Is Sergio Perez out of place at McLaren?

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    Profile photo of himmatsj

    Sergio Perez has never been an explosive racer. He is more like Button, slow and steady. Both of them are also inconsistent with their pace.

    McLaren have always had an explosive racer to complement a subdued teammate in the past 20 years. Think Hakkinen, Raikkonen and Hamilton. The other relatively explosive racers they had were Montoya and Alonso. People like Coulthard, de la Rosa, Kovalainen and now Button and Perez are not in that explosive league.

    Now, two races in, Perez looks like a mediocre driver at best, or an underperformer at worst. I am pretty sure Whitmarsh (the one who made the call) is sleeping uneasily seeing that Perez is nowhere close to delivering what Hamilton used to. Sadly, this guy will have to go by the year’s end.

    I think the most logical thing would be to bring back Raikkonen, or heck even rope in Webber. Or Bianchi (explosive material he is). And definitely Whitmarsh has to go too. Would love Ron Dennis back!

    I personally think Perez was a mistake for McLaren, and I have been supporting McLaren since I started following F1 in 2003. However, this is the first time I actually don’t find myself excited for them. The is no “feeling” in there. I somewhat rather root for Kimi, Massa or Hamilton. Or just watch as a neutral.

    Profile photo of Hotbottoms

    While I’ve been saying that Perez was a bad choice for McLaren ever since they announced the deal with him, I think it’s way too early for conclusions after only two races. I don’t think Rosberg is as good driver as Hamilton, but looking at only these first two races, one could say that. It takes time to get to know the car, especially when it’s bad.

    Profile photo of himmatsj

    You know, the car may not be all that bad. Without the pit blunder, Button was on course to finish under 20s behind Vettel. Consider that Hamilton always had a 20-30s advantage over Button, this was a car that had race winning pace.

    I may be stretching it, but without a driver of Lewis’ calibre (the only other ones are Alonso, Raikkonen or Vettel), we can never know what the car is fully capable of.

    Profile photo of JamieFranklinF1

    How do you get the fact that Hamilton had 20-30 seconds over Button? That is the most absurd thing I have read on here in a while. Button is a world-class driver, and to say that Hamilton would have won that race in the McLaren is absolutely ridiculous.

    Profile photo of AdrianMorse

    @himmatsj, @jamiefranklinf1, there were times last year when Button was struggling with the tyres and he would be behind Hamilton, but it didn’t look like he was struggling yesterday. In fact, Button always goes rather well at Malaysia, so I think he got the most out of the car yesterday (or as close as anyone ever gets, anyway).

    With regards to Perez, I think two races is too early to judge him. He hasn’t put a great weekend together yet, but he was respectably close to Button, who is a WDC lest we forget. Still, I would agree that if he doesn’t improve, then he has to go.

    Profile photo of Craig Woollard
    Craig Woollard

    I had been saying since he signed Perez was the wrong man for McLaren, simply because he’s not anything special. It doesn’t really help that the car is far from where McLaren usually are. Okay, it’s still early, he’s only two races into being in a top team, and he’s only 22, but if they seriously think they’re going to target their first Constructors Title since 1998 with what appears a highly unreliable combination in Button and Perez, they’re going to have to reevaluate their ideas. I absolutely agree with the last paragraph @himmatsj as well, coming from a fellow McLaren fan, I have nothing against Perez as a person, I just don’t think he’s that remarkable a driver… Sure, he beat Kobayashi (by 6 points) last season, and scored 3 podiums, all in races which had extreme circumstances, and they were all good drives, but a World Champion? I just don’t see it.

    Hulkenberg would have been a much better choice for McLaren.

    Profile photo of David-A

    @himmatsj – I agree pretty much with @jamiefranklinf1 . While I believe Hamilton is better than Button, it is at best, very harsh on Button to say the car should have won yesterday, given that Button did in my opinion, a fine job to be 5th.

    Profile photo of Kingshark

    Hamilton was considerably slower than Rosberg yesterday, therefore I totally disagree with the conjecture that he would have won in that McLaren, given that he couldn’t do it in a Mercedes.

    To suggest that Hamilton regularly beat Button by 20-30 seconds is ridiculous anyway.

    Profile photo of Antonio Nartea
    Antonio Nartea

    Now, two races in, Perez looks like a mediocre driver at best, or an underperformer at worst. I am pretty sure Whitmarsh (the one who made the call) is sleeping uneasily seeing that Perez is nowhere close to delivering what Hamilton used to. Sadly, this guy will have to go by the year’s end.

    Drawing conclusions like that based on what? On the fact that Perez brought home the exact same amount of points his WDC team mate did, in an absolute dog of a car, while trying to understand the new tyres, in just two races with McLaren, a team he’s not accommodated with yet?

    The kid did as good of a job as anyone who isn’t Alonso or Hamilton would have done. You want him to pull a Raikkonen, a Webber or a Button once in while? Wait for McLaren to give him a winning car. That’s all there is to that situation.

    Perez is not Hamilton, but I don’t think he’ll be just another Kovalainen either.

    Profile photo of Michael

    @Kingshark Was Hamilton slower or was he forced to drive more slowly? There’s a big difference between the two.

    I think if Hamilton and Button were to quali-race the entire race under equal conditions without anyone else on the track, or strategies, or extreme rubber conservation, I would say Hamilton is at least 10 seconds faster per 50 laps. That’s what their quali difference was at McLaren and McLaren screwed Hamilton every chance they got;-) 20 seconds might be a stretch though.

    Profile photo of PieLighter

    Yes, it’s a well-known fact that Hamilton was faster over one lap. However, as has been proven time and again, one-lap pace isn’t everything in Formula 1.

    Profile photo of Kingshark


    Was Hamilton slower or was he forced to drive more slowly? There’s a big difference between the two.

    Hamilton was slower throughout the entire race, not just the fuel saving phase.

    Rosberg was faster than Hamilton in every stint. On Inters, on Mediums, and on Hard tyres. The place where he gained the most time, on not just Hamilton, but everyone was Sector 2.

    Another Note: Hamilton having to save fuel at the end of the race must mean he started the race with a lighter car; despite that, Rosberg was still quicker.

    Profile photo of Felipe Bomeny
    Felipe Bomeny

    I do agree that Hulkenberg would’ve been a better choice for McLaren in terms of speed, but Perez is a very marketable athlete. His McLaren switch has created a new demographic for the sport and a new fanbase for the team. It’s still too early to judge his performance, though. I recall there were similar criticisms of Massa when he joined Ferrari. I think while he won’t get too close to Button in terms of overall points this year, Perez will occasionally outrace him this year. There are certainly quicker drivers than Perez (in fact, Gutierrez may even prove to be better) but he’s proven he’s capable of fighting with the top guys. He’s still young and he has much to learn from his experienced teammate, so he can’t be discounted just yet.

    Profile photo of Bendanarama

    Its been two races. Two. Races. It is ridiculously early to be having this conversation.

    Profile photo of Ed Marques
    Ed Marques

    If Rosberg was so much faster than Hamilton he would have passed him earlier when he had the chance. He couldn’t, complained on the radio and received a answer to that. As a smart man, he is taking advantage of the whole situation “raising his value” and everyone is buying.

    About Perez, is way to early to conclude anything. He has the same number os points of his stellar, greatest of the world, best man on earth (of course i’m being ironic) teammate.

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