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Perez to leave McLaren at end of 2013 13 Nov 2013

Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren in the drivers autograph session.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday, 5 October 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd13, Singapore Grand Prix, Practice, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Friday, 20 September 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race Day, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 13 October 2013 (L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren and Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer, at the McLaren 50th anniversary reception.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 7 September 2013 Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Race Day, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Sunday, 3 November 2013 Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Practice, Friday, 25 October 2013

Sergio Perez has confirmed he will leave McLaren at the end of 2013 after just a single season with the British team. It follows widespread speculation that McLaren are set to replace Perez with Danish youngster Kevin Magnussen for 2014.

"First of all, I would like to thank McLaren for giving me the opportunity to be with them this season," said Perez in a statement released on Wednesday. "It has been an honour for me to have been in one of the most competitive teams in the sport and I do not regret even a bit having joined them. I have always given the best of me for the team and still despite this I could not achieve what I aimed for in this historic team."

Perez has had a difficult season after joining McLaren from Sauber to partner Jenson Button. The Mexican has struggled to match Button’s performances and his future had become the object of increasing scrutiny in recent races, especially after a lacklustre showing at the last round in Abu Dhabi.

With his Formula One future uncertain, Perez added that he remains focussed on finishing his McLaren career with strong outings in this weekend’s 2013 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix and at the season finale in Brazil. He also paid tribute to the team.

"I am committed to delivering very good results in these last two races, especially in Austin. I am so much looking forward to see all my people gathered together, feel their energy and show them the best of me. I would like to say to every single one of my fans around the world and in my country that I am eternally grateful to them. They have never let me down, especially in difficult moments like these. I truly appreciate their support, they have never forgotten me.

"I have met a lot of new people at McLaren and I have made many good friends as well. From the top management level to the marketing, accounting and engineering departments to the mechanics, the cooks, the catering people and basically everyone in the team, I am eternally grateful to them. It has been a learning experience to me."

"I would like to wish the team the very best in the future. I will always be a fan of McLaren. In the meantime, I will be looking at my future to ensure my position in the best possible package to fight for wins. Thanks to McLaren and all of its partners for this season, you can rest assured that I will never give up."

Commenting on Perez’s words, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “First of all, we would like to thank Checo [Perez] for his kind and gracious statement, and for being a fine team member during the 2013 Formula One 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.”

Whitmarsh also stressed that no agreement has been finalised regarding Perez's replacement and Button’s new team mate for next season.

“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,” he added. “As and when that situation progresses, we will make a further announcement accordingly.”

Media reports this week have claimed that 21-year-old Magnussen, the reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion, a member of McLaren’s driver development programme and son of ex-McLaren racer Jan, is favourite for the drive.

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