Analysis: Sergio Perez's attitude gives promise to McLaren

Sergio Perez may have talked of title challenges, beating Jenson Button and joining the 'greatest' team in Formula 1 on his first official day for McLaren, but it was the non-sound bite topics that offered a better insight into how life at his new surroundings may pan out

Analysis: Sergio Perez's  attitude gives promise to McLaren

The first day at work is always a time for great optimism about the future. Everything is fresh; the new employee becomes the most loved in the building; and thoughts are only of a bright future with tremendous success.

So it was no surprise to find Perez bigging everything up on his first day of official duties for McLaren - he already had an informal factory visit at the end of last year - that winning races was a minimum for him, not just a target.

But behind the bold quotes, it was refreshing to hear from Perez that there was some honesty about the huge task he is facing, not only to deliver success at Woking but also silence the critics and address his deficiencies.

Perez is heading into 2013 on the back of an infamous record of having failed to score a point since he signed his contract with McLaren, and the pressure on him and the team will be immense if that run continues into the new campaign.

Many at the time suggested that Perez's struggles - on the back of his runner-up finish at the Italian Grand Prix - was simply the effect of a McLaren contract having gone to his head.

Not so, insisted Perez. "No, I see nothing to do with that..."

However, what Perez did see was an element of responsibility in the incidents, which included that spin while battling with Lewis Hamilton at Suzuka.

It was an important concession to make, for Perez to plead a bit of mea culpa, rather than simply put it down to 'bad luck' or mistakes by his former team. It shows there is a willingness to learn from errors, work hard to address the problems and become better.

The next few weeks are going to be a long slog for Perez, and his biggest error would have been heading into those doors at Woking with the belief that he is untouchable and that everything is going to fall onto his lap automatically.

For now, accepting how much he needs to step up to the plate is a positive sign that Perez can move on from his 2012 woes, and become worthy of stepping into Lewis Hamilton's shoes.

In fact, Perez goes even further and suggests is going to have to carve his own path as a top-line F1 driver, rather than simply feel he needs to step up as the man who followed Hamilton.

"When you are replacing someone at McLaren it has to be a top driver, a very good driver," he said. "Even if Lewis was not there I was going to replace a top driver so this is quite normal, and my approach has to be to make my own career and my own history at McLaren."

shares
comments
Button must become a man for all seasons
Previous article

Button must become a man for all seasons

Next article

Red Bull reveals RB9 launch date

Red Bull reveals RB9 launch date
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022