It didn’t take very long for McLaren to stop praising new driver Sergio Perez and start urging him to step up his game. Team boss Martin Whitmarsh says the Mexican is not happy with his performance telling the press:
“Sergio is not satisfied with his performance this weekend,” said Whitmarsh. “He is a young driver and he had a difficult weekend.
“We haven’t given him a great car so far, and he is up against someone like Jenson who has done a fantastic job with the car we have given him.
“We, as a team, have to step up and support a young driver who has an enormous amount of talent.
“And with these tyres that are very fragile, with a car that is not quite there and with tricky racing, he did a reasonable job.
“But he is not satisfied with himself and nor should he be.”
The discussion of whether Perez could hang with Button this year or not seems to be answering itself in the first three races. While the team recognize they haven’t provided the drivers with a competitive car, they are looking to driver performance comparisons to asses Perez’s efforts. In that metric, he’s been down on pace compared to Button.
Is that a fair assessment of Perez so far? his first season at McLaren and he’s being urged to up his game compared to a guy who has been there for a few years and has his feet on the desk? Perez finished 11th in this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix and there is little doubt he’s not happy with it but his driving was criticized by Kimi Raikkonen as being aggressive. No doubt he’s putting more pressure on himself than the team is at this point and his driving may be showing that.