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Perez has McLaren’s full support

NEWS STORY
05/06/2013

Mat Coch writes:

McLaren has thrown its full support behind Sergio Perez after the Mexican came in for criticism following the Monaco Grand Prix.

Perez retired from the race with brake problems following a coming together with Kimi Raikkonen in the final phase of the race. Up to that point the McLaren driver had been one of the leading protagonists courtesy of his aggressive overtaking in an otherwise processional Grand Prix.

The performance, following on from a similarly aggressive drive in Bahrain where he clashed with teammate Jenson Button, raised the ire of a number of fellow drivers. However, McLaren Sporting Director Sam Michael believes his young charge has no case to answer.

"He's a racing driver and he's just racing," said Michael in the latest Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in. "The overtaking opportunities that are available at the chicane in Monaco are ones that have been used for a long time, long before Checo was even born. "It was obviously hard racing, but that's what Formula One is meant to be about."

Perez had been criticised for a comparatively lacklustre debut for the team, his performances perceived to be below what is normally expected of a McLaren driver. It was enough to prompt Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh to tell the 23-year-old to drive with his ‘elbows out’, a message he's clearly understood to the delight of Michael.

"He definitely went through a transition but his last two or three races he's been able to really mix it on pace with his teammate which is good," said the Australian. "As long as he keeps going in that direction, that's what matters to us.

"His teammate's got at least ten years more experience in Formula One than he does, and he's a world champion so he's a tough guy to match, (and) Checo's doing well against him," he added. "McLaren supports what he's doing… We're fully behind Checo, so long as he keeps developing."

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