where the top notch talent is coming from with all this pay driver stuff.

As far as I see, these are the classes:

1st tier:





2nd tier:



Probably 2nd tier:

Hulkenberg (potential to be top tier?)

Grosjean (just about got into the 2nd tier now?)


maybe Di Resta on a good day?

And the rest have varying levels of skill between them (some, like Bottas and Bianchi probably have more potential than others).

But who’s going to step up to the top tier in 5 years’ time? Or will we all be watching Formula E by then? What do you guys think?


Interesting ranking. It’s difficult to know exactly how good some drivers are until they drive in a top team with a good car.

I hope Bottas will push himself towards the top tier. He’s very determined. More Niceman than Iceman though, like Heikki.

I would also keep an eye on Rosberg. He’s starting to get it right.


Okay agree about your top tier as most in the F1 know would… Best 4 drivers who have consistently proved their speed and worth.

Second tier?!?! I’m agreeing that MW & JB are second tier but I think a few more belong there too

Hulk – potential to be top tier, please give him a top team slot

Grosjean – has the speed and consistency, driver awareness is coming – potential to be a top tier

PDR – hard to say – he seems consistently fast but the team make a lot of mistakes

Jules Bianchi – I’m impressed – needs to go to mid field team to show his true pace

Ricciardo – excited to see next year

Rosberg – will always be a no 2 driver – no potential to be top tier but deffo a solid tier 2

Perez – tough year – did not embarrass himself McLaren could have ended his career and we will never know, I know they have all the data but it seems like a harsh dumping late in the silly season


Just throwing it out there, but could this be an opening for Maldonado and PDVSA as a new title sponsor? He’s currently without a drive (and isn’t being very vocal about it; does he already know he’s got the Lotus drive?) and Whitmarsh seems to be delaying the new title sponsor announcement. I hope not, I’m just saying – is it possible? And I think someone on here suggested that the PDVSA cash is getting reduced anyway.


Good. Add one more driver searching for a seat for the next year.

This makes it

Paul DiRiesta (Faster than Vettel;)

Adrian Sutil (Mallyas lil bitch)

Pastor Maldonado (Money bulldozer)

Nico Hulkenberg (Worst managers ever)

Sergio Perez (Telmexican)

Esteban Gutierrez (???)

All fighting for a Lotus, 2 Force India and a Sauber seat.

Could Macca and MW surprise us with a coup by signing up Hulkenberg (He isn’t much heavier than Button) albeit a year too late. MW would be effectively owning up to his mistake as it was actually he who put his neck out to sign Perez WITHOUT following the standard tests and procedures that Macca has for all new signings.

@James – I beleive that if a thing gets repeated often enough and convincingly then it might just come to pass. Can we please start a HULK to McLaren rumour.


I really laughed at your driver summaries, spot on! I see the following happening:

Hulk will stay at sauber (lotus don’t have the money) and Ferrari might loose Alonso after next season.

Maldonado could “with PDVSA money” end up at lotus

PDR should stay at FI (faster than Vettel line is dubious, yes I know he beat him in an earlier series but that’s a bold statement to make)

Sutil should just go away he’s average next to Hulk & PDR & even Perez

Perez should land FI with Slim funding or Hulk at FI and Perez at Sauber.


Fernando to McLaren in 2014. just a hunch


Alonso in the other mclaren.

Mclaren can pull a games hunt on us


Shame for the squandering of such a talented driver. Not sure where things went wrong.

First: since he was announced in 2012, he had mediocre performances.

Second: in his first races he was relatively on the pace but there was MW immediately “interfering” in the press stating that they want him to be more aggressive.

Third: then he became aggressive and drove a amusing race in Bahrain, but after was immediately whistled back by his team mate and management.

These last two events must have shaken his confidence and his sense of his place within McLaren.

Surely Jenson buddying up with MW is not helping things.

And then there was an awful car that didn’t allow him to show his goods.

All in all, my feeling is that all of this could have been handled better by McLaren.

But Perez also looked too “lost” and “timid” within the McLaren environment.


Do the likes of Whitmarsh and Sam Michael actually watch the races or are they too busy throughout the race weekend?

Perez is basically as quick as Button right now. Yes, Button was better at the start of the season. You could even make the case that Perez is now quicker than Button, and he’ll be stronger next season with more experience.

Button has one pole in four seasons at McLaren! This is a car that was good enough to win the championship in 2010 and 2012 and good enough to win races from 2010-12. Most of his race wins at McLaren have been opportunistic, not won on extracting raw pace from the car like Hamilton was able to do.

If you want to make Button an experienced second driver like Mark Webber that’s fine, but to lead a championship campaign with Button is madness.

I’m staggered by how people in F1 can be so results oriented in their decision making and be unable to put performances in the right context.


They aren’t results orientated; they have detailed data showing Sergio’s pace and don’t believe he’s worth the investment. Ferrari thought the same about Perez last year yet everyone laughed at LdM for saying it.

Mclaren value Jenson because of his feedback and his experience which will be immensely important next year. But they know that if they have him they also need someone who is a top tier driver (Alonso, Seb, Lewis etc) and clearly they feel Magnussen could become that driver, whereas Perez certainly won’t be.


But how good can Button’s input to the engineers be good if this was the worst McLaren car in at least 15 years, and not only that but development has almost stalled throughout this season. Look at Sauber with their tiny budget. They have improved as the soon has progressed.

I highly doubt Button was 23 seconds faster in Abu Dhabi. Let’s say he was, Perez comprehensively beat Button in the race before that in India and I think was running in 4th when his tyre disintegrated in Korea. What does that say about Button if Perez has been having those performances as of late?


Apparently the data shows that Perez was 23 seconds slower than Button at the last race:


McLaren’s interpretation of the data would say that wouldn’t it?

Head to head in qualifying they’re 9-8 and Perez was a mediocre qualifier at Sauber. Perez started slow too. Two races ago he finished 5th in India ahead of Hamilton in 6th! Often when he’s finished behind Button it’s been only by several seconds.

I don’t think you can win a championship in 2014 with Perez, but you can’t win one with Button either unless you give him a huge advantage like he had in the first half of 2009.

It smacks of Alonso moving in 2015 to McLaren. They aren’t confident of keeping Perez beyond next season and definitely won’t keep Button after 2014, so they’re putting in someone that might take a few years to develop and the team can use as a yardstick against Alonso.


Boy, there have been some strange decisions made in F1 circles of late.

With McLaren replacing Perez with a rookie, suddenly the Vettel-Ricciardo pairing is looking a lot stronger!


Not to mention Alonso and Raikkonen and Hamilton and Rosberg


Well that depends on weather or not Ferrari have been investing in a Pizza Hut style icecream factory in Kimi’s side of the garage.

KR – “it’s not giving me icecream when I press the button”

SD – “Kimi if you win the race I’ll plug it in”

KR – “with sprinkles?”

SD – “if you do the press conference, yes with sprinkles!”

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