Perez shocked by McLaren decision to drop him

Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:39pm EST
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By Steve Keating

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Sergio Perez expressed his shock at McLaren's decision to drop him on Thursday and hoped he would find another Formula One drive for next season despite time being against him.

The Mexican, who has two more races with the team including Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix, recognized he was entering a crowded market place.

The 23-year-old, who is to be replaced by Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen, said he was told only days ago that he was being cut loose.

"I found out only a couple of days before you," a composed Perez told reporters. "I had no idea. It came as a shock to me because the team was always giving good feedback to me.

"Everything was pretty much settled down and I was going to stay with the team but then something happened in the last few weeks and they decided not to, so it puts me in a very difficult position now to move forward for my future."

Perez had issued a statement on Wednesday confirming he would be leaving McLaren after just one year, the former champions' worst season since 1980.

Neither he nor his team mate, Britain's 2009 world champion Jenson Button, have finished higher than fifth in 17 races so far.

Perez's position had looked safe, with McLaren seemingly prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, until last month when momentum began to build behind Renault 3.5 world series champion Magnussen.   Continued...

McLaren Formula One driver Sergio Perez (L) of Mexico arrives to the track at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas November 14, 2013. REUTERS/Adrees Latif