'Ferrari considering Perez for 2013' UPDATE #3 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Luca di Montezemolo has dealt a knockout blow to speculation Sergio Perez could be set to replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari next year.
After his second place at Monza last Sunday, rumors that Sauber's Mexican Perez is now set to step up to Ferrari are rife.
But Ferrari president Montezemolo said: "Next season is too early.
"To put a young guy to Ferrari with the pressure of Ferrari, you need more experience," he told Sky Sports News.
The comments seem to increase the likelihood that Ferrari will simply re-sign the improving Massa for 2013, with rumors still circulating that Sebastian Vettel could then switch from Red Bull for 2014.
Montezemolo admitted he is impressed with the reigning double world champion.
"He's young, he's a very good driver and he's making a very good experience," he said. "So this could be, of course in the theory, but if you have to ask me the name I have to tell you this name (Vettel)," he added.08/02/12
It is understood Ferrari are currently looking long and hard at their options for 2013 as they seek a potential replacement for the under-performing Felipe Massa.
|Sergio Perez has big Carlos Slim Telmex backing|
The Brazilian is languishing in 14th in the drivers' championship with just 25 points to his name, a staggering 139 adrift of team- mate and title-leader Fernando Alonso.
As a member of Ferrari's young driver academy, Perez's name has long been in the frame, although president Luca di Montezemolo has suggested the 22-year-old Mexican lacks experience.
But in his second season with Sauber, Perez lies ninth after 11 grands prix with 47 points, 33 more than he achieved throughout the whole of last season and with two podium finishes.
Assessing his situation, Perez said: "It's been a very busy season so far, but the moment will come soon for me to think about my future.
"If there is an opportunity with them (Ferrari) or another team then it's the time to know.
"I will have to see what the options are, and from that I will decide. But I think I have done a very good job this season. I have proven I have the speed, and the consistency as well.
"I've been a little up and down, but many things have to be taken into account. We cannot forget we're still a midfield team, so I'm comfortable with the position I'm in.
"My main target will be to keep having good races, and from then I will decide very soon what my future is going to be."
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali recently confirmed the marque's philosophy of having "a great champion and then a very good driver who is close to him".
Perez would certainly fall into that category rather than the likes of Kimi Raikkonen or Jenson Button, who have also been linked of late.
With regard to his relationship with Alonso, Perez said: "I speak with him, we speak the same language, and I get on okay with him. He's somebody I feel I could work with in the future." Sporting Life03/01/12 (GMM) Sergio Perez has admitted the possibility he could be paired with Fernando Alonso next year at Ferrari.
The famous Italian team has put Felipe Massa on notice, with Mexican Perez - currently driving for Ferrari-powered Sauber - at the head of Ferrari's driver development program.
At the same time, however, Red Bull's reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel regularly declares his desire to one day race a Ferrari.
"Ah, yes," Perez told the Spanish sports daily Marca.
So who is the real front-runner for Massa's seat?
"We will see," he insisted, "as ultimately it depends on this year, which for me is very important."
Perez, 22, admitted at least that he is a leading candidate.
"Yes, but this season is yet to even start and everything changes very fast in a year. There are many things that are yet to have been seen," he said.
"For me, Ferrari is the greatest team for which all the drivers dream of one day winning the championship but ... let's see. I would love to be there someday."
Perez acknowledged that Spaniard Alonso, Ferrari's much-loved number one, would be a difficult teammate.
"Very difficult, I would say Alonso is the most difficult on all of the grid to have as your teammate, I respect him a lot," he insisted.
Reportedly on the cusp of a top seat, Perez is nonetheless still fending off suggestions he is a 'pay driver', due to his strong backing by the Mexican sponsor Telmex.
"In these days you do depend more on your support," admitted Perez, "but I believe the talent remains the priority.
"Even with the drivers having support, I don't think there are any bad drivers on the grid.
"I was criticized a lot for coming with the Telmex money, but if you look back, a driver who wins five races in GP2 and loses the title by 10 points will normally go in F1 the next year.
"It (Telmex) is an influence, but to say it's why I'm here is not fair," he insisted.09/30/11 Ferrari are reportedly considering Sergio Perez for 2013 as they want "one younger driver with the potential to be great" to partner Fernando Alonso.
Alonso's current team-mate, Felipe Massa, is believed to be living on borrowed time at Ferrari after failing to produce the results - or even match Alonso - since returning from his horrific injury sustained in qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian GP.
With just 84 points compared to Alonso's 184, Ferrari are set to retain Massa for next year's Championship, however, it will most likely be his last with the Italian stable.
One driver they are set to look at is Mexican rookie Perez, who made his debut with Sauber this season.
A member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Perez impressed many at the team during a test at the Fiorano circuit earlier this month.
And Domenicali has hinted that he could have a future at Ferrari in 2013.
"Ferrari cannot have two young drivers, there is incredible pressure at this team. But a mix between an extremely strong driver and one younger with the potential to be great would be complementary," the team boss told Spain's Marca.
Asked whether Perez fitted that role, he would only say that 21-year-old "has a contract with Sauber, which will let him continue to grow and have a good 2012."