OK. Over and over again I have heard on how Kobayashi, Hulkenburg and Di Resta are better drivers and to be honest it is getting tiresome. Not necessary here, but I’ve read it everywhere else on countless occasions. I admit this issue has been bugging me for a long time now, and it’s not just because I am a bit of a fan of Perez.
For starters, time and time again I have heard how both Force India drivers and Kobayashi are more consistent than Perez. Well, for one, the fact that Di Resta is 26, Kobayashi too is 26, Hulkenburg is 25 yet Perez is only 22 simply cannot be ignored.
Age is indeed a very important factor in F1. It gives a driver more experience and focus. The vast majority of people don’t even develop a judgement vs error part of their brain until their mid-20′s. Yes, Perez still does make mistakes, but he will learn from them. Alonso made countless mistakes in 2003-04, and Vettel in 2008-09. So what? Young drivers gain experience like that.
Another thing is that people claim Perez’s podiums were lucky. Well, he certainly wasn’t lucky in Malaysia. He started 9th, and constantly made up places in the pits and via overtaking, and before you knew it he was second. If anything, he was very unlucky due Sauber’s conservative strategy and losing some 7 seconds to Alonso because they pit him a lap later for slicks.
His podiums at Canada and Italy were indeed lucky to some extend, but how come so many other drivers who attempted to go on the optimal one-stop strategy such as Alonso and Raikkonen in Canada, or his own teammate in Monza were not able to achieve the results he did? Because he was able to capitalize on the opportunities delivered to him, taking every advantage of his fresher tires possible. Something neither Mclaren or Lotus haven’t been able to do all season.
Can he save tires? Hell, he can do it better than anyone else on the grid. Is he fast? He certainly is. Can he drive in the rain? See Malaysia for any further reference? Can he race wheel to wheel? He has shown flashes of brilliance but also inconsistency, it will come. Does he have potential? You bet your arse he does!