Sergio Pérez has announced that his time as a McLaren driver will end after just a year with the team.
The Mexican’s announcement paves the way for the team’s protégé, Kevin Magnussen, to be promoted into the team’s race line-up for the 2014 season, which we forecasted earlier this week.
While Pérez managed to equal the team’s best finish (fifth place at the India Grand Prix) in what has been the team’s worst season since it partnered with Mercedes in 1996, he followed that up with a lacklustre performance at the following Grand Prix at Abu Dhabi, which triggered speculation that he would be shown the door.
The 35 points he’s accumulated are outweighed by the 60 Button has managed in the same car, and he’s been largely unable to replicate the kind of giant-killing form he showed the year before when he drove for Sauber.
“First of all, I would like to thank McLaren for giving me the opportunity to be with them this season,” he wrote in a statement published on his Twitter feed.
“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.
“I have met a lot of new people at McLaren this season and I have made some 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.”
The Woking team is yet to officially confirm Pérez’s announcement, although it is expected that its confirmation will coincide with news of Magnussen’s promotion.