McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh insists that new signing Sergio Perez will have equal status with Jenson Button for the 2013 F1 season.

Perez joins the Woking-based team as replacement for Lewis Hamilton and was officially unveiled in his new role in an event at the McLaren Technology Centre on Wednesday.

The Mexican will be entering only his third season in F1 this year alongside 2009 title winner Button, but Whitmarsh said both drivers would be given an equal chance to succeed on track.

"People like to have that debate," he told Sky Sports News when asked about equality. "The fact is Jenson has got the advantage in terms of he knows the team, he has the experience and he is a World Champion. Jenson will be very generous with his time and his share his opinions, but when he pulls out of the garage, Jenson will want to beat Sergio and Sergio will want to beat Jenson.

"That is the mentality in our team. They will have equal treatment. I think that competition in the team is good.

"We are focussed on 2013 with two great drivers. Lewis was a great driver, but no-one can predict the future but at the moment, 2013 is the start of an exciting season with these two drivers."

Whitmarsh added that there was pressure on Perez to succeed, but said he was impressed with the way in which the youngster had handled himself thus far.

"He is very young, very talented and that is exciting," he said. "We have had the good fortune to bring young drivers through like Lewis and Mika Hakkinen and turn them into World Champions. We don't know if that is going to happen, there is a lot of pressure on Sergio to deliver in this team, but he has impressed me so far."


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