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'Perez earned his place at McLaren' - Manager
Saturday 29th September 2012, 20:41 by Ryan Wood
© Sauber Motorsport AG
Sergio Perez's new manager Adrian Fernández says his driver has earned his place at McLaren after showing what he can do in the midfield.
The 22-year-old has impressed the entire paddock with his results in 2012. He has managed to gain 72 places on his qualifying position in 14 races this season - more than any other driver - and sits ninth in the championship, only below the established teams.
Fernández, who is a former IndyCar racer, says it was only a matter of time before Perez was snatched up by one the 'big' teams.
"The past few weeks have been hectic, but I am extremely proud of this accomplishment for Sergio, for his career and for our country," he wrote on his website. "This is something that began a long, long time ago with Carlos Slim and Telmex – who supported Sergio’s career for many years – and the dream was realised when he joined the Formula One ranks.
"I am very thankful to Carlos and Sergio for letting me be a small part of the team then, and now to be actually taking over Sergio’s management. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help and support of Carlos and Telmex.
"It has been very enjoyable to work with McLaren, and I have to take my hat off to Martin Whitmarsh, team principal, and everyone that we worked with to make this deal possible. It took a lot of work and I was very impressed with the level of professionalism from Martin and his team and I have to thank all of them.
"Sergio is an unbelievable driver and he has earned his place at McLaren. He is not bringing money to the team. He has been hired to race. His performances earned him this position and that made my job easier because people were interested in him."
The Mexican manager thanked Sauber team owner for giving Perez the opportunity to join the F1 ranks and the car to prove his skills.
"We obviously owe a huge amount of thanks to Peter Sauber and his team, who gave Sergio the opportunity to compete in Formula One and show what he can do," he added. "I know that Sergio will be putting forth all his effort to finish on the highest note he can for them this year."
The 47-year-old is looking forward to a new challenge.
"For me, it is hard to describe how happy I am. As many of you know, I have been a part of Sergio’s life since he was a kid and his father worked for me for many years. He calls me “uncle” and, even though we are not related by blood, it just shows how tight our relationship is. So, to see this all the way through to today’s announcement, to know how bright his future is and to be a part of it puts me in a rare occasion – at a loss for words.
"I have been a successful driver and a successful team owner and now, with this, I hope I can be a successful manager and do a fantastic job for Sergio so he can really dedicate himself to racing and I can take care of the other areas which, to be honest, are the areas that I have been doing all of my life. I think it’s a good combination, and I definitely think we have a potential World Champion in our hands.
"As I have said, Mexico’s future in Formula 1 is shining brightly."