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. Smoke said on 21st April 2013, 22:16

    Perez pressed Jensons Button , Perez was the faster driver and Button should have gone faster or got out of the way Jenson didn’t,t touch his brakes but took the foot of the gas when he should have gone faster.
    In reply Perez kicked him up the ass.
    keep the pressure on Perez and your soon be number 1 driver.

  2. CptA said on 21st April 2013, 22:23

    I loved watching them duke it out. The moaning was probably because of contact between their cars, and you cant blame him for that. They should race each other, but not if it may end the race for one/both of them. Regardless, it’s McLaren, and the team is fine with the drivers racing each other, they both go to the track knowing that.

  3. xlr8r (@xlr8r) said on 21st April 2013, 23:07

    I think what Button was really complaining that all the battling they were doing was just eating up their tires. This in the end let Grosean and Hamilton to get by both of them by the end of the race. They constantly were near each other because with the same car, they could not get a gap between themselves with two DRS zones. The DRS just acted like a rubber band for the McLaren cars. After this became apparent, McLaren changed Buttons strategy to a four stop which did not work in the end.

    Also I think Button gets too much criticism on this site because the FIA replays his radio more than other drivers. I’m sure other drivers complain, its just we never hear their radio.

  4. veyronsoto (@veyronsoto) said on 21st April 2013, 23:55

    Jenson is on fear now, the youngster proved today he’s good enough to be the best driver at Mclaren, he thought that it will be easy (to beating on Checo), this is pure racing miss Button get used to see Checos car rear wing!

  5. Maraguto (@jesusastro-unam-mx) said on 22nd April 2013, 1:12

    Perez did great today. Jason did well to defend too, but knew he was slower and should have been gentler to Checo after Perez´s first attempt. I hope Perez keeps so competitive and improving for McLaren. Nobody likes to be beaten by his team mate, we can well understand that, Jason, but you should have not complained publicly and as much. Great race!

  6. Drezone said on 22nd April 2013, 8:07

    First of all congrats mclaren for letting both drivers race

    Difference between this and red bull at Malaysia was that they knew they were both racing

    Second of all button being British has nothing to do with this site and yes he is very well liked in Australia let alone the world for both being a genuine bloke and good driver

    Third of all button had no problem racing him till they to

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 22nd April 2013, 18:34

      Difference between this and red bull at Malaysia was that they knew they were both racing

      Webber is very naive if he didn’t know he was racing when he’s side by side with Vettel coming out of the pits. Mclaren didn’t use team orders, which is what Red Bull (who have no issue having a go at Ferrari for using them) should have done.

  7. dcjohnson (@dcjohnson) said on 22nd April 2013, 8:08

    Perez needed to put a marker down on Button at sometime. Fact is Button will slyly use his charms off track (media and within the team) to undermine Perez, so Perez shouldn’t hold back in slapping him down on track…all is fair in love and racing. I don’t think Button politics will phase Perez as it did Hamiliton, not sure Perez cares what people think of him, Button’s number is up.

  8. Drezone said on 22nd April 2013, 8:13

    Sorry third of all button had no problem racing check till they touched which any teammate would’ve complained about if it happened

    People looking into it too much

    Good racing by both and lucky they got away without DNF and kudos to Mclaren letting them do so

    Perez does one good race now everyone thinks button is finished and should move over

    As I’m unbiased to both drivers button needs to keep dragging that mclaren higher up than it should be and Perez needs to forget the ego and just concentrate on his own performance so he can prove to Ferrari he is more worthy to take massa’s spot rather than ricciardo

    • salcrich said on 22nd April 2013, 8:54

      A balanced comment at last! Seem to remember two similar radio outbursts this year by Raikonen – without comment on this site. Similarly Alonso can be heard complaining in this race. It’s a natural reaction when contact is made at 170. It was great to watch and well done by both drivers – although in reality looked at dispassionately it didn,t really do either of them any favours. All the villification of Button with personal attacks (sly,slow, condescending,finished, man- up) and sudden elevation (McClaren no 1) of Perez who has been anonymous this season till now is completely Tabloid and Fanzine.

      • panache (@panache) said on 22nd April 2013, 13:44

        All the villification of Button with personal attacks (sly,slow, condescending,finished, man- up) and sudden elevation (McClaren no 1) of Perez who has been anonymous this season till now is completely Tabloid and Fanzine.

        Damn straight! It belies belief that so many people can put a spin on events to accuse Button of whining for two comments made in the heat of the moment, both times straight after being shunted by his teammate during the race. I think Button’s comments were completely understandable. He was making it clear to his team that he is not ok with contact with his teammate.

        Other drivers including Raikkonen, Hamilton and Alonso had no qualms exclaiming their grievances with Perez over team radio in races so far this year but I don’t see bandwagons of haters criticising them for complaining. Raikkonen also shouted down team radio when he had wheel to wheel contact with Hulkenberg but he didn’t get castigated for it did he? The double standards are shocking.

        The sudden elevation of Perez who’s now being touted as the number one driver at Mclaren marks quite a shift in opinion since the last race doesn’t it? It bolsters the notion that an F1 driver is only as good as his last race, which is quite sad really.

        All that being said, I think Perez drove a great race other than the contact with Button and he should be in the running for driver of the weekend.

  9. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 22nd April 2013, 9:36

    Sergio Perez: “He was calm and friendly after the race, though, which was great; but that isn’t surprising because he’s a great guy as well as a great driver.”
    Jenson Button: “He just hit me up that back, calm him down” and later adding “he’s moving across on me and wheel-banging”.
    Sergio you are delusional, man.

  10. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 22nd April 2013, 9:41

    Last race Martin asks Sergio to toughen up. Well this the result. Just leave him alone :)

  11. Carl Craven said on 22nd April 2013, 12:54

    Perez also banged wheels with Grosjean. Just most people fail to notice this as it doesn’t fit their agenda!

  12. WarfieldF1 (@warfieldf1) said on 22nd April 2013, 17:59

    The person you most need to beat is your teammate, and it showed with Buttons aggressive (for him) defending.
    Likewise Checo has had a not so impressive start with McLaren and needed a good race with his elbows out as Whitmarsh suggested last week, so no surprise he was pushing hard.
    And lets not forget the most successful driver out there is young, aggressive and does not waste an opportunity to beat his team mate; Vettel said in an interview he would do the same again ( after Malaysia) and the up and coming drivers know they need to be strong and selfish competitors just like Vettel is, and Schumacher was.
    Eddie Irvine said being Schumachers team mate was like being hit over the head with a cricket bat; Vettel (and Alonso) have one too; and everybody else, including Checo, want one!!

  13. Chaz (@chaz) said on 22nd April 2013, 18:39

    Button may have been unhappy with Perez and granted that is a debate to be had. But the integrity, respect and admiration for McLaren has skyrocketed immensely in allowing their drivers to genuinely race thus giving the fans a thoroughly exhilarating feast, instead of the usual manufactured nonsense.

  14. Robbie (@robbie) said on 22nd April 2013, 20:00

    So over all it seems we want teammates to be able to race each other, no team orders…we want these kinds of rivalries, at least I hope so. Yet when we get these rivalries and they end up contacting each other, the big sin of car racing, the driver that got hit should just shut up? I don’t get it. If we want rivalries out there, including, or perhaps especially between teammates, how can you expect the drivers to just shut up and say nothing about it during or after the race? If you want drivers to shut up and not whine, that tells me you don’t really want rivalries either. If you want them to just shut up and drive and simply outrace their rival, that’s fine, but I defy any of you who say shut up and drive and don’t comment, to do the same. It’s not reality. The reality is that SP was too close for not just JB’s liking, but Whitmarshes too. And how many millions of fans watching globally were saying the same thing as SP chomped on JB’s butt…don’t take him out…don’t take him out. JB can and will take the fight to anyone. He just doesn’t believe in actual contact between teammates. He’s not alone, nor the first or last one in the annals of F1, to feel the same. If you want rivalries, some of it is going to come in the shape of verbalization through the media too. It’s what makes the F1 world go round.

  15. I think Button should have checked the pictures first before speaking, before Perez clipped his rear right, Button was way too aggressive defending, arguably in more than one occasion.

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