Rumours are pointing to a young Mexican pay-driver knocking on the door of his Formula 1 debut.

GP2 pilot Sergio Pérez, 20, was a widely tipped candidate at one of the three rookie teams during the off-season, and comes with hefty backing from Mexico’s telecommunications giant, Telmex.

If rumours are believed to be true, it is believed that Perez may have attracted the interest of the battling Virgin Racing team.

The Richard Branson-backed outfit is struggling for pace and reliability on its limited budget of less than $40 million – despite the boasts of Branson himself that all teams could operate competitively on such a budget – and there are suggestions that Timo Glock could be on the move for 2011.

Sergio PerezWhat has additionally bolstered the rumours of a ‘Pérez-to-Virgin’ theory was the sighting of his compatriots Carlo Slim and Jo Ramirez in the Silverstone paddock last weekend.

Slim, one of the world’s richest men, is Telmex’s CEO and chairman, which might be looking to move its sponsorship (and driver) from GP2 to Formula 1.

Ramirez, who was McLaren’s long-time team coordinator, is also believed to be a keen supporter of Pérez (pictured), who dominated the GP2 sprint race at Silverstone and also won the blue ribbon Monaco feature race.

Should Pérez graduate to F1, he would become the fifth Mexican to do so, and the first since Hector Rebaque, who competed – not very competitively – in 61 Grand Prix weekends for the likes of Hesketh, Lotus and Brabham between 1977 and 1981.

[Original image via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.