Perez was “too aggressive”, says Button

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

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

  1. Aldoid said on 21st April 2013, 16:56

    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.

  2. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 21st April 2013, 16:58

    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.

  3. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 21st April 2013, 17:01

    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.

  4. Daniel Chico (@daniel-chico) said on 21st April 2013, 17:02

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

    http://www.espn.co.uk/mclaren/motorsport/story/105660.html

    Whitmarsh seems to agree with this…

  5. TMF (@tmf42) said on 21st April 2013, 17:12

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

  6. JohnBt (@johnbt) said on 21st April 2013, 17:24

    That’s racing Mr.Jenson Button. Well done Perez.

  7. pking008 (@pking008) said on 21st April 2013, 17:26

    Whitmarsh should have said to him, Jenson just shut up and drive

  8. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 21st April 2013, 17:40

    I don’t understand why all these people on the forum criticizing Button with inappropriate words like “cry baby, man up……..”, Even though i’m a die hard Ferrari fan, for me Jenson is not just a top driver but a real gentleman too, Perez today was not only too aggressive in his maneuvers (unfair weaving) but he reminded me of a certain 2012 Maldonado , those irresponsible and stupid moves (i still can’t believe how Jenson’s right rear tyres didn’t explode after that puncture),for me this is a luck of respect not racing
    As i always say you don’t have to do some unfair moves like blocking or hitting other drivers cars to be considered an aggressive driver you can be aggressive and fair in the same time just look at the fights between Lewis & Fernando ,Gilles Villeneuve also somes to my mind

    • D (@f190) said on 21st April 2013, 17:56

      Perez did nothing wrong at all. If he did ” unfair weaving” he would have been handed a drive through, which he was not. Being a ” gentleman” has nothing to do with racing.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 22nd April 2013, 12:07

      In China Perez was weaving and overly agressive, but this time I felt it was Button who was too agressive. Perez was way faster and Buttonw as just holding him up. Still he decided to run his team mate off track in a desparate effort to keep him behind.

      It’s like when he put Hamilton in the wall in Canada and asked the pit lane “what the hell he was doing”. That was on a (virtual) straight even. Damn lucky he got away with a penalty, but that was mostly because Hamilton wasn’t going to cost his team a win.

  9. Dimitris 1395 (@dimitris-1395) said on 21st April 2013, 17:46

    It’s what I wanted Perez to do in McLaren. Not winning but at least racing. And today he proved he can. Button was good but not adequate enough to achieve something more.

  10. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 21st April 2013, 17:51

    I thoroughly enjoyed the battle between the McLaren drivers today, and I don’t agree with Button (relying on my impression from the race, I haven’t seen anything back).

    I think Button defended just as aggressively, as Perez mentioned, and he could have gone easier on his team mate. In fact I suspect he wouldn’t have defended so harshly if it had been anyone other than his team mate. As for Perez running into the back of him, I think that was a mistake, as I argued above. I think Perez wanted to try the switch-back, and Jenson sought to provoke it by slowing down and putting his car in the middle of the track.

  11. Mugambian President said on 21st April 2013, 18:40

    It appears Jenslow “No-grip and Whiner” Button was requesting for team orders on Checo and Whitmarsh payed no attention to Button’s shenanigans. Great race from Roman, Checo and Lewis.

  12. Whitmarsh: Checo be aggressive.
    Checo: Ok.
    Button: Checo too aggressive.
    Checo: Mira what do I do?!

  13. Nickpkr21 said on 21st April 2013, 19:14

    Please Guys calm him down, he is about to pass me even I pull all my tricks on him !

    Hehe was awesome, but if Button was smarter or minimum did what he did in China, I mean ask team if fighting or allowing other drivers scoop by to save tires, he and Checo may have got pass by Hamilton…

    Too bad Button is not that much of a team afterall, one thing is sure Raikonen, Alonso, Button now is not an easy treat to go by Perez.

    And for that comparing to Maldonado, only difference Perez hasn’t got any out since driving Mclaren, he is actually quite careful IMHO

  14. FERNANDO123 (@fernando123) said on 21st April 2013, 19:33

    goooooooooooooo Perez !

  15. Paolo Castro (@paoloandrecastro) said on 21st April 2013, 19:57

    i don’t think perez was too aggressive, i thought it was jenson who was defending too much, he knew perez was way faster and if he was looking for the big picture perez could have been in front of hamilton today.

    • Johan Mars said on 22nd April 2013, 0:21

      And at one point, Grosjean was closing in Perez, I think Button was a bit greedy with a position he knew could not keep.

      • Paolo Castro (@paoloandrecastro) said on 22nd April 2013, 13:06

        yes exactly, they ate up their tires a lot more and theoretically lost them what could’ve been a potential great result. maybe its just me being a mclaren fan of letting their drivers race but i just can’t hide the fact that grosjean finished 3rd in the race while halfway thru the race he was behind both mclarens

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