"Congratulations to Checo, he did a great job - particularly in Q2," said Button, displaying no trace of the acrimony that had built up between the two after tangling on-track in the previous Grand Prix. "He did everything right this afternoon and showed that some of our recent upgrades are definitely working.
"It's not yet enough, but it's rewarding to see that we're making some progress," Button added.
"Checo did a fantastic job in qualifying today, especially in Q2 during which he drove a sensational lap to be seventh-quickest," agreed Whitmarsh. "I want to say 'Well done Checo', because he was extremely impressive here this afternoon."
Perez ended up in ninth place on the grid after leaving his qualifying lap late, and Whitmarsh confirmed that the team had considered keeping him in the garage and playing the strategy card instead.
“In Q3 we considered taking the tactical option, in other words not running him at all in order to conserve an extra set of tyres," Whitmarsh admitted. "But, in the end, on the basis that he was driving so well, we decided to go for it in the hope that he might repeat his Q2 form relative to his principal opposition."
Even so, Whitmarsh agreed that there was something unseemly about the mighty McLaren team scrambling around narrowly succeeding - or failing - to make Q3 at a Grand Prix event.
"Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' ambitions extend to a great deal more than merely going through to Q3, and it's clear that our MP4-28 still requires a lot of development before it becomes as competitive as we need it to be," he conceded.
"In the meantime, both Checo and Jenson will give 100 per cent tomorrow in their efforts to score as many world championship points as possible - for themselves, for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, and last but not least for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' many fans all over the world," he added.