Perez was “too aggressive”, says Button

2013 Bahrain Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sergio Perez, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2013Jenson 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.”

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119 comments on “Perez was “too aggressive”, says Button”

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  1. The only move which was over the top was tapping Jenson with the front wing. Other than that, it was very, very impressive racecraft from Perez.

    1. Even that wasn’t terrible considering that Jenson slowed at the exit, which no one would have expected.

      1. I couldn’t believe it even Brundle agreed Button was also at fault when they were banging wheels, and seeing Davison in the sky pad sticking up for Button made me cringe. Whitmarsh said Perez needs to fight, when Hamilton and button touched and were racing hard in Turkey , Canada etc.. you did not see Whitmarsh openly criticise it. Button was almost asking them to slow Perez down saying tell him too calm down on the radio. Jenson was just slow, it will be good to see how this devolopes.

      2. Did he slow down? Like brake testing?
        To me it looked like Perez’ exit was better than Button’s.

        Still, I liked this battle.
        McLaren – RedBull/Mercedes 1 – 0

        1. @verstappen, Button slowed mid-corner, to deny Perez the switch-back. So it’s Perez’s mistake, but I don’t feel it falls under the heading of aggression. He just didn’t expect Jenson to be there.

          1. @adrianmorse

            I’ll agree, slowing on the apex is very common when defending. I think you can see Perez was very hot headed. However I think that’s a good thing for him.

            In this case, I think really, Button should have seen that Perez was faster and made it easier for his team mate.

      3. That’s a proper defending technique. You slow down a bit at the apex to stop the guy behind you from undercutting you.

        1. Yes but at the same time you can’t say that Perez was overaggressive by touching him because that technique involves a very risky slowing down.

          1. Ryan (@ryanisjones)
            21st April 2013, 21:06


          2. @solo

            I disagree, It’s completely up to Perez to be paying attention to what the car ahead is doing. Make no mistake, I think Perez was driving fantastically. But hitting Button was a mistake, and he should have been more aware.

            It’s the same in go karting, you slow on the apex to stop them getting a run on you down the straight.

          3. It’s a mistake but not an overaggressive mistake. Actually the one being aggressive was Button by doing such a strong defense again his teammate so you can even say Perez made the mistake because he never expected such overaggressive defense.

    2. Indeed. Whilst Perez shouldn’t have been banging wheels, neither should Button have been running him off the track at turn [whatever it was]. They were both aggressive… good, that’s what racing is about. Fair play to Whitmarsh for not using team orders – I think for once McLaren should get some credit for this.

      1. +1 Credit has to go to Martin Whitmarsh letting his drivers race.

        PS Martin must be hoping Carlos Slims attends every race now seeing how that managed to gee up Sergio Perez who took on a kick-a$$ attitude from the word go.

      2. Fair play to Whitmarsh for not using team orders – I think for once McLaren should get some credit for this.

        Well said @john-h, I can understand Button to be not amused, but how is Perez going to get his respect if not for beating him on track? Good to see the team lets them race.

    3. The worst part was the attitude in Jenson’s voice. Supercilious daddy telling his son off

      1. LOL. Plus 1.

      2. Ryan (@ryanisjones)
        21st April 2013, 22:44

        It seems Perez pushed his Button

        1. COTD here

    4. My two cents:
      This blog and most of the people that participate are first class. Despite the fact that almost all of you are british, I keep coming back because your posts are neutral toward the nationality of the drivers. That speaks tons about you, as opposed to another english speaking country that I should not condemn here.

      I am Mexican and yes, Checo is kind of a local hero, but nationality apart, I also was frustrated with Checo participation with McLaren until today. When the season started I mentioned in this blog that it would take 3 or 4 races for him to start feeling confident in his new job. Being a rookie, it must be quite challenging to become a member of one the best racing franchises ever. He didn’t let me down, he has finally proven he can become a number 1 pilot for their team. He will need 1 or 2 seasons to prove it, but he certainly will not accept a number 2 job like Massa does for Ferrari.

      I think Checo gave us the best moments of today’s race, and I think he would have done the same if the car in front of him was red, white or black. He’s got what it takes to be a race driver: hunger to win.

      Of course there should be some conversations within the team, but I think that Button should not aim at Perez publicly for this. Perez is not a back seat driver. We will see more of this through the season, as I would expect both cars to have similar performance so they will be close to each other frequently. Perez will not be Button’s right wing. He will fight for the best possible position.

      On the other hand Esteban is the current shame for Sauber. He knows that. I don’t recall that Sauber was lapped last season. He needs to improve badly or his first season will be the last. Please forgive us Kobayashi!

      1. I do think the Sauber is almost as much as a disappointment as the Williams @f1karting, if you look where Hulkenberg ended up with the car its really not easy to drive, so being a rookie with such a car must be extra tough.

        But so far Guttierez certainly has not shown he is a worthwhile addition to the grid.

      2. @Javier, to be fair with Esteban, the Sauber this year is not as good as it was last year. Even HĂĽlkenberg, who is in my opinion an excellent driver and has 2 years of experience in F1, has been struggling a bit.
        Esteban has made some big mistakes, like crashing in China, but I remember 7-times-world-champion Michael Schuhmacher doing about the same mistake in some race last year.
        I guess Slim brought him to F1 way too early. He is only 21, come on, he didn’t even expect to be in F1 this year already. I think it won’t be fair to judge him so harsh before the last races of the season or the first ones of next.

        1. I agree with those who say kudos to Mac for letting their drivers race. And at the same time I would say that I understand where JB is coming from given that we have all known for a long time now that the cardinal sin in racing is to take out your own teammate. JB was aggressive with SP but didn’t cost them both time. SP’s fighting with JB cost them both time, and SP even hit JB and could have, as Whitmarsh points out, broken his own wing and cut JB’s tire. To blame this on JB is simply showing bias against JB. SP needed to be more in control of his car and should have saved that aggression for someone else who wasn’t a teammate and wasn’t going to result in potentially both of the team’s cars dnf’ing.

          So I’m glad they raced…I’m glad SP can push JB and the other way around…I don’t think JB is a constant whiner…and I think the conversation would be an awful lot different if in fact SP had taken both himself and JB out of the race.

    5. Yeah, pretty much spot on. People love to turn these things into driver feuds. Perez should be praised for responding exactly the way his team asked. You have to say that he did cross the line a bit because he made contact with his teammate. I thought for the most part it was just great racing. Even Button thought so. When pressed for comment, obviously he’s going to say “well, maybe it was a bit dangerous”. It was. But it was exciting.

  2. I simply dont understand how this persistent whiner happens to be one of the most liked drivers on this site….yet Vettel and Alonso aredemonized for similar behaviour(whining)

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      21st April 2013, 16:50

      Inb4 someone says he’s British and this is a British site; that’s not why.

      1. Think what you want, but Lewis is far more popular than Jensen in the States. Button isn’t particularly popular in Australia. He has some ties to Japan.

        Actually, it’s pretty obvious that he’s Britain’s favourite driver. No shame in that, really.

        (his attitude and comments hes made this season are quite off putting though, and that crying doesn’t help either)

        1. Button seems a very friendly guy. I have seen him several times when at races and he’s always friendly and giving autographs. in interviews he’s always smiling and doesn’t really say a bad thing.

          When it comes to racing he doesn’t seem to do anything but whine though. Either the balance isn’t good, can’t get heat in the tyres, people try to pass him and touch when he runs them off the track.

          It’s like he’s the Jekyll & Hyde of F1

        2. @alebelly74

          Button is popular because he is a good looking, intelligent, charming athlete.

          I’m quite sure that’s not going to be affected by international borders.

    2. not just this site… Button is generally likeable by others as well for many of his “likeable” attributes when compared to Kimi or Alonso. Martin W asked checo to be aggressive and Checo was out there to prove a point to everyone. But, I agree that Button didn’t like this younger team mate to beat him fair and square. He should sort this issue within the team walls instead of speaking out lout to the media. He had a similar issue with Lewis as his team mate.

      1. @icemangrins yep, the most “likeable” is ot necessarily the best on track. I think Button is the most followed in F1F for his personality off-track. And that about whining… I think all of them have done it so why complaining about it. It’s part of sports!

        1. @omarr-pepper the reason to complain is because very little have done so when it comes to Button. It’s high time more people talk about the on track antics and daft attitude Button has. Everyone talks about the other top drivers, but if Button puts on a smile post-race everyone seems to forget he was whining only 30 minutes prior.

      2. But, I agree that Button didn’t like this younger team mate to beat him fair and square. He should sort this issue within the team walls instead of speaking out lout to the media. He had a similar issue with Lewis as his team mate.

        Jenson should be getting used to being the slower of the teammates. I just hope he stops crying about it and gets on with some racing for a change.

        And I really dont get why this guy is likeable.. maybe because he gives good interviews. But everything else about him annoys me.. his constant whining, diplomatic statements, and lack of talent covered by a list of cliche excuses

        1. @todfod

          … lack of talent covered by a list of cliche excuses…

          Oh my god, you’ve gotta be kidding me right?

          Yes, lack of talent keeps you in f1 for 14 years!

          Lack of talent wins you the f1 WDC the very first year you are given a front running car.

          Lack of talent helps you finish in the top 5 in the WDC ever since you have been driving in a front running car.

          Lack of talent helps you become the ONLY driver who was capable of denying Vettel the WDC in 2011 while Vettel was driving one of the most dominant cars in f1 history.

          Lack of talent helps you out score Lewis Hamilton over 3 years. You know, Hamilton, the driver a lot claim to be the best f1 driver in the business.

          Lack of talent helps you finish the WDC with a higher average finishing position than Hamilton since driving a front running car.

          Yes mate, Button truly lacks talent.

          1. @nick101

            Outqualified like 100 times to 3 against hamilton

            Outraced under normal conditions 99% of the time by Hamilton

            Got less points than Rubens in the 2nd half of his championship winning season

            Finsihed in some shameful positions (behind Caterhams) in a race winning car (Monaco 2012). Poorest driver on the grid for at least 4 races that season

            Failed to even compete as a championship contender in 2012… despite having 1/10th the mechanical problems of his teammate

            Yes.. Jenson lacks talent

    3. Well Button somehow won last year’s Autosport British Driver of the Year award over Lewis Hamilton despite having a less impressive 2012 which should tell you a lot about his popularity.

    4. Ben (@scuderia29)
      21st April 2013, 18:55

      agreed! button is such a whinger, he’s not a bad guy but i do get so tired of his moaning…he defended really really hard against perez encouraging perez to attack hard, button should have just let him go if he couldnt handle the heat

      1. It is not about handling the heat, which both button and perez did well today. It is about expecting a certain behaviour from a team hitting button a couple of times perez was a little over agressive and could have ended both of their races. He has already said that he was ok with hard racing between them both. As fans we love to see agressive racing but as a team maclaren want their cars to finish and grab points, they could probably both have finished higher up if they had not slowed each other up fighting too hard.

        1. It’s another classic example of Button-bashing when people read what they want to read as opposed to what he actually said. As you said, he was perfectly OK with racing Checo and I’m a big fan of both drivers but Checo did push a few lines today, luckily it didn’t end in tears. Either way, the McLaren drivers showing that inter-team racing is doable and provides a much better spectacle than DRS or paper tyres.

          1. Saying things like Checo needs to grow up, or it was dangerous, or trata Checo was dirty, only reflect JB was not OK… He should stop complaining and start racing like a real F1 driver. Today was pure racing, including when JB pushed Checo off the track. In any event, badmouthing your teamate like that only speaks of the lack of character and elegance of JB… Hopefully we ll see more good and hard racing this season. Good for SP!

          2. Checo did push a few lines today, luckily it didn’t end in tears

            And the fact Checo pretty much agrees that part was them overdoing it means we really should not take Button for a “whiner” when he mentions it to his team right after it happens.

    5. @wsrgo +1! I’ve never quite understood why he’s so liked: maybe it’s the fact he seems more humanitarian out of the car, but honestly I see much more smiles on Vettel’s face usually and I think he’s got a better sense of humour!

      Maybe people just don’t like success ;)

      1. Misguided English nationalism. That’s also why Lewis is so hated – the closet racists who all predicted he would struggle at Mercedes have crawled back to their caves, waiting for him to say one wrong thing and then they will re-emerge, baying like redneck hounds.
        Button is a rubbish driver. It’s now clear that McLaren’s good performance last season and before was because of Lewis’ ability to force the car to do his bidding. Button just whines- no rear grip, understeer, oversteer, teammate, etc.
        watch Lewis outscore the entire McLaren team combined.

        1. Misguided English nationalism.

          Prove it @rantingmrp, or maybe I should take your name literally?

          To many Button showing up Hamilton (i.e. not getting solidly beaten but holding his own) endeared him, all the more when Hamilton was the source of his own destruction in 2011

          1. To many Button showing up Hamilton (i.e. not getting solidly beaten but holding his own) endeared him

            I just dont get that. Is it the pity vote that makes Jenson the favourite then???

            Sure Hamilton may be a little crude or immature with his PR work, but I would still support the driver who can will multiple championships and get his name amongst the greats as opposed to a driver who just lucked into one WDC

  3. “Button was too slow,” says everyone else.

    1. +1 Man up Button.

      1. @f190

        Button obviously needs some of these:

  4. It wasn’t too much. It was just pleasing to the fans. If they’d crashed that would’ve been too much…

    1. I dont see how it was too aggressive by Perez…. and not as much by Jenson.

      Jenson was defending equally hard and pulling every trick in the book to keep Perez behind him. I think Jenson was just taken back because his teammate was much quicker than him in the race today, and we wasn’t going to hold back and just follow Jenson.

      Good work by Perez… lets hope he hammers that whiner on a regular basis

  5. Cry baby, the guy was faster than you today, simple thing.

    1. Traverse (@)
      21st April 2013, 16:54

      If Vettel, Hamilton or Alonso were to behave in a similar fashion, people would call for the death penalty! But oh! I forgot, Button is a really ‘Nice Guy’ so we mustn’t criticise him.

      Webber and Button should Marry each other, that way they could moan and complain till the cows come home like an old couple.

      1. @hellotraverse

        Webber and Button should Marry each other, that way they could moan and complain till the cows come home like an old couple.

        good one….Please ensure Mark’s attorney speak to Ruben’s attorney; ensure they both get a divorce first

      2. “like an old couple” which they are, lol

  6. Perez was amazing today. He is showing some talent and class.

    How did he manage to race hard and still preserve his tires? Have to watch and see how he does in future races, but if he keeps this up he is looking like a future star.

  7. I think Perez was a little misguided when he hit the rear of Button. I get the impression that he hit the throttle so early because he expected Button (taking the tighter line) to run wide sooner than he did. Either that or he was just trigger happy. I want to see the other incident again though- I never got a proper look at it, but Brundle seemed to think it was Button’s fault. I actually thought that Webber was more aggressive. He’s sometimes a good racer, but is often too firm, as in China. I forget who he was racing today who was rightly running him wide on the exit of 4 (as we’d seen many drivers do). A bit of space was left for him to run over the kerb, but he shoved back in, meaning it was the other driver who avoided the collision.

    1. I think it was Hamilton, maybe.

      1. Yeah i think on one occasion Hamilton clearly was the one who avoided the collision.

        1. Really ? only one occasion ? are you new to F1 racing ? Have you not seen Webber and Hamilton dice before ?

          1. Those usually end up with Webber running into Hamilton though.

          2. I think he meant in this race.

  8. I expected Button to be out spoken in a way because this was always going to be addressed but I didn’t imagine him being so critical this early on, he’s got to work with the guy at the end of the day. Perez seemed happy to point out it maybe wasn’t the most wise thing to do mid race, loosing them both time but come on Button give him a break. That battle was so fun to watch and finally shed a bit of positive light on Mclaren so far this season.

    1. Button has always been like that. Even whenever Lewis beat him while they were teammates – which was most of the time. Big-time whinger. This Perez kid will put him in his place.

  9. I must say that I might be seeing this through my green-white-and-red tainted glasses, but the way I see it, Sergio was faster and Button defended with everything he had, so Sergio had to counter with more aggression. At the end, Sergio bested him on the track and now he is complaining. I think Button would do himself a favor and just outrace Sergio next time.

  10. I think at this point Whitmarsh would prefer too aggressive over too slow. When you have a car that lacks basic pace you need a guy who is just going to push like crazy, not try to just settle for a spot. Kudos to Perez after taking a beating in the media, including from the many well-regarded pundits who comment at site, and coming out swinging. He certainly changed my mind a bit today.

  11. Driver of the Weekend: Sergio Perez haha Well maybe not but he was great in the race. The contact with Button’s tyre from behind was a bit too much, but watching carefully I think Perez thought Jenson would take a wider line and he’d have enough space to pass him. That’s another experience for Sergio. If he keeps learning from that he’ll become a great driver. There was no doubt he was faster than his teammate this Sunday.

  12. Traverse (@)
    21st April 2013, 16:46

    Perez was too aggressive

    Coming from a man that aggressively stalks people trying to convince them to join a rubbish bank.

    1. It’s far from a rubbish bank, and though Jenson endorses it, it doesn’t mean he necessarily supports it. He’s just doing his job.

      1. Way to understand a joke

  13. Michael Brown (@)
    21st April 2013, 16:48

    Checo is faster than you.

  14. Well perez was under great pressure and want to prove he can race ,but he was way too aggressive he lost a portion of front wing and could have easily taken button out I guess button got a point but he just got too emotional on radio

    1. It was desperation by Button, laughing on radio telling the pit wall tell him to calm down was embarrassing.

    2. Disagree, if anything Button looked more aggressive.

  15. Jenson is whining too much, says me.

  16. I’m no fan of Button’s, & have bashed him for whining many, many times before, but I’m inclined to agree that Sergio (who drove impressively today, IMO) was a tad too aggressive today, & not just with Button. He seemed to weave around quite a bit when trying to block, & was quite a bit late in moving over on rivals more than once. Of course he was always going to do it after the criticism he got from Whitmarsh about being elbow-less, but personally I think he overdid it just a little bit. Nothing too serious, & nothing I’d penalize him for, but I would give him a bit of a talking to. Otherwise, an impressive performance though. I was quite critical of his lackluster performances so far, but today he showed some good racing.

  17. Jenson’s clearly a tad peeved that, having held Sergio at arms length for most the season so far, he’s been clearly out-shone here. I fail to see what Sergio has done wrong, it was an asbolute joy to watch.

    I’m also a bit annoyed by Whitmarsh’s comments. Was it not 7 days ago he was asking for more aggression from him? There are certainly more positives than negatives to take from Checo’s performance today.

  18. Let’s get our perspectives right here – when Sergio clipped Jenson’s back tyre, it was too aggressive. Apart from that, it was great!

    I think maybe, because they were team mates, and because Checo was running faster at that point, it would have been wiser to wait for a DRS zone, perhaps the main straight, to make the pass. It didn’t look like team mates fighting, it looked like rivals fighting, so it’s just something to work on.

    Gritty stuff from Perez though. McLaren not looking so bad on race pace today.

  19. PER is doing what he is supposed to do. In the learning process, I think that overagressive is better than underagressive.

    Whitmarsh seems to agree with this…

    1. Ben (@scuderia29)
      21st April 2013, 18:57

      yeah whitmarsh told perez to get his elbows out and to stop driving so polite…perez did exactly that

  20. Perez was great today – aggressive yes – too aggressive nope. And it’s not like Button didn’t defend aggressively too.

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