Perez: “I’ve never worked harder”

2013 Australian Grand Prix

Sergio Perez, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Sergio Perez says he’s working harder than ever before as he prepares to make his first start as a McLaren driver in next week’s Australian Grand Prix.

“Arriving in Melbourne as a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver will be an incredible honour,” said Perez. “I’ve never worked harder over a winter to be ready for the new season, and I’m confident I’ve done everything within my reach to be ready.”

Perez added the team still has work to do to get the most out of the MP4-28: “On top of all my acclimatisation, our winter has been extremely busy.”

“There?s always a lot of work to do when you make significant changes to the car, and having only 12 days to iron out every single issue is never easy. However, we?ve had a productive three weeks of testing and we?re using every available opportunity to further refine the car before Melbourne.”

Team mate Jenson Button said it was hard to draw any firm conclusions from pre-season testing: “This year, I don?t think any team really knows or understands the competitive order.”

“It?s been an extremely hard-to-read winter: varying fuel-loads and levels of tyre degradation mean that it’s hard to accurately predict who’ll arrive in Australia with the best-sorted car. But that?s part of the game.”

“One of the most fascinating things about Formula One is the way it resets itself each and every winter,” he added.

“I?ve seen every side of that: you can have a terrible winter of testing, then turn up at the first race and be competitive; equally, you can look impressive in winter testing and be nowhere in Melbourne. If you?re lucky, it all comes together in the tests and you hit the ground running at the first race. That’s always the goal.”

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51 comments on Perez: “I’ve never worked harder”

  1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 8th March 2013, 11:50

    Anyone think that Perez will win a race this year?

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 8th March 2013, 12:00

      Of course he will.
      He’s very talented and Mclaren is too good of team.

      I confident he’ll win Atleast 2 GP’s

      • jimscreechy (@) said on 8th March 2013, 13:58

        I think he will give Button a surprise with his ability. In the wet… well we have seen what he can do with his impressive ability to ‘feel’ what the tyres are doing.

    • Dj xo2 (@dj-xo2) said on 8th March 2013, 12:45

      Not a chance. He won’t handle the pressure. Re the other article about the least experienced grid in years, it’s going to be carnage come the first corner at melbs. Chico….choke-0

      • Mike (@mike) said on 8th March 2013, 12:58

        I dunno, he only made one high profile mistake last year in Sinapore, and his team made an even bigger blunder in that same race. He did damn good last year.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 8th March 2013, 14:10

        @dj-xo2 I could not disagree more. Not everyone is Heikki Kovalainen or Michael Andretti, and based on your argument Raikkonen would have flopped next to Coulthard in 2002, and Hamilton would have cowered in Alonso’s shadow in 2007. However, that was not the case and if you look at McLaren’s history objectively, there are many occasions of young drivers fairing well next to their more experienced teammates; like when Hakkinen out-qualified Senna in Hungary ’93. I fully expect Perez to win a races; perhaps at Silverstone and India. However I do agree that with Max Chilton, Giedo van der Garde, Jule Bianchi, the race rusty Valterri Bottas and the rather crash-magnetic Esteban Gutierrez, AND the regular Grosjean and Maldonado-madness, that there may be quite a few first corner incidents this year.

    • Ninjenius (@ninjenius) said on 8th March 2013, 13:58

      Whilst I think he’s a great prospect for McLaren I think this season he’ll only win if there’s retirements in front of him. I reckon he’ll get 1 win under those circumstances and no more. You also have to take into consideration McLaren’s unparalleled ability to shoot themselves in the foot in a winning situation, what with reliability, strategy calls and pitstops (though I’ll admit those did improve vastly towards the end of 2012).

    • panache (@panache) said on 8th March 2013, 17:04

      I think Perez will probably win a race at some point during the season because Mclaren will be strong at most if not all circuits but I think he’ll be dominated by Button over the course of the season and will have a tough time dealing with the rigours of driving for a top team.

    • Paul (@paulmaster) said on 10th March 2013, 4:43

      I see High chances for him in: Malaysia, Monaco, Silverstone, Montreal, Spa, and Monza. Is where He performances better.

  2. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 8th March 2013, 11:51

    I love to see that article subtitle: “2013 Australian Grand Prix”, it’s almost upon us!

    It’s been an extremely hard-to-read winter: varying fuel-loads and levels of tyre degradation mean that it’s hard to accurately predict who’ll arrive in Australia with the best-sorted car. But that’s part of the game.

    Has this winter been harder to predict than previous (Pirelli) winters? I guess we will see next week what our predictions were worth.

    • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 8th March 2013, 13:43

      The big difference is also that teams went different ways … Some continued developing last year’s car and others went for new basis to have beter development this year, and I think it could play a role on how the season evolved. Maybe McLaren isn’t pleased with the actual state of the car but will come good after some development, maybe Lotus will be strong at the begining with a known car but will drop the order not being able to develop their car further …

  3. MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 8th March 2013, 12:03

    Anyone know yet, of a live-stream to watch the race?

  4. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 8th March 2013, 12:18

    Here’s a fact. Perez is not gelling with the MP4-28, and nor is Button to be honest, but it seems worse for Cheko. I expect him to be facing a titanic battle with Hulkenberg and Maldonado for a place in Q3, which I expect him to win, just. Perez will almost certainly struggle in the opening races of this year, particularly in qualifying. However that does not detract from the fact that he will almost certainly win a race, perhaps at the Hungaroring. But despite a the odd win and podium for Perez I am expecting a difficult, pole-less and intense first season in chrome for the Mexican, and therefore I do not expect him to outplace the man he replaced at McLaren in the WDC.

    • OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 8th March 2013, 13:04

      Why on earth would he win in Hungary if he’ll struggle in qualifying?

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 8th March 2013, 13:52

        What I meant when I said Hungary was instead Silverstone; I think Perez will take his first win at the 2013 British GP. Joking aside I think Perez has shown well at tracks that have continuous left-right changes of direction, so whilst I chose the wrong track in the Hungaroring, Perez’s ability to pivot the car on the rear axle and therefore change direction quickly will make him competitive at tracks like Silverstone, Suzuka, India, Korea, Austin and of course the Hungaroring. And when I said he’ll struggle in qualifying I meant in the first stages of the season, and before this much needed McLaren development kicks in. By Silverstone I expect Perez to be comfortable with the balance, and I can really picture him winning that race.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 8th March 2013, 13:56

      @william-brierty how do you know all those facts?

      and as @oel-f1 says, why do you point it out that “perhapts at the Hungaroring” ??

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 9th March 2013, 14:08

        @fer-no65 Facts? What facts? I’m being an F1 fan and making very large statements based on nearly no evidence at all. However, it is an observable trend that Perez does seem more comfortable at tracks that require rapid changes of direction, and McLaren did say in their launch that they could be slower in the first races in the hope of the development bringing momentum as the season progresses. I took that knowledge, cross-referenced it with tracks that Perez and McLaren have shown well at and prematurely arrived at the Hungaroring, although if you read the above comment I amended that to Silverstone.

        • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 10th March 2013, 6:41

          McLaren did say in their launch that they could be slower in the first races in the hope of the development bringing momentum as the season progresses

          @william-brierty that’s far from a believable statement anyway, every team is saying the same and it’s just impossible that they will alll be slower in the same race.

  5. Abel Archundia (@aquataz68) said on 8th March 2013, 12:22

    Well, seems Perez kept the humble attitude, and the determination. He’s been disciplined, is making the right noises (not too many misplaced “massives”) and seems to have had at least a couple of good testing days.
    3 – 5 good quali’s, a cool head, and some luck avoiding Maldonado/Grosjean would be great. But, he must avoid the ‘must-prove-myself’ errors he made at various points last season. If he gets a podium or two in the flyaways he’ll build self-confidence and perhaps a win in the second third -the car seems good enough.

  6. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 8th March 2013, 13:22

    I think he’ll end up like Kovalainen – McLaren is too much for him.

    • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 8th March 2013, 13:56

      @verstappen That’s exactly what I thought the moment I heard he had signed with McLaren: a tonne of talent and raw speed but unrefined and inexperienced with the added pressure of competing with the better car/driver combinations up the grid. I think he’ll be spending most of his time scrapping it out with the likes of Grosjean/Rosberg and his teammate more than leading the field away. I do hope I’m wrong though.

      • Klaas (@klaas) said on 8th March 2013, 16:25

        unrefined and inexperienced with the added pressure of competing with the better car/driver combinations up the grid

        Did you watch the 2012 Italian Grand Prix? He easily competed with the highest rated driver – Alonso, and also cleanly overtook Massa and Raikkonen. A few more laps and he would have snatched the win from Hamilton. In that race the guy showed what he can do in a fast car.
        The only thing that would prevent him winning a race this year would be his own team.

  7. Garns (@) said on 8th March 2013, 14:10

    I dont think he will be another HK and it will be too big for him- I think Checo is a future WDC to be honest. Yes its hard going to a team like McLaren, but its bloody hard just to step into F1 at all- he has done it, and in good stead. The great drivers always rise to the top, some faster than others but usually not before too long. I rate him their in the future, but time will tell.

    One win for Checo this year- we all know if anyone picks the circuit its just good luck, so I wont…………………ok…………….. Abu Dhabi.

    Garns

  8. Ninjenius (@ninjenius) said on 8th March 2013, 14:25

    You could have worked harder on that helmet design, Checo!

  9. timi (@timi) said on 8th March 2013, 15:52

    Haha, because Perez speaks such good English, with perfect grammar ..

    Love McLaren PR

  10. tmax (@tmax) said on 8th March 2013, 16:02

    Will he be a Heikki Kovalinen or a Lewis Hamilton at McLaren we will know by this time next year.

    One thing is for sure Carlos Slim and Telmex has a lot of money that McLaren needs to fight for championships the next few years. Particularly if McLaren needs to pay for Mercedes or Honda engines starting next year. For all we know it might become McLaren’s priority to keep Perez happy !!!!

    • Klaas (@klaas) said on 8th March 2013, 16:34

      I hope he’ll be like Jenson Button – mediocre but sly enough to make the more succesful team-mate feel uncomfortable and leave.

      • Salcrich said on 8th March 2013, 21:44

        Sly?? – you must be a psychiatrist or unbelievably closely involved with the team – where do you guys get your impressions from??

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 8th March 2013, 16:38

      “One thing is for sure Carlos Slim and Telmex has a lot of money that McLaren needs to fight for championships”

      Really? I haven’t seen a single Telmex logo in the McLaren yet, my guess is that they rather stay with Sauber because a) is cheaper and b) they don’t have to share space with other big companies.

  11. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 8th March 2013, 16:24

    I think that McLaren has similar problems that Ferrari had last year. It’s unpredictable and difficult to tune, but if you believe Button’s word’s it has a huge potential, so I expect them to have a difficult start and much better second half of the season. As for Checo, he is definitely fast and he will prove it.

    • Klaas (@klaas) said on 8th March 2013, 16:41

      I think the car having potential is not enough for McLaren. The F2012 too had been found to have potential after the Barcelona upgrades but luckily there was a consistent driver to drag that potential till the last race. As history showed, consistency just isn’t Button strong spot.

  12. vuelve kowalsky said on 8th March 2013, 16:45

    his worst enemy could be himself. He has a self confidence that seems out of this world. If he tries to beat button at the first race, and makes a mistake, he can get into a negative spiral trying to came back, that can last half a season. If he is patient and goes step by step, he can capitalize on any mistake jenson makes, and shoot very high. that’s my view.

    • Klaas (@klaas) said on 8th March 2013, 17:20

      Thing is, Jenson rarely does mistakes – he either gets the job done or s_cks big time, so there’s not really anything to capitalize on. If Perez keeps a low profile fearing of mistakes, he risks becoming like di Resta – solid, consistent but nothing more. And that would increase the pressure on him because McLaren (for sponsor’s sake at least) as a top team won’t tolerate for much time having 2 non-star drivers.
      Jenson is really under more pressure this season than Perez. If Checo finishes in front of him in the Championship then the MEDIOCRITY label will stick forever on Button. So Sergio should try to beat him from the start, settle as formal leader and develop a winner’s mentality. Anything else would be a waste of time.

  13. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 8th March 2013, 16:55

    I’m struggling to warm to Perez. I’m unsure why that is. I was okay with Montoya moving to McLaren, very happy (at the time) about Alonso, but was very worried about Hamilton before Australia ’07. I was very happy with Kovalainen, and quietly optimistic about Button, but I just still struggle to feel Perez is right for McLaren. I do feel his qualifying weakness will play a massive role this season, especially against the likes of Grosjean and Maldonado, and Gutierrez who is apparently crash-happy, and even potentially Bottas in the first few races. If McLaren have produced a quick car, and I hope they have, Perez will win a race or two this year. I can’t help but feel though he’s going to play a solid number 2 role to Button though, I just feel he hasn’t proved himself yet. Once he’s had a great result in a ‘normal’ race, where he wasn’t put on a clever strategy, then I will eat my words.

    • Klaas (@klaas) said on 8th March 2013, 17:49

      @craig-o I fully understand your view, from the current line-up Perez is the most difficult character to predict. It’s true that his giant-killing performances last year were very opportunistic, totally due to clever strategies BUT one can assume that in some degree a fresh-rubbered Sauber in field of shredded tyres is equal to a competitive McLaren. So if Perez handled so well that Sauber why couldn’t he do the same with a top car?

      • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 8th March 2013, 18:11

        @klaas It’s no lie though that Sauber was quick on low-med downforce circuits. Kobayashi qualified the car in the top 3 on 3 different occasions last season. It is true he handles his tyres well, but as we saw on a few occasions last season, Spa-aside, qualify poorly, and you are liable to not get past the first lap.

  14. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 8th March 2013, 17:32

    I really think Perez has what it takes to do well in F1. He is now in the difficult and yet fortunate position of having to prove himself and not screw it up all at the same time. At the sharp end of the grid equipment wise, success is expected, or else. My opinion, he’ll win a t least one race. Maybe more if his development matures rapidly and the McLaren is competitive throughout this season. His intangible abilities are the question. He has enough skills to get the job, the intangibles will determine if he rises to the occasion. From what I’ve seen so far, he has the intangibles.

  15. Jason (@jason12) said on 8th March 2013, 22:34

    He ended the season quite badly last year, ‘choking’ on the McLaren move.

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