Sauber heads south of the border…signs Perez and Telmex

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Sauber announced today that it has signed Sergio Perez as their second driver. The 20-year old Mexican driver will line up alongside Kamui Kobayashi for Peter Sauber’s team in the 2011 Formula One World Championship. HEre is a short bio from the presser:

Sergio Perez has been a member of Escuderia Telmex, which supports racing drivers in various categories, for a number of years. He finished second in this year’s GP2 Series, winning four races – including the prestigious championship round in Monaco – in the process. Sergio 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.

Sergio Perez:

“Formula One is the dream of every young racing driver. 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.”

Peter Sauber:

“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.”

Today Sauber Motorsport also announce the start of the team’s partnership with Telmex as the title sponsor for 2011.

Telmex is a corporation made up of Teléfonos de México, S.A.B. de C.V. and subsidiaries providing telecommunications services in Mexico. Telmex is headed by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim Domit who has had his eyes on F1 for several years.

Telmex Chairman Carlos Slim Domit:

“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. 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.”

Peter Sauber on the Telmex spnsorship:

“Telmex has been involved in motor sport for a number of years already and supports drivers in various race series. Now they are making the key step up into the top category of motor racing, and we are happy and proud that they are taking this step with us. Telmex is an outstanding company and represents a strong partner for our team. We are looking forward to a fruitful partnership.”

I have one word about the whole ordeal, German Nick Heidfeld had better start looking for a ride. While Peter Sauber has a long history with Heidfeld, it is apparently not strong enough to secure a future ride. This also weighs in on just what Sauber felt about Pedro de la Rosa being replaced for five races by Heidfeld. Much easier to swallow if Heidfeld was your man for 2011 but now that this isn’t the case, it doesn’t speak highly of the Spaniards talents and that’s a real shame.

It’s not a great day if you are a Nick or Pedro fan but sponsor dollars keep the machine turning and I assume neither Nick nor Pedro could bring the type of money needed to keep Sauber in the game. Carlos Slim can and has a mission to put Mexico back on the F1 map.

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