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Mat Coch writes:
The Formula One season may still be weeks away, but that hasn't stopped Paul di Resta and Sergio Perez having a none too subtle spat.
It comes after di Resta claims he held discussions with McLaren over a drive for 2013 only to lose out in favour of Perez. "There were discussions," the Scot told the Daily Mail last week. "Unfortunately in this sport now, there's a little bit more to it. There's a commercial side and money's tight. Perez has some good backing."
Highly rated, di Resta enjoyed a reasonable 2012 season, if somewhat overshadowed by teammate Nico Hulkenberg. At times he was linked to both Ferrari and McLaren, though ultimately neither move came off.
Di Resta's comments imply he believes Perez won the McLaren seat mainly because of his financial backing, the Mexican having entered Formula One largely thanks to the support of Telmex, Mexico's largest telecommunications company.
"The money can buy you a seat but never the results," Perez wryly posted on Twitter, apparently in response to di Resta.
After two strong seasons at Sauber, and two podiums during the course of 2012, the 23-year-old did much to justify his place on the Formula One grid. McLaren certainly thought so when offering him the seat vacated by Lewis Hamilton.
Indeed the suggestion Perez was hired by McLaren for financial reasons seems far-fetched, given the team is one of the best financed in the paddock. With expanding business interests away from racing, and long-term sponsors involved in its Formula One team, McLaren is one of the few teams that doesn't need drivers with a budget.
Di Resta's comments therefore seem to show his frustration that, after two solid seasons in Formula One, he has been unable to progress beyond the midfield.
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