Sergio Perez has admitted that his F1 dream would have likely slipped away if he had not been signed to make his debut in 2011.
The 20-year-old Mexican, backed by the Carlos Slim-led Telmex company, is quoted by the Spanish website motor21.com: “I think this was my last chance to enter F1.”
Just before Christmas at Hinwil, Perez had his seat fitting for next year’s Ferrari-powered Sauber C30 and admitted that a third consecutive season in GP2 in 2011 “would have made it difficult” to progress to F1.
He ultimately finished the season second behind fellow 2011 F1 rookie Pastor Maldonado, admitting that he felt the pressure this year.
“Half way through the negotiations with the F1 teams began and I was fourth or fifth (in GP2), and at this time Carlos Slim was clear with me.
“He told me that if I was not in the fight for the championship then I would not be in the minds of the teams and my chance was going to slip away,” explained Perez.
He also played down suggestions that money is outpacing talent at present in terms of which young drivers are moving into F1.
“F1 is a world of big money and we have noticed that there was a lot of interest with the business opportunities in Mexico, and for sure it didn’t hurt me,” said Perez.
“But I have proved that I am a good driver; nobody has given me anything.”
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