• McLaren

McLaren confirms it is considering replacing Perez

ESPN Staff
November 11, 2013 « Mercedes engines helped lure Massa to Williams | Williams confirms PDVSA deal ends with Maldonado's exit »
Kevin Magnussen tops the list of potential replacements © Sutton Images

McLaren has cast further doubts over Sergio Perez's future in Formula One after admitting it is in the process of considering a replacement next year.

McLaren young driver Kevin Magnussen has reportedly been chosen as the replacement after winning the Formula Renault 3.5 championship this year and working with the team in its simulator.

Asked during Monday's Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in if Magnussen is in the running for a 2014 drive, team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "Lots of people are being considered. When we come to the end of those considerations we will make an announcement."

However, Whitmarsh said Perez is still in talks with McLaren and that nothing has been signed yet.

"I think he [Perez] has done a good job and we are still talking to him," he added. "I know there are all sorts of things I've read in the media, but the fact is that at the moment we haven't confirmed our driver line-up and we haven't signed contracts - plural - with drivers so we are still talking about that. There is a lot of honest feedback both ways and I think that is best done in private and not done in public. I think we'll see in the future.

"We have not provided either of our drivers with a good enough race car this year, so in those circumstances Sergio's been a great team member. He's made an assertive contribution, he's produced some really good races, some exciting races, and ruffled a few feathers. I think he's done a pretty good job throughout the whole year. Abu Dhabi was difficult, it was not quite the result we wanted, but it was a difficult weekend and those happen."

Whitmarsh said McLaren would find the two best drivers to take on the change in regulations next year.

"Certainly in an era of change you need bright drivers, and Sergio's a clever guy," he said. "I think he's a good driver for anyone next year including ourselves. Clearly the powertrain is more complex and more interesting in many ways in how you deploy the various energy and how you move energy around the car to store it and deploy it. I think it's quite complex and I think you need an intelligent driver, and one way or another I think we've got two intelligent drivers now and I'm sure we'll have just that next year."

Perez said last month he had not opened talks with any other teams this year.

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