Find out more about our subscriptions

McLaren says Button and Perez not under pressure until car improves

Sergio Perez and Jenson ButtonMcLaren admits it is under pressure to provide a car that Jenson Button and Sergio Perez both merit.

Amid a difficult start to its 2013 Formula 1 campaign, in which it has dropped away from the front, the team says both drivers' attitudes have been exemplary.

It insists however that the real pressure of performing to expectations will only kick in for Button and Perez once they have proven frontrunning machinery once again.

"At the moment what we have to do is get the car up so that it is capable of winning races. There will be a lot of pressure on the drivers at that point," managing director Jonathan Neale said in a Vodafone phone-in ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

"But at the moment we haven't done that, and the drivers have been a fantastic role model for the team, really pushing hard. We're delighted with both of them.

"It's the wrong time now [for a review]; what we need to do is pull hard as a team, which I'm pleased everyone is doing, and put the car under the drivers that they deserve."

McLaren sure it has pinpointed car's issues

Asked specifically about Perez, who claimed last year that he hoped to be fighting for the title immediately following his switch from Sauber, Neale said: "He has been really good so far.

"Everybody in the team has been impressed not only with his driving skills but the ways he interacts with us.

"He has had a lot to learn in terms of getting used to us as a team, the way we go about things and obviously he is with a new team of engineers.

"He is very inquisitive and so far he has been very adaptable. We haven't given him the easiest first couple of races, and we look forward to putting that right so that we can let him do his thing."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
McLaren reckons upgrades are working