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Perez shocked by McLaren exit after getting two days' notice

ESPN Staff
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Sergio Perez said McLaren's decision to replace him next year came as a shock and that he found out only a couple of days before an announcement was made.

Perez is now without a drive for 2014 and has limited time to sound out his options for next season. He accepted he might not be driving in F1 next year, but said it was only in the last week that he realised he'd be leaving McLaren.

"I found out a couple of days before you found out," he told the media in Austin on Thursday. "It was a very late decision and I had no idea, it just came as a shock to me because the team was always giving good feedback to me and everything was pretty much settled down and I was going to stay at the team. Something happened in the last few weeks and they decided not to [keep me]. It puts me in a very difficult position for me to look forward to my future."

Perez added that he would only consider competitive teams for next year.

"I know there are some options but I will not stay in F1 just to stay. If I don't find the right option then I have to look for something else. I'm pretty confident that something good will happen and hopefully I will find a good seat."

However, he refused to blame McLaren.

"I don't feel let down," he said. "It's been a difficult year but people on the outside can think whatever they want. From inside the team every single person knows the amount of pressure we are having. We're McLaren and the year that we had was so disappointing for everyone. We had to do some changes and they had to change me. That's racing.

"We have had a very difficult season all year long. It was definitely not what I was expecting and also not what McLaren was expecting. When I signed for them they had such a competitive car and that is not what we have right now and we have not had it all season long. There is no secret it has been a disappointing year for both parts, and in the end McLaren decided to go another route. I have to find my own route and hopefully I can find the best possible seat available for my career. I'm only 23 years old and I have a lot to give to the sport."

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