Skip to main content

Mexican driver Sergio Perez to leave McLaren after just one season

updated 3:08 PM EST, Wed November 13, 2013
Mexico's Sergio Perez will be looking for a new Formula One team for the 2014 season.
Mexico's Sergio Perez will be looking for a new Formula One team for the 2014 season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mexican driver Sergio Perez is to leave F1 team McLaren at the end of 2013 season
  • Perez to depart British-based team after only one season at their stable
  • The 23-year-old is currently 12th in the standings with a best grand prix finish of 5th
  • Reports claim McLaren young driver Kevin Magnussen will be his replacement

(CNN) -- Sergio Perez is to leave Formula One team McLaren at the end of the 2013 season after just one year with the British marque.

The 23-year-old, known in his home nation of Mexico as "Checo", is one of the country's biggest sporting stars, but has struggled after his high-profile move to one of the sport's biggest outfits prior to the start of this campaign.

Perez, McLaren stablemate of 2009 Formula One world champion Jenson Button, has yet to record a podium finish this season and is 12th in the standings on 35 points -- 312 behind leader Sebastien Vettel, of Red Bull.

Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that Perez was set to leave the team, with McLaren young driver Kevin Magnussen tipped to replace him.

Read: Hamilton eyes glory on a 'more level' playing field

Now Perez has confirmed via a statement on his official Twitter page that he is to leave McLaren but insists he will give his all in the final two races of the season.

Sergio "Checo" Perez has been the surprise package of the 2012 Formula One season -- just his second year in the elite division of motorsport. Sergio "Checo" Perez has been the surprise package of the 2012 Formula One season -- just his second year in the elite division of motorsport.
Mexican Wunderkind
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
The rise and rise of Sergio Perez The rise and rise of Sergio Perez
Hamilton praises Mercedes progress
Celebrations at the Red Bull F1 Factory

"First of all, I would like to thank McLaren for giving me the opportunity to be with them this season," he Perez.

"It has been an honor 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."

Perez has just two races left, starting with the United States Grand Prix in Austin this weekend in which he is likely to be supported by a huge Mexican contingent, the circuit in Texas lying just 200 miles from the border.

"I am committed to delivering very good results in these last two races, especially in Austin," he said. "I am so much looking forward to see all my people gathered together, 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.

Read: Why world champion dislikes the word 'dominance'

"I truly appreciate their support, they have never forgotten me. I have met a lot of new people at McLaren and I have made many good friends as well. I am eternally grateful to them. It has been a learning experience to me."

A crash course in F1 fitness
Will India F1 race survive?
Remembering Maria de Villota

McLaren has struggled to keep pace with Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel securing his fourth straight drivers' championship crown at the Indian Grand Prix last month.

They last won the drivers' title in 2008 when Lewis Hamilton triumphed, though the Briton now drives for Mercedes, and last took the constructors' crown in 1998.

McLaren's official Twitter account linked to a story in which team principal Martin Whitmarsh was quoted as saying: "First of all, we would like to thank Checo for his kind and gracious statement, and for being a fine team member during the 2013 Formula 1 season.

"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."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
updated 9:08 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
updated 1:30 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
updated 3:16 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
updated 8:16 AM EDT, Wed March 12, 2014
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
updated 12:36 PM EST, Mon February 24, 2014
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
updated 7:26 AM EST, Sat February 22, 2014
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
updated 7:13 PM EST, Thu February 20, 2014
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
updated 12:13 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
updated 11:33 AM EST, Wed December 4, 2013
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
updated 6:56 AM EDT, Thu October 17, 2013
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
ADVERTISEMENT