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Perez expects title in first year at McLaren

ESPN Staff
November 30, 2012 « Ferrari must 'revamp its organisation' - Montezemolo | Ferrari considers yellow flag controversy 'closed' »
Sergio Perez: "The target has to be always high - it's the way we have to think and McLaren wants to win every race" © Sutton Images
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Sergio Perez is adamant he can win the world championship next season when he joins McLaren from Sauber.

Perez will replace Lewis Hamilton at McLaren after impressing the team with a series of strong performances over the last two years at Sauber. When he joins he will be 23 years old - the age at which Hamilton won his first title with McLaren - and Perez is confident he will be ready to join the team and immediately win races and championships.

"I think expectations in terms of result, my targets is to win titles with them and to win the championship already next year," he said. "That takes a lot of work during the season so it's very important to start very well my preparations with them and try to reach their targets.

"This year they have had many reliability issues and if they solved that they would have been fighting for the title. So I think it's realistic what I'm saying and the team is capable of putting together a very strong car. The target has to be always high - it's the way we have to think and McLaren wants to win every race."

Perez said he is ready for the added pressure that comes with being a driver at a top team and is prepared for the criticism as well as the adulation that goes with it.

"When you are in the best team you are always on the radar," he said. "When you are doing well you are the hero and when you are doing bad you are the worst one. It's kind of getting used to that, but I'm used to it already at Sauber because I remember when I did a podium I was a superstar and when I didn't do well I was a very bad driver who is always doing mistakes. The most important thing is to focus on the winter and try to make a very good connection with the team early in January and then be able to fight from the first race onwards."

He also dismissed suggestions that his failure to score a point at Sauber since signing for McLaren had anything to do with the added pressure.

"Here in Formula One they like to make stories about everything so they linked it to my [McLaren] contract," he said. "But it has nothing to do with it because I'm a professional driver, a very loyal person and I'm very grateful to the team [Sauber]."

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