Sergio Perez has confirmed his departure from McLaren by issuing a statement via Twitter.
McLaren appears to have copied Ferrari’s choice with Felipe Massa by allowing its driver to announce his exit before any formal statement from the team, as it’s hard to believe that he will have issued it without first consulting the team. Nevertheless the affair had dragged on for longer than it needed to.
The timing is awkward for McLaren to say the least, given the huge number of Mexican fans expected in Austin this weekend. At least the questions about if he is going are out of the way. Now they will be more focussed in why he is going.
McLaren has responded to the statement from Sergio Perez with some words from Martin Whitmarsh, although there is no reference to the Mexican’s on track performance.
Whitmarsh stated: “First of all, we would like to thank Checo for his kind and gracious statement, and for being a fine team member during the 2013 Formula 1 season. There are still two grands prix yet to run this year, and our collective focus is on scoring as many points as we can in those two remaining races.
“Checo has made many friends during his time at McLaren – and, together, as a team, we intend to do our utmost to help him finish his year with us with two good results, especially here in Austin, where he has so many fans. We wish him well for the future, and are sure that he will have many successes ahead of him.
“As regards our driver line-up for next year, no 2014 deal has yet been signed with any driver except Jenson, and we therefore have nothing further to announce at this time. As and when that situation progresses, we will make a further announcement accordingly.”
Whichever you look at it the Perez episode represents a failure by McLaren. Either they got the wrong guy or they failed to get the best out of him.