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F1: Pérez urges Formula 1 to help smaller teams

Force India driver Sergio Pérez has urged Formula 1 to introduce measures to aid the smaller teams in the sport.

Backmarkers Marussia and Caterham entered administration towards the end of 2014 and missed races, with Marussia’s assets auctioned off shortly before Christmas.

While Caterham was able to return to the grid in Abu Dhabi, the future of both teams appears uncertain despite the squads being provisionally added to the 2015 entry list.

With other teams also voicing their concerns over the future of the sport, Pérez believes that Formula 1 needs to act to prevent the problems from getting worse.

“Of course, we see a lot in the media,” Pérez told GPUpdate.net about the sport’s problems.

“Formula 1 is not going through a great period, especially this side of the grid. The small teams are struggling to keep up. So hopefully the sport can do something to help us and help the team to survive, because I think Formula 1 needs these teams to stay.”

Pérez downplayed the idea that modified GP2 cars could be introduced to aid Formula 1 backmarkers and keep up numbers in the sport.

“I think if they want to do a second series and if you are in the second series, you are not in the pinnacle of the sport,” he said. “So what’s the point? If you are in Formula 1, it is because you believe you are one of the best racing drivers in the world. It’s because you are racing for one of the best teams in the world. What’s the point of being in Formula 1 but not being in the pinnacle of the sport?”

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F1: Gutiérrez named Ferrari reserve driver

Ferrari has signed Esteban Gutiérrez as its test and reserve driver for the 2015 campaign.

Gutiérrez makes the switch after two seasons racing for Sauber, which opted to overhaul its driver line-up after failing to score a point in 2014.

The Mexican will provide support to full-time drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen, and carry out virtual mileage in Ferrari’s simulator.

“It is an honour to become part of the Scuderia Ferrari family, a team with such an exceptional history,” said Gutiérrez.

“It is for me the beginning of a new path for my future and I’m going to do my utmost to contribute to the achievement of the targets set by the Scuderia.

“I want to thank everybody for their belief in my potential; this will bring a great opportunity for me to develop further and get to the top in the near future.

“With all my passion and dedication, I’m now looking forward to the start of this new venture.”

New team boss Maurizio Arrivabene added: “We are pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to Esteban who, although young, has plenty of experience relating to the new generation of Formula 1 cars.

“I am sure that, with his experience, he will make an important contribution to the development work of the team in the simulator.”

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Motorsport: Hulkenberg makes WEC Porsche test debut in Spain

Nico Hulkenberg has tested a Porsche 919 Hybrid for the first time ahead of his World Endurance Championship debut with the German manufacturer in 2015.

Hülkenberg sampled the 919 at MotorLand Aragón on Tuesday and is set to race a third car in the 6 Hours of Spa in May next year in preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June, alongside his Force India F1 commitments.

However, doubt was cast over Hülkenberg’s plans last week after the release of the 2015 Formula 1 calendar featured a provisional return for the Korean Grand Prix on the same weekend as the race in Belgium.

Porsche has not yet confirmed the drivers who will race alongside Hülkenberg in the third 919 next year.

Ex-Red Bull driver Mark Webber switched to the WEC with Porsche for 2014, claiming three podium finishes alongside Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley in the #20 machine.

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