• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

McLaren deal not a distraction - Perez

ESPN Staff
November 1, 2012 « Grosjean unsure of Lotus future | I have nothing to prove - Kovalainen »
Sergio Perez: "I'm giving my maximum to score points for my team" © Sutton Images
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Sergio Perez insists his recent dip in form is not down to him losing focus since signing for McLaren for 2013.

Since the deal was announced ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, Perez has failed to score a point and has been involved in accidents at each of the three races. But he has denied he has taken his eye off the ball and stressed that he will continue to try to do his very best for Sauber this year.

"For sure [the slump in results] is just a coincidence," Perez said. "The people in my team know what's going on and they are the only people that worry me at the moment. I'm fully focused and if the results have not come it's because there is some reason for that. I just want to give my best and it's normal that people start to make up stories that I am not doing very well because of the McLaren deal or whatever, but it's not true and it's not right.

"It doesn't bother me at all, but what bothers me is that my team is fighting so much and when they read this it is tough and maybe they get a bit frustrated. But they know I'm giving my maximum to score points for my team and this is how I will keep driving until my last race at Sauber."

Perez, 22, said joining McLaren is his chance to prove he is capable of becoming world champion.

"I think the step as a young driver is to get into a top team to be able to show whether you can be world champion or not," he said. "I think that question for me will be answered next year because I will have the opportunity to be with the best team in Formula One and my target is to be champion next year."

But he is not underestimating the challenge of replacing Lewis Hamilton at McLaren.

"I rate Lewis very high and he is one of the fastest drivers in Formula One right now and I am coming into his shoes and it will be difficult to make them fit. I'm confident that this is the opportunity that I was hoping to have and I will give my best and I'm sure I will be very good there."