Sergio Perez, McLaren, Suzuka, 2013

Whitmarsh defends Perez over Rosberg criticism

2013 Japanese Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sergio Perez, McLaren, Suzuka, 2013Martin Whitmarsh said he was surprised Nico Rosberg complained about Sergio Perez’s driving after the Japanese Grand Prix.

Rosberg and Perez made contact at the chicane during the race which left Perez limping back to the pits with a left-rear puncture. “The rules are clear,” said Rosberg afterwards, “if you move once to block you need to leave space”.

But the McLaren team principal said Rosberg was too far behind to expect Perez to leave him space.

“If you’re that far behind – he wasn’t alongside, he wasn’t even half alongside – if you hit someone from behind and give them a puncture you don’t often complain about it.

“There’s one, good space; and two, he’s a long way behind. I’m surprised if Nico is complaining and if he is I’m surprised if he means it.”

Whitmarsh said there have been “plenty of incidents where drivers have to brake out of a situation like that to avoid an accident”.

“If a driver doesn’t brake out of it I don’t think you can always just automatically blame the guy in front.”

Perez’s driving has come under fire from other drivers during the season including Kimi Raikkonen. “I think drivers, if they get a young charger in amongst them they don’t like it,” said Whitmarsh.

He added Perez’s reactions helped avoid a more serious incident when Rosberg was released from the pits directly in front of the McLaren earlier in the race. “If he hadn’t been very hard on the brakes he would have hit him in the pit road.” Rosberg received a drive-through penalty for the incident.

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei