The Mexican driver announced Wednesday he won’t race for McLaren in Formula One in 2014, ending weeks of speculation about his future with the team.
”It has been an honor 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,” Perez said in a statement on his website. ”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 is still likely to be the fan favorite this weekend at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, the closest race on the calendar to his home country. Perez will finish the season with McLaren at the Brazil Grand Prix on Nov. 24.
”I have committed to delivering good results in these last two races, especially in Austin,” Perez said. ”I am so much looking forward to see all my people gathered together, feel their energy and show them the best of me.”
Perez finished 11th in Austin last year. The 23-year-old was a rising star on the circuit when McLaren signed him from Sauber to replace former world champion Lewis Hamilton. But Perez hasn’t finished better than fifth in a disappointing 2013 season.
There had been speculation he would be driving for his job this weekend, but it turned out that had already been decided.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh called Perez a ”fine team member” and said the team intends ”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.”
Whitmarsh said Jenson Button will be with McLaren again in 2014 but the team has not yet signed another driver.