2013 Bahrain Grand Prix
Jenson Button said his team mate Sergio Perez had been too aggressive with him during the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Perez touched the back of Button’s car at one stage in their battle and Button later forced him onto the run-off at turn four.
Button complained about Perez’s driving on the team radio, saying: “He just hit me up that back, calm him down” and later adding “he’s moving across on me and wheel-banging”.
“I was very vocal on the radio,” Button admitted afterwards, “emotions were running high. But I would say exactly the same thing again.
“I think the racing out there was great, I had a lot of fun. I didn’t have a very good race I struggled with traction and overheated the tyres more than obviously Checo did.”
“As I said the racing was great out there, the only person who wasn’t really was Checo. He was too aggressive I would say. At 300kph you don’t expect your team mate to come alongside you and bang wheels with you. A bit of a surprise and I’m probably not the only one that feels like that.”
Perez admitted the battle between the pair had cost them time: “This is something we have to speak between myself and Jenson.”
“I think I was as aggressive as he was with me. I think probably it was too much. We could have ended up our race both of us so it’s something we have to speak and then look forward for the next one.”
However he was pleased with his result after finishing sixth: “I think first of all it was a solid weekend,” he said.
“Yesterday we did a great qualifying with a car that wasn’t really focused for the race and we managed to put pretty much the maximum out of that car. And today we did a very solid race, very intelligent race, great strategy. We looked after the tyres very well and very happy for the result.”
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said he was happy for his drivers to race each other but did not want to see the pair make contact: “We lost time in fighting each other today,” he said.
“I said to Checo I don’t have a problem with most things we do. We as a team let our drivers race, that’s clear.”
“You don’t hit your team mate, though. Endplate to rear tyre, as I said to him, you could have punctured Jenson and you could have lost your front wing. So that was over the limit, that’s not what we expect. The other stuff is tough and I’m sure it was entertaining.”
2013 Bahrain Grand Prix
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Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei