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F1 NEWS 

Sauber plays down Sergio Perez's Ferrari role

Sergio Perez tests for FerrariSauber says it does not expect Sergio Perez to test for Ferrari again in the immediate future, amid continuing speculation about the Mexican's chances of a future Ferrari race seat.

Formula 1 rookie Perez was added to Ferrari's Driver Academy system this season, and tested a 2009 Ferrari at Fiorano between the Italian and Singapore Grands Prix.

Comparisons have been drawn with current Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, who spent his initial seasons in F1 with Sauber, while also testing for Ferrari.

But Sauber chief Peter Sauber said Perez's situation was very different.

"We can't make a comparison with Felipe because Felipe had a contract with Ferrari when he came to us," he said.

Sauber's managing director Monisha Kaltenborn said Perez's Ferrari test was "an integrated part of the [FDA] activities, so we knew at some point it would come up", and played down the chances of Perez becoming a bigger part of Ferrari's programme.

"There's no such situation, he's really just part of their academy," she said. "It's just running in parallel, basically. The academy is meant for drivers who should go into Formula 1, and he is already in Formula 1, so I think you have to put that in the right perspective.

"There are no further arrangements regarding that. As we understand it, there is one test. The programme is not developed with us. We make sure that none of these activities conflict with any of our activities, and Ferrari respects that. We found a time when we could do his test and that's it."

Perez is currently 16th in the world championship, with seventh place at Silverstone his best result in F1 so far. He has received plaudits for regular outpacing his highly-regarded - and more experienced - Sauber team-mate Kamui Kobayashi.

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