Jun.13 (GMM) Following his latest podium triumph, Peter Sauber has once again played down suggestions Sergio Perez could soon be bound for a top team.
After Mexican youngster Perez almost won March's Malaysian Grand Prix, rumours began to swirl that Sauber's engine supplier Ferrari could snap him up for the works team.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo recently played down that possibility at least in the short term, but Perez was back on the podium in Canada, adding fuel to the old rumours.
"Basically I take it as a compliment," team boss Peter Sauber said, "if the competition really wants one of my drivers.
"It means we must be doing things right," he told the Swiss newspaper Blick.
68-year-old Sauber, however, thinks the Ferrari-powered C31 is the best car in the Hinwil based team's almost twenty year history.
He insisted: "I think Perez now knows exactly what he has with our car."
Asked if he is therefore ruling out a team switch for the 22-year-old, Sauber said: "(It will) certainly not (happen) this year.
"Beyond that I think it will be not so easy (for Perez) to leave our team."