Sergio Perez will be under much less pressure at McLaren than if he was signed by Ferrari. That is the claim of Stefano Domenicali, defending Ferrari's decision to overlook its leading 'academy' dri...

Sergio Perez will be under much less pressure at McLaren than if he was signed by Ferrari.

That is the claim of Stefano Domenicali, defending Ferrari's decision to overlook its leading 'academy' driver while direct rival McLaren snapped up the Mexican for 2013.

Asked by El Pais newspaper if he is worried McLaren will show Ferrari made a grave mistake, Ferrari team boss Domenicali answered: "Clearly 'Checo' has potential.

"But the pressure he will have at McLaren will be much lower than what he would have had to endure if he was signed by Ferrari," he added.

If Ferrari had signed Mexican 22-year-old Perez, he would have replaced Felipe Massa.

But it is believed Ferrari is sticking with the Brazilian for 2013.

Massa was asked by the Marca sports newspaper if any young drivers on the 2012 grid have impressed me.

After a pause, he answered: "No. There have been good drivers like Perez, who also has had a good car.

"Sauber have been very competitive this year, so although you can't tell who has truly impressed, they (Sauber) have done a great job."

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