Formula 1 News

Magnificent Perez plays down Ferrari talk

The 22-year-old Mexican, who is a graduate of the Ferrari Driver Academy, has been strongly linked with a move to the scarlet scuderia as a replacement for Brazilian Felipe Massa.
Sunday, September 9, 2012

Monza, Italy, Sept 9, 2012 (AFP / Tim Collings) - Magnificent Sergio Perez played down the prospect of a move to Ferrari next year after grabbing a dazzling second place for Sauber in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

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The 22-year-old Mexican, who is a graduate of the Ferrari Driver Academy, has been strongly linked with a move to the scarlet scuderia as a replacement for Brazilian Felipe Massa.

Massa came home fourth on Sunday behind triumphant Briton Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, Perez, who started 12th on the grid, and championship leader Spaniard Fernando Alonso in the leading Ferrari.

Perez said he did not think his outstanding effort would make any difference to the future.

He said: "I don't know. I am sure not at all. I am fighting for my team and I will always fight for the team I am in, I will always give my maximum.

"I will always fight, if it is against Fernando [Alonso] or Lewis [Hamilton], to give my all and every driver would do the same."

Perez had a different strategy to the leading qualifiers as he started on the harder Pirelli tyres and then used the softer medium rubber for his second stint when he was able to produce a series of passing moves.

In the final laps of the race, he was running more than a second faster than the leaders.

"It was really enjoyable," said Perez.

"It was one of those races where you have the pace and are the one attacking. There were very crucial moments during the race, especially with my first stint - going long and keeping pace was not easy at all.

"I did quite a lot of laps on those tyres and then in the second stint we managed to go on maximum attack and were able to have a good fight with some drivers."

Although he only qualified 12th, Perez said he felt that was partly down to underperformance, rather than the car's pace being transformed for the race.

"I don't think we had pace to be close to the front row or close to the top five," he said. "We were not quick at all. We lacked speed on the straights.

"I didn't get a good lap yesterday and that is why we qualified outside the top 10. Maybe the top 10 was reachable.

"It helped us in a way to change strategy. I think we were one of only a few to go for primes and it worked quite well. I was worried about my tyres warming up at the beginning, but it worked quite well."

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