No doubt that scoring 3rd place in the Canadian Grand Prix, and securing his second podium of the season, Sergio Perez is the hottest name in F1 right now.
So naturally every one starts rumours that he is leaving Sauber tomorrow, the suitcase is ready and packed and the plane ticket bought, but as fast and reliable he might be, Peter Sauber is not about to let this one go.
“Basically I take it as a compliment,” team principal Peter Sauber said. “If the competition really wants one of my drivers, it means we must be doing things right.”
Sauber is, for better or worse, a Ferrari mini-team. They have Ferrari engines, gearbox and more and Perez is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, grooming young and up-coming drivers inside the organisation and funding them on long-term contracts. Naturally, and many people believe this to be happening soon, Perez is the number one candidate to replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari, unless of course Massa starts winning races again. Perez has been linked to the Maranello-based team for some time, but a comment a month ago suggested that Ferrari still thinks he is a bit too in-experienced for 2013. Cue Mark-Webber-moving-to-Ferrari-for-2013 rumours…
No doubt that Perez is the man of the future, perhaps for Ferrari, but he might as well stay at Sauber a couple of years, building on the momentum the team is enjoying at the moment.
Asked if Perez might leave after this season, Peter 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.”
This could indicate a contract extension with some more 0´s in the end, but as usual silly season is…well, silly.