New Sauber driver will get the Ferrari treatment and USGP love

Ah, it’s good to have a engine deal with Maranello.

Sauber’s new driver (for next year, of course), Sergio Perez — also known as the man whose name can stump Todd, Grace and Paul (I haven’t forgotten) — is joining Ferrari’s young driver’s school, officially known as the Ferrari Driver Academy.

Here’s what Ferrari had to say:

Maranello, 8 October – The Ferrari Driver Academy welcomes another new talent to its midst: Sergio Perez, the twenty year old driver from Guadalajara (Mexico) joins the ranks of Scuderia Ferrari’s programme which was launched last year and which already has six drivers on its books. The news comes just a few days after Sergio was announced as a race driver for the Sauber team in 2011: the young Mexican will thus make his Formula 1 debut in a car powered by Ferrari.

Born on 26 January 1990, Sergio began his single-seater career in the United States, racing in the National Skip Barber Championship. In 2005, he made the trip to Europe, competing in the German Formula BMW series for two years, before upholding the colours of the Mexican team in the A1 GP championship in 2007. That same year, he embarked on a campaign in the British Formula 3 series, winning four races in that category in 2008, finishing fourth overall in the championship.

At the end of 2008, he made the move to GP2. He has four wins to his name in this category, the most prestigious coming in the feature race in Monaco. Sergio currently lies second in the 2010 championship, with just one round remaining in Abu Dhabi to close the season.

I don’t see word at Sauber’s site yet. Maybe that will come… after the check officially clears.

With all of Ferrari’s simulators, engineers, etc., this seems like it can only be good for both Perez and and Sauber.

Also, as we have discussed here, Perez’s addition to the grid could be good for the United States Grand Prix. Perez likely will be the closest thing the race has to a hometown favorite, and that isn’t getting past race organizer Tavo Hellmund. Here’s what he had to say to SpeedTV:

“I have followed Sergio’s career closely and have been impressed by his work ethic and his ability to win at every level,” said Hellmund. “I am ecstatic that he will be a Formula One driver next year and I congratulate Sergio on this great accomplishment. I look forward to following his career at the highest level of motorsports and assisting in any way possible.

“I spoke with both Carlos and Sergio and we all agree that the 2012 Formula One United States Grand Prix will be like a home race for Sergio. In 2011, we will have a driver for the Americas with Sergio and in 2012 we will have the Grand Prix of the Americas with the United States Grand Prix. We all look forward to working together to maximize this wonderful opportunity.”

If I were Tavo, I would try to have Perez in Austin (or somewhere close in Texas, maybe an even bigger city) sometime next year — decked out in Ferrari gear and driving a new Italia, if they haven’t all been recalled by then. Have him highlight a weekend of events to pump everyone up for the next season.

I might even try to get him to town before this season is over for a little something. (Again, not because I think Perez will be a big draw from the United States, but because Ferrari will be. Which probably means it is more likely to get him in Ferrari gear this year.)

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