The 20-year old Mexican will therefore join Japanese racer Kamui Kobayashi in the 2011 lineup, therefore bringing the rumors of a potential Nick Heidfeld stay at Sauber to an end.
“Sergio has been on a continuous upward curve over the past few years. He demonstrated his fighting spirit in races over the course of last season and proved that he’s ready to take the step up into Formula One. I look forward to working with him and am in no doubt that, in Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi, we will have a strong driver pairing,” said Sauber in a press release on Monday.
Perez became the youngest driver in the short history of the GP2 Asia Series to win a race, back in 2008, at the age of 18. This season, he finished second in the Main Series to Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado, despite having won 4 races for racing project Escuderia Telmex. In fact it was the same Maldonado that he fought against for a racing seat with Sauber, a battle which he eventually won yesterday.
“Formula One is the dream of every young racing driver. And now this dream is about to come true for me. Although I’m very much aware that this is also a big challenge and responsibility, I’m happy to accept that and am proud to be representing my country in the highest category of motor racing. I would like to thank Peter Sauber for the faith he’s shown in me and I’ll do everything I can to make the most of this wonderful opportunity,” said Perez.
Additionally, Sauber announced a new deal with Telmex, whose logos will become visible on the Hinwil-prepared cars as of next season. Neither of the two parts revealed further details on the agreement.
“Sauber has been not only a very successful racing team but also a strong talent developer of some of the most recognized names in racing since their early stages as well as one of the most respected people in the sport. Their decision of having Sergio with them is very significant on his career to become a top driver representing Mexico,” said Telmex Chairman Carlos Slim Domit.