Sergio Perez is reportedly one of four drivers in contention for the second race seat at McLaren for the 2019 Formula 1 season.
The team has already announced Carlos Sainz will move to McLaren next year after Fernando Alonso revealed he’ll be leaving Formula 1, but the team is yet to decide who’ll be in the other car.
According to Sky Sports, Perez is in the running along with current McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne, the team’s reserve driver Lando Norris and Perez’s Force India teammate Esteban Ocon.
Perez had a previous stint with McLaren in 2013, replacing Lewis Hamilton after the Brit moved to Mercedes. However, the Mexican finished 11th in the drivers’ championship and was replaced by Kevin Magnussen for the following year.
Perez has previously suggested he’s close to agreeing a new deal at Force India, who have recently been taken over by the father of Williams driver Lance Stroll. Assuming the Canadian takes a seat at the team next year, if not sooner, one of the current Force India drivers will be looking for a new drive. Ocon is understood to have had a seat fitting with McLaren earlier this month, but the team couldn’t fit his 6’1″ frame into the cockpit.
Ocon is one driver who could struggle to find a seat for 2019. He was expected to join Renault before they announce the signing of Daniel Ricciardo, while his height could be a problem for McLaren if they’ve already started work on next year’s car. Perez going to McLaren could suit the Frenchman though, as that would leave a spot for him at Force India.
Norris could be Perez’s main rival for the seat as the reserve driver did a solid job on his FP1 debut at Spa in a session that saw Vandoorne struggle. Should Norris win the F2 title, he won’t be able to continue in the series next year, so McLaren will have to find something to do with the teenager. He’ll be in the car again this weekend at Monza, so will have another opportunity to impress the team.
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