Italian GP: Sergio Perez says Monza result won't influence Ferrari's driver decision

Sergio Perez played down the prospect of his second place in the Italian Grand Prix moving him closer to taking a Ferrari seat for the 2013 season

Italian GP: Sergio Perez says Monza result won't influence Ferrari's driver decision

Sauber's impressive Mexican is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and has been linked with Felipe Massa's place in the Maranello team for much of the year.

That prospect appeared to be fading in recent months, but Perez impressed again at Monza by charging from 12th on the grid to finish second - passing both Ferraris along the way.

Asked if he felt the performance increased his chances of a Ferrari deal, Perez replied: "I don't know. I am sure not at all. I am fighting for my team and I will always fight for the team I am in, I will always give my maximum.

"I will always fight, if it is against Fernando [Alonso] or Lewis [Hamilton], to give my all and every driver would do the same."

Perez took a different strategy to the leading qualifiers as he started on the harder Pirellis and then used the medium rubber for his second stint.

Great pace on both tyres saw him lead for five laps before his pitstop, and then gain on the leaders by 1.5 seconds per lap in the latter part of the race.

"It was really enjoyable," said Perez. "One of those races where you have the pace and are the one attacking.

"There were very crucial moments during the race, especially with my first stint - going long and keeping pace was not easy at all.

"I did quite a lot of laps on those tyres and then in the second stint we managed to go on maximum attack and were able to have good fight with some drivers."

Although he only qualified 12th, Perez reckoned that was partly down to underperformance, rather than the car's pace being transformed for the race.

"I don't think we had pace to be close to the front row or close to the top five," he said. "We were not quick at all, lacking too much speed on the straights.

"I didn't get a good lap yesterday and that is why we qualified outside the top 10. Maybe the top 10 was reachable.

"It helps us in a way to change strategy. I think we were one of only a few to go for primes and it worked quite well. I was worried about warm up at the beginning but it worked quite well."

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