F1 »

Watson: Button needs 'come to terms' with Perez pressure

Former McLaren driver John Watson has told Jenson Button to get used to being challenged by the 'new young pup' in the Woking team.
Jenson Button and Sergio Perez may have cleared the air following their wheel-banging battle at the Bahrain Grand Prix, but F1 veteran John Watson has warned the Briton to get used to being threatened by his upstart team-mate.

The McLaren pair found themselves going head-to-head in the second half of the race in Sakhir, scrapping over fifth place as Perez enjoyed his strongest day as a driver at the Woking squad. At one point, the Mexican ran into the back of his team-mate, caught out by Button's defensive line through turn four, and the pair later banged wheels as he attempted to pass the 2009 world champion.

Button's immediate reaction was to accuse Perez of being 'too aggressive', while the former Sauber stand-out later admitted that he may have been 'a little too hard', but Watson has warned the Briton to 'put up or shut up' as he can't see Perez playing a subservient role should the situation arise again.

"If Perez gives Button a difficult time, it's up to Button to come to terms with it,” the Irishman told BBC Sport, "It's a fact of life. He can't expect Martin Whitmarsh to tell Perez to back off.

"If your kid team-mate is pushing you hard, it's not nice, but it's part of the game. You have to respond by getting in and doing the best job."

While Perez eventually secured his best finish of the season in sixth spot, Button had to make do with tenth after needing a fourth pit-stop to replace worn out tyres, although he still holds the upper hand in the standings, albeit by one place and three points.

Watson fears that the ten-year age gap between the two drivers may have played a part in Button's complaints, suggesting that, at 33, the Briton may have 'gone past all the white knuckle, wheel-to-wheel style of racing'.

"When you've got a kid, or young pup, like Perez up against Button, who is the elder statesman of F1 these days, what frequently happens is that it ends up hurting both of them," the former McLaren driver warned.

"[Perez] is desperate to show what he can do, especially as he has not done an awful lot in the opening three races. Button is very experienced, and the number one driver in that team, even though McLaren say there is no number one and number two. But because he is in that position, he has a target on his back and Perez will think that if he beats him, he'll be in the pound seat at McLaren.

"All a team boss can do is remind them that they are driving for the team, not themselves, so they must not take each other off. They managed not to do that, but not for the want of trying.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
21.04.2013- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 and Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
22.03.2013 - free practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 and Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
John Watsonn, Former F1 driver and Derek Warrick, BRDC Chairman
21.04.2013- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28 and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
20.09.2014 - Qualifying, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.09.2014 - Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Eric Boullier (FRA) McLaren Racing Director.
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren Executive Chairman
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
20.09.2014 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


evel ken evil - Unregistered

April 26, 2013 8:59 AM

John Watson is spot on what happened to racing , wasnt too long ago that wheel bashing and aggressive moves were par for the course (Senna ,Prost ,Mansell et al) Bravo to Perez for taking the race to Button when he could , if Button cries off maybe theres a new ride waiting for him down the local Dominoes

mike - Unregistered

April 26, 2013 10:11 AM

I thought Button was ready to start crying on the intercom! He delberately accelerated slower than normal ( from that slow corner ) - you could see/hear at least a 0.5 second gap between him letting off the brakes and applying throttle - light years in F1. Then he ran Perez off-track to boot. I think it was Button who comromised the team not Perez. And he had a cry about it in the process. Retire and concentrate on your hair product promotion Jenson!!!



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.