Sergio Perez saysd that he had a chance to drive for Ferrari in 2014, but instead opted for a drive with McLaren in 2013.
Perez revealed that he had discussions in 2012 with then-Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali about signing a "pre-contract" for the 2014 season, but this would have meant spending another year with Sauber. At the time, the Mexican was a Ferrari Driver Academy member.
However, he decided to join McLaren for the 2013 season in the hope of winning races and then possibly the title. As it turned out, this relationship was not meant to last as Perez was dropped after just a year with the team in favour of rookie Kevin Magnussen.
“I think probably given how McLaren was at that time that ride came just at the wrong moment for me,” said Perez. “Because if you go back to 2012 I was a Ferrari member, I was going to get a contract for 2014, I had to say one more year with Sauber and then get the ride with Ferrari.”
“I went to Maranello and discussed with Domenicali, he told me ‘let’s do a pre-contract for 2014’,” he explained.
He went onto explain that there were several top teams showing interest in his services during the 2012 season: “At that time Mercedes was interested, Ferrari was and McLaren so I was in a really strong position back then. And I thought to myself ‘I need to get into a competitive car because I can win the title’.
“The opportunity with McLaren came and McLaren was winning races, was fighting for titles for the last five years, so how can you say no? It was quite an obvious thing.”
“I had to say basically goodbye to the Ferrari academy and I went to McLaren. I think the mistake there was to sign a one-year deal. My management at the time didn’t do a solid job with the contract.
"That was a sad thing, I think that has damaged my reputation in Formula 1. But then I came to a fantastic team and I had good success with the team.”