Sergio Perez believes his 2012 teammate Kamui Kobayashi can return to formula one next year.
Japanese Kobayashi, who in the same 2012 Sauber scored 60 points last year compared to Mexican Perez's 66, has acknowledged he will not be on the 2013 grid.
At the same time, Perez was signed to switch to McLaren next year to replace the British team's most recent champion Lewis Hamilton.
The 22-year-old Mexican kicked off his official duties on Wednesday by speaking to the press at a photo opportunity at McLaren's Woking headquarters.
"Kamui is a great racer, a nice guy, he does his job well," Perez is quoted as saying by the Russian website f1news.ru.
"I wish he wasn't left without a contract, but I think he'll be back in formula one next season," he insisted.
"I'm sure that with his speed he will find a good place and we'll see him again next year."
Perez also had some words for his countryman Esteban Gutierrez, the 21-year-old rookie who is filling his seat at Sauber.
"I think it's a great opportunity for Esteban," he said at Woking.
"Sauber is a great team in which a driver has the opportunity to demonstrate his potential."