Sergio Perez has admitted that his plans are fluid for next year – but he insists that stories connecting him with Ferrari are just rumours, and that he is happy at Force India.
The Mexican, who has taken two third places in the past three races, has been linked with Ferrari for some weeks. He was a member of the Maranello team’s Driver Academy before he joined McLaren in 2013.
“In F1 you cannot rule out anything, I’ve learned from that in the past,” he said today. “You never know what will happen in the future, so we’ll see how things develop for the future. We are getting closer to taking a decision to where we come to my future, and then we’ll see if there is an opportunity or not.”
Asked if he knew that there were other opportunities outside Force India he said that for the moment he’s focussed on upcoming races.
“To be honest in the next five weekends we have four races. We are in a part of the season that is quite crucial for the calendar, for this year, so my main focus is here. I have my management worrying about those things. I’ve been in this position before in 2012, and the last thing I want is to distract myself, I want to come here and do my job, and it’s the same for my team, I don’t like my team to be distracted from that.
“We’re here to race and we have five weeks very important in the calendar, and our main focus should be to maximise everything that we can, to come away with as many points as possible.”
Perez admitted that it was inevitable that his recent run of results would lead to him being associated with bigger teams, and said it was flattering.
“I think always when you do well in a race in F1 you’re straight away linked to Ferrari. It’s the biggest team in F1, so if you’re linked to Ferrari, it means that you are doing well. I think it’s the same for many other drivers if your performance is going well, and that’s the good thing about it.
“As a racing driver it makes you feel proud, especially how my career has been in the past years, to finally realise that I’m back there again. Although they are only rumours, I know that I am doing a good job, that I’m performing well, working well with the team. That’s good for everyone, in any job. When you know you are performing well, when you know you are growing in your job, it makes you feel proud of what you have done for your work.”
Regarding deputy team principal Bob Fernley’s confident assertion that Perez will stay he said: “He knows that I’m very happy in the team, he knows that I’m very grateful for what they’ve done for me. That’s why the confidence of my boss is high, they know I like the team, I’m happy here, and we don’t see a reason to change.”
Perez said he wasn’t motivated by a desire to prove that McLaren was wrong to drop him after a single season.
“Ultimately I want to be a World Champion, I want to succeed in the sport, and to do that you have to be a World Champion. We’ll see how things develop. I think with Force India we have grown together a lot in the past years. We’ll see what happens. That’s my main target, I don’t want to prove if McLaren were wrong or right, I just want to prove myself that I’m good enough to be a World Champion.”