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Perez reveals he was being lined up for Ferrari

Sergio Perez claims he came "very close" to joining the Ferrari F1 team for the 2014 season.

Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India and Pastor Maldonado, Lotus F1 Team
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1
Sergio Perez, McLaren MP4-28
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India

The Mexican was a member of the Ferrari young driver programme until 2012, when he was linked to a move to the Italian squad in the future.

However, after driving for Ferrari-powered Sauber in 2012, Perez joined McLaren for what would be a difficult season before signing with Force India for 2014.

Perez says he has not given up on driving for Ferrari one day.

"The relationship with them is still good. In the past I was really close to drive for the team. In F1 you never know what can happen," Perez said on Thursday in Belgium.

When asked how close he was to joining Ferrari in 2014, he said: "Very close.

"At that point, Stefano [Domenicali] told me to start the talks for 2014, so for 2013 I had to stay at Sauber for one more year and then I would be going to Ferrari. But then the opportunity with McLaren came."

No regrets

Although Perez admits his season at McLaren damaged his reputation, he insists he has no regrets about the move.

"No. At that time McLaren was winning for a couple of years already, so definitely it was a team to be at," he said.

"It turned out it wasn't the right team and obviously in hindsight it damaged quite a bit my reputation.

"When a big team gets rid of you after a year it really damages your reputation in the sport, but I believe with my results in the past year and this year, if I can have strong results then the opportunity can come in the near future to go back to a top team."

The Mexican also said he was surprised to see Ferrari renewing Kimi Raikkonen's contract for next year after two difficult years for the Finn.

"I was surprised. Ferrari wants some stability with so many changes they have made in the past and they are looking for stability.

"I think they have big plans for next year and I think the season for Kimi has been up and down, he has been very unlucky as well. It was a bit of a surprise to see the news yesterday."

Interview by Jonathan Noble

 

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