Perez admits pressure higher at McLaren

Sergio Perez has felt the added pressure of stepping up the F1 grid for 2013.

Formerly the surprise podium-getter in a Sauber, the 23-year-old has now been signed up by McLaren, to replace the ultra high-profile Lewis Hamilton.

“Of course the pressure is higher now,” the Mexican is quoted by Speed Week, as he represented his new employer at the Geneva motor show.

“But I have no problems with it. “Anyone who can’t handle pressure should not sign for McLaren,” added Perez.

According to most pundits, Perez has had a mixed first winter with the famous British team, complaining about “extreme” tyre degradation and a difficulty adjusting to the new MP4-28.

“Of course I would have liked to collect more information before going to Australia,” he admitted. “Some days it was cold and really difficult to learn about the car,” said Perez.

“But I don’t know anyone in the pitlane who had carefree winter testing. So it’s the same for everyone, not a disadvantage for us.”

Source:GMM

Perez: New McLaren ‘adapted’ for Button’s style

Sergio Perez was quickest in Barcelona on Wednesday, but he also admitted that Jenson Button still rules the McLaren roost.

Asked by Spain’s AS newspaper to rate his adaptation from Sauber to McLaren, the young Mexican answered: “From zero to ten, I would say it is a 6 or a 7.” Perez said the “management style and philosophy” of Woking based McLaren and the Swiss team Sauber is fundamentally different, adding that his experienced teammate Button has the advantage of having being involved in the development of the new MP4-28 car.

“Jenson is obviously a very experienced driver and has put a lot into the car,” he said. “It is slightly adapted to his style, so it’s up to me to adapt to that, but I’m sure I will be completely ready in Australia. In any case, I am delighted with McLaren. All my life I’ve dreamed of being on this team, and from day one I have felt at home.”

Perez, 23, played down the prospect that his relationship with McLaren could break down, just as it did with other Latin drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya and Fernando Alonso.

“Every year, every race, there are different circumstances with the different drivers,” he said. “There have been other Latin drivers who have won championships here.

“Nationality means very little. The most important thing is that you have the right circumstances and a good car. The car is very different from what I was used to, but it is competitive,” he added.

Source:GMM

Extreme tyre wear ‘an unpleasant surprise’ – Perez

‘Pirelli’ is the buzzword in the Barcelona paddock, as the F1 world gets to grips with the extreme degradation of the Italian supplier’s 2013 tyres.

McLaren’s Sergio Perez was quickest in his McLaren on Wednesday, but he admitted to being surprised by how quickly the Pirellis were wearing out.

“I don’t know what to say,” the Mexican is quoted by Spain’s AS newspaper. “It is worrying and I hope it changes for the first race. It doesn’t matter what you do, what talent you have,” said Perez.

“It is an unpleasant surprise,” he is quoted by Speed Week. “The cool temperatures are making it worse; in Melbourne it will probably be better, otherwise we will be doing seven or ten pitstops.”

Up and down the pitlane, the comments were similar. Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo spoke of being shot with “rubber bullets” – the chunks of discarded ‘marbles’ as the tyres wear – as he drove around the Circuit de Catalunya.

“I’m not sure if what the tyres are doing is what they (Pirelli) had expected,” said the Australian.

According to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, Mercedes boss Ross Brawn commented: “The wear is twice as high as last year.”

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg added: “The tyres have overshadowed everything. After a lap the grip is going away.”

No matter the tyre situation, it’s the same for everyone. Teams, then, are more guarded than ever about their setups and technical solutions with just one more test after this week’s running to prepare for Australia.

Red Bull is being highly secretive, with mechanics rushing to fit covers as the RB9 is wheeled backwards into the garage.

Bild newspaper suspects a “hacker” or a “virus” may have contributed to the world champions’ glitches in the McLaren-supplied software so far this week.

Contemplating Red Bull’s rivals, Dr Helmut Marko admitted: “The McLaren and Lotus look the best.”

As ever in testing, reliability is a big factor, and on Wednesday Ferrari continued to raise suspicions about an exhaust design flaw, when Fernando Alonso suffered a failure.

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen also had problems. When asked what he did during his downtime, the laconic Lotus driver admitted: “I had a sleep.”

Source:GMM

Perez starts work in McLaren simulator

Sergio Perez on Wednesday revealed he has already started work at the wheel of McLaren’s sophisticated driver simulator.

But the Mexican warned that he will have no impact on the design or specification of his 2013 car, the MP4-28.

“Of course, no,” he is quoted by the Russian website f1news.ru, after his first official visit to McLaren’s Woking headquarters for the media on Wednesday.

“However,” said the 22-year-old, “I have already worked on the simulator, helping the team to understand the specifics of my driving style. But to be honest, I have no influence on the creation of a new car,” Perez admitted.

He said his real challenge, whilst learning from his experienced teammate Jenson Button, is to become top dog and fight for the 2013 championship.

“I think at the moment it looks like Jenson has experience, has the team,” the Mexican is quoted by the Daily Mail. “He’s a great champion — the most experienced driver in the paddock now. So I think I have a lot to learn from him. And obviously I want to beat him as well.”

Source:GMM

Perez: Kobayashi can return to F1 in 2014

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.”

Source:GMM

Perez: Sauber is capable of winning races in 2013

Sauber will reveal its 2013 car, the C32, in the days before it makes its track debut at the start of winter testing.

Team founder Peter Sauber had already announced that the new Ferrari-powered single seater will run for the first time at Jerez on February 5. The Swiss team on Thursday invited the media to an official launch event at its Hinwil headquarters, on 2 February.

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber’s new driver replacing Sergio Perez, has already had his seat fitted. The German’s teammate will be the Mexican rookie Esteban Gutierrez.

McLaren-bound Perez, who finished on the podium three times in 2012, is quoted by Swiss magazine Speed Week: “Sauber will be strong again, I am firmly convinced. The rules are fairly stable, the team has understood its car well, so why should they be worse than 2012?

“I even think there could be races they are capable of winning.”

Perez continued: “Sauber has done a lot for me, so I want them to do well more than any other team — with the exception of McLaren of course!”

In other pre-season testing news, Reuters correspondent Alan Baldwin wrote on Twitter that he believes Mercedes has booked the Jerez circuit for filming on the day before the first official test begins.

“Wonder who will be first in the car,” said Baldwin, contemplating Mercedes’ 2013 lineup of Lewis Hamilton alongside Nico Rosberg.

Source:GMM

Button doubts Perez to fight for early wins in 2013

Jenson Button thinks Sergio Perez could struggle to fill Lewis Hamilton’s winning boots at McLaren next year.

Mexican Perez has been signed to replace 2008 world champion and F1’s last-start winner Hamilton for 2013 and beyond. Currently at Sauber, 22-year-old Perez has said his 2013 target is wins and the title, but in the five races since the McLaren deal was announced, he has failed to score even a single point.

“It’s going to be a tricky seat for Checo to fill,” his teammate next year, Button, is quoted by British newspapers after the US grand prix. “I have a feeling he will be competitive, but of course he doesn’t have the experience and I don’t think he will be fighting at the front at the start of next season. It is a massive ask but what else can you do? You need to have someone in the car and he is quick.

“I don’t know if he will be up to it straight away but we might be surprised at the first race,” added Button.

Perez acknowledges the doubters, but said it has little to do with his black run of form at Sauber since the McLaren deal was announced.

“I am going to the best team next year, so there will always be a question mark until I constantly deliver in a McLaren,” he is quoted by the BBC. “This doesn’t bother me.”

But the BBC claimed Perez is currently a long way from McLaren’s standards, having failed to come close to Hamilton and Button in the British team’s benchmark fitness test.

“I am not worried about him,” insisted team boss Martin Whitmarsh. “We have the winter to prepare him.”

Source:GMM

No punishment for Pic-Perez clash

No action has been taken over the clash between Sergio Perez and Charles Pic during the final practice session for the US Grand Prix.

Pic was heading into Turn 7 when Perez tried to pass him down the inside. The two came together and Pic’s car was sent into a spin and was dealt minor floor damage.

Stewards have ruled that it was just a racing incident and no punishment will be given to either driver.

“Having heard from both drivers, the stewards are satisfied this was a racing incident,” the stewards said.

Perez denies losing focus after McLaren news

Sergio Perez on Thursday rejected suggestions his form has taken a nosedive because he has already turned his attention to 2013.

From the cockpit of his Sauber last year and in 2012, the 22-year-old Mexican convinced F1 grandee McLaren that he is good enough to replace Lewis Hamilton next season.

But since the news was announced, Perez’s form has apparently collapsed: despite his earlier podiums, in Suzuka he crashed, in Korea he finished out of the points and last weekend in India he retired after a run-in with a Toro Rosso — a move said to have particularly displeased his boss Monisha Kaltenborn.

McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh, however, has defended his new signing, albeit admitting Perez is “raw” and adding: “If he hasn’t something to learn at 22 then there’s something wrong.”

In Abu Dhabi on Thursday, meanwhile, Perez scotched claims he has let his focus on this season slip as he gears up for his top 2013 drive.

“I am fully focused,” he insisted. “What has happened is just a coincidence. I just want to give my best, but it’s normal people start to make up stories I’m not doing very well following the McLaren deal.”

Source:GMM

Button: Perez apologised after Korean GP conflict

Sergio Perez apologised after almost wiping his 2013 teammate Jenson Button out of the recent Korean grand prix.

“Sergio said sorry, yeah,” the McLaren driver told the Mirror. “To the team actually.”

Young Mexican Perez, currently driving for Sauber, will join Button at McLaren next year, to replace the Mercedes-bound Lewis Hamilton. But his relationship with Button almost got off to a terrible start in Korea, when Perez narrowly avoided contact on the first lap, earning a rebuke from the 2009 world champion.

“I’ve spoken to Sergio. I think his move was on the edge,” Button confirmed in India.

Button was heavily critical after Korea, and he still thinks Perez – and some of his other young rivals – can afford to take more care in grands prix.

“Yeah he can but he does not need to do that,” the 32-year-old said. “It is a great opportunity for Sergio and I think he is an exciting talent for the team as well.”

Souce:GMM