BMW Sauber have announced that 20-year old Mexican driver Sergio Perez will race for the team next season, partnering current driver Kamui Kobayashi.
Perez, who will make his Formula One race debut at the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix next March, finished second in this year’s GP2 Series, winning four races, including the prestigious Monaco round.
“Formula One is the dream of every young racing driver,” said Perez. “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.”
Commenting on his new signing, Peter Sauber said: “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.”
Perez began his career in karting, where he won a total of five championships. He followed that up with two years in Formula BMW before moving on to the National Class of the British F3 International Series, where he won a still record 14 races. In 2008 he finished fourth in the International Class of the British F3 International Series. In GP2 Asia he became the series’ youngest race winner at the age of 18.
He has been a member of Escuderia Telmex, which supports racing drivers in various categories, for a number of years, and his signing coincides with the start of a new partnership between Telmex, the Mexican telecommunications company, and BMW Sauber.
“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,” commented Telmex Chairman Carlos Slim Domit.
“Their decision of having Sergio with them is very significant on his career to become a top driver representing Mexico. For Telmex and our racing project Escuderia Telmex it’s a great step forward, and we feel very proud to be able to consolidate these years of work for having a Mexican driver in F1 with Sauber Motorsport.”