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.”

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

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

  1. 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!

  2. 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!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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