UPDATED (1:56 p.m. ET): McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has now released the following statement regarding the upcoming departure of Sergio Perez from the group:
“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.”
ORIGINAL: Sergio Perez has beat McLaren to the punch in terms of making an announcement about his future.
The Mexican driver wrote a letter to his fans, which he posted on Twitter in both English and Spanish, thanking McLaren for taking a chance on him this season and announcing he’ll be seeking other opportunities.
This follows from reports earlier this week that Kevin Magnussen, the 21-year-old McLaren junior, would be replacing Perez at McLaren in 2014.
Perez’s statement reads in part:
“First of all, I would like to thank McLaren for giving me the opportunity to be with them this season. 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.
“Thanks to McLaren and all of its partners for this season, you can rest assured that I will never give up.”
Here’s the statement in full, as linked via Twitter.
— Sergio Perez (@SChecoPerez) November 13, 2013
Perez has made a canny move by doing this. He has now relieved the stress and anxiety that could have come to both him and the team this weekend in Austin – a de facto “home race” with many Mexicans expected to attend – and cleared the path for his future, wherever that may be in Formula One.
It also allows McLaren to confirm Magnussen at their convenience, and Perez to finish out the season without the spectre of uncertainty regarding his future.