Perez feels ready for McLaren challenge

Autosport

Sergio Perez says he feels ready for the step up to a championship-winning team like McLaren, despite having yet to win a grand prix.

The Mexican will line up alongside Jenson Button next year after Lewis Hamilton elected to leave the outfit to join Mercedes.

And although Ferrari said several times this year that it did not believe Perez was experienced enough for a top-line seat, the Mexican himself has no doubts he will do a good job from next year.

"I'm under no illusion that it is indeed a very big step - as it would be for any driver – but I'm ready for it," said Perez.

"So, while I'm still fully focused on doing my best for Sauber for the remainder of this season, I'm already massively looking forward 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."

Perez also thanked the individuals who had helped him achieve his dreams of racing for a top team like McLaren – including current boss Peter Sauber and long-time backer Carlos Slim.

"I am, and always will be, extremely grateful to Peter [Sauber] and everybody at the Sauber Formula 1 team for their belief in me, and for giving me the chance to race in Formula 1," he said.

He added: "I'd like to thank Carlos Slim Jr, who has helped me since I was 14 years old, without whom I wouldn't be where I am today.

"Our journey together over the past eight years has been an incredible one, and I'll do everything in my power to deliver with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes the results that he and I have been working so hard and so long to achieve together."

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