Sergio Perez "deserves" a second season with McLaren, lead driver Jenson Button insists.
Amid wild rumours linking Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with a return to the British team, McLaren is yet to confirm 23-year-old Mexican Perez's seat for 2014.
Sporting director Sam Michael said in a teleconference on Thursday: "Checo's pushing very hard at the moment, staying focused, he's driving well, working well with the engineers and ultimately that's what we expect him to do."
McLaren has said sticking with Button and Perez for next season - the famous team's last with Mercedes power before switching to Honda - is the most likely scenario.
"He deserves to be here next...
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