Perez was a revelation in Malaysia: Whitmarsh

Perez was a revelation in Malaysia: Whitmarsh

Even if the Malaysian Grand Prix ultimately stands out as an aberration, with Fernando Alonso celebrating an unlikely Ferrari victory, it could be a defining moment in the Formula One careers of Sergio Perez and Bruno Senna.

In a rain-hit race that may also have hastened Felipe Massa's departure from Maranello, the two Latin American drivers stood out.

"He was a revelation." McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said of Perez, who finished second for Sauber to become the first Mexican on the F1 podium for 41 years.

"I imagine he's put a bit of pressure on Mr Massa, that's my guessing on that one," he told Sky television with a mischievous grin.

"I don't know what the odds are for him switching teams before China, but I think there must be some consideration there," added Whitmarsh, whose 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton clashed repeatedly with Massa last year.

Cynics might say that the odds on the 22-year-old Perez joining Ferrari will only have been enhanced by his failure to pass Alonso, now the championship leader, in the closing laps.

The Mexican is also a Ferrari driver, a member of the Italian team's youth academy who occasionally tests in the Ferrari simulator, while his team use Ferrari engines.

Ferrari, with an ugly car that proved uncompetitive in the Australian season opener, were desperate for a morale-boosting victory at Sepang after the weather played into their hands and Perez looked the only man who could stop them.

The third Grand Prix of the 20-race season takes place in China on April 15.