Perez shrugs off dip in form
Sergio Perez is adamant his dismal run of form since it was announced he was joining McLaren from next season is simply a coincidence.
McLaren turned to one of Formula One's rising stars after discovering Lewis Hamilton had decided to end his 14-year relationship with the Woking-based marque and join Mercedes.
In the three grands prix that have followed in Japan, Korea and four days ago in India, Sauber driver Perez has drawn a blank.
After crashing out in attempting to overtake Hamilton at Suzuka, the 22-year-old Mexican could only manage 11th in Yeongam.
At the Buddh International Circuit, Perez was forced to retire with damage sustained to the car after collecting a puncture in running into Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso.
Despite his woes, Perez said: "I am fully focused. If the result hasn't come then there is a reason for that.
"What has happened is just a coincidence. The people in my team know what is going on, and they're the only people who concern me at the moment.
"I just want to give my best, but it's normal people start to make up stories I'm not doing very well following the McLaren deal.
"This isn't true, it's not right, although it doesn't bother me at all because my team are fighting so much - the engineers, mechanics.
"When people read it maybe they get a bit frustrated, but they know I'm giving my maximum to score some points, and I will keep doing this until my last lap with Sauber."
Perez admits to having held a number of conversations with Jenson Button with regard to what he can expect when he joins McLaren from January 1, beyond which time he will be relying heavily on his future team-mate early on.
"I've had some chats with him, he's a very good guy, the same with his father (John)," added Perez.
"He's basically told me I'm coming to a great team, that I'm lucky - the same as him - to be a part of the best team in Formula One, and he's looking forward to working with me.
"At the end of the day we've not had too much time to get together, but he's been quite good with me.
"When I do join the team I will need to work a lot with him to build my relationship with him, first of all, and then my understanding of the car.
"At the end of the day he will be focused on his job because he has a lot of pressure on him, but I think we're going to be a good team, a strong team, and we will fight for very big targets next year."
Perez, though, is not short on confidence, believing he can fill the considerable void that will be created by Hamilton's departure.
"I rate Lewis very highly," said Perez.
"He is one of the fastest drivers in F1 right now, and I will be slipping into shoes that will be difficult to fill.
"But I'm confident of the opportunity. I'll give my best and I will be very good there.
"I'm someone who is hungry for victory. I want to win a lot - races and titles - with McLaren."