Ferrari: Next year is too early for Pérez
12 September 2012 – The 2013 Formula 1 season would be too soon to introduce Sergio Pérez to a Ferrari race seat. That is according to company President Luca di Montezemolo, calming long-time rumours that the Mexican will be joining Fernando Alonso. Simultaneously, he admits that Ferrari would welcome Sebastian Vettel with both arms.
Pérez finished GP2 runner-up to Pastor Maldonado in 2010, then stepped up to F1 in 2011 and immediately made an impression with his one-stop strategy in the Australian Grand Prix. Already a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, he is tipped by most to join Alonso next year but Montezemolo claims that such a happening will not take place.
“Next season is too early,” Montezemolo, who on Monday held a long discussion with Team Principal Stefano Domenicali, told Sky Sports News. “I'm very pleased for him because, first of all, it showed that our choice when we picked up him as a young driver was good. Then it is thanks to Sauber, thanks to the Ferrari Academy, that he grew up. Bu to take a young guy to Ferrari, with the pressure of Ferrari…you need more experience.”
Felipe Massa - whose future remains uncertain - stepped up to Ferrari’s race team in 2006, with three full seasons with Sauber behind him. After Domenicali defended the tactics of aforementioned Vettel, who had an on-track incident with Alonso at Monza on Sunday, Montezemolo has shared more Ferrari praise for the World Champion.
“I think that Vettel is more or less in the condition that Michael (Schumacher) was at Benetton (before joining Ferrari for 1996),” the President continues. “He's young, he's a very good driver and he's (building up) very good experience. Of course this is all in theory, but if you have to ask me for a name then I would have to tell you that name.”
Vettel is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2014. In May, he denied a deal was in place which would see him swap the Milton Keynes outfit for Ferrari ahead of that year. In June, Ferrari noted that Vettel and Alonso would be able to co-exist as team-mates.