Sergio Perez in shock at "very late" decision by McLaren to release him for 2014
Mexican driver facing uncertain future after sudden ousting
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 18/11/13 4:44pm
A 'shocked' Sergio Perez has revealed he only learnt he was being dropped by McLaren for the 2014 season in favour of Kevin Magnussen earlier this week.
The Mexican, who as recently as last month's Indian GP spoke in assured and confident tones about his seat being secure, will leave the team after the final two races of the current campaign.
It was confirmed on Thursday that Perez, signed in a hail of publicity on a 'multi-year deal' to replace Lewis Hamilton just twelve months ago, will be replaced by Danish youngster Magnussen.
The sudden ousting leaves Perez facing an uncertain future and in acute danger of being dumped on the F1 scrapheap at the age of 23.
"I learnt a couple of days before you found out," Perez confirmed in Thursday's Drivers' Press Conference in Austin.
"It was a very late decision. I had no idea, it just came as a shock to me because the team was always giving good feedback to me. Things were settled down, I was staying with the team but then something happened in the last couple of weeks and they decided not to which has left me in a very difficult situation."
What a difference year makes: Twelve months after joining McLaren, Perez is walking into an uncertain future in 2014
The former Sauber driver has been linked with a return to his former team as well as the vacancies at Lotus and Force India. The problem is that so, too, have a host of other drivers - almost all of whom have been jockeying for position in a crowded market since the summer break. Perez might have considerable financial backing, but he is a late starter in a race than has almost run its course.
To his utmost credit, Perez, who announced his departure from McLaren in a gracious and generous statement released on his personal website on Wednesday evening, continues to shy away from criticising the team's decision to jettison him just one year after hailing him as the up-and-coming next superstar of F1. The reality, though, is that, his 2014 future may have to be in a different series.
"I would not be in Formula 1 just to be in Formula 1. If I don't find the right option for my career maybe I will look for something else," he confirmed to Sky Sports F1.
Who's where in 2014?
Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.
Ferrari: Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Lotus: To be confirmed.
McLaren: Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen.
Sauber: To be confirmed.
Force India: To be confirmed.
Williams: Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
Toro Rosso: Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat.
Marussia: Jules Bianchi with second driver not yet confirmed.
Caterham: To be confirmed.