Jenson Button says Sergio Perez may find it tough when he first joins McLaren for the 2013 F1 season.
The Mexican will make the switch from Sauber to replace Lewis Hamilton next year on the back of a campaign that has seen him secure three podium finishes with the Swiss team.
However, Perez has endured a torrid time the announcement of his switch to McLaren was confirmed, with a series of clashes on track and a run of just one point in the last six races.
The youngster remains confident about his chances and has already said he is eager to silence his critics next year, although Button insisted it wouldn't be easy for his new partner to replace former champion Hamilton in the McLaren line-up.
“It's going to be a tricky seat for Checo to fill,” he was quoted by The Sun
. “Lewis is a guy who has won the world championship and had so many wins and races with this team. It is a massive ask but what else can you do? You need to have someone in the car and he is quick.
“I've heard he's intelligent too. I don't know if he will be up to it straight away. He is going to be spending a lot of time in the UK at the factory.
“We will see what happens. I have a feeling he will be competitive but of course he doesn't have the experience. I don't think he will be fighting at the front at the start of next season but we might be surprised at the first race.”
Before welcoming his new team-mate into the team, Button will hope to help McLaren overhaul Ferrari in the constructors' championship, although he admitted it wouldn't be an easy task.
“It was a great race in Austin but it is still a little bit frustrating,” he said. “We picked up some good points but we did not got as many on Ferrari as we should have. We got eight points off them in America but we need double that in Brazil. I think we can do it, but we will need the perfect weekend.
“The constructors' title does mean a lot to me because it is a lot of money. It is also nice to get one over on Ferrari. We want to finish in front of them. We are a competitive team. We cannot beat Red Bull but we can beat Ferrari, which has to be our aim.”