McLaren's Sergio Perez has conceded his battle with team-mate, Jenson Button probably went too far during the Bahrain Grand Prix and that banging wheels was 'a little too risky'.
The scrap between Perez and Button was one of the highlights of the fourth round in the 2013 F1 World Championship, although it could well have ended in tears on more than one occasion.
As it was though, both survived and got to the finish, with Perez notching up his best result of the season and taking sixth place, while JB ended up in tenth.
Given McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh had called on the Mexican to be more 'robust' and to 'toughen up' after China the weekend before [see separate story]
, it seems the 23-year-old definitely took note.
“That was an incredible race – really enjoyable,” Perez reflected. “I have to thank the team first of all – we've been through some difficult times recently, but they kept on supporting me. All in all, it's been a solid weekend – we got pretty much the maximum from the car, ran a great strategy, looked after the tyres, and scored some very useful points.
“I guess I was a little aggressive on track today; banging wheels with Jenson was perhaps a little too risky, a little too hard, but the team never came on the radio to tell us to stop racing. There were no team orders. There was a lot of adrenaline from both of us, and Jenson is always a very strong racer. He was calm and friendly after the race, though, which was great; but that isn't surprising because he's a great guy as well as a great driver.”
Whitmarsh meanwhile added it was definitely Perez's best drive to date for the Woking-based outfit, although he did note that the battle with Button got a bit 'too combative' - something JB certainly agreed with [see separate story]
“Checo drove his best race for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes so far today, passing both Fernando [Alonso] and Mark [Webber] in the closing stages, to finish a fighting sixth at the flag,” Whitmarsh confirmed. “It was a very good drive, especially when you consider that he was able to maintain such strong race pace despite having sustained damage to his rear wing and one of his front-wing endplates.
“Jenson would have finished right up there, too, had he not had to make an extra tyre stop with just 10 laps to go. Nonetheless, he, too, finished in a solid points-scoring position.
“The two of them spent much of the afternoon in close proximity to each other – sometimes in nail-bitingly close proximity actually – but that's motor racing. Both Jenson and Checo are fast, forceful and hungry for success – and that's exactly how it should be. It's called racing, and we at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes always allow our drivers to race. It's what this sport is all about.
“Having said that, it's probably fair to say that Checo was a little too combative with Jenson this afternoon, and I think he knows that.”