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Spanish Grand Prix 2013: Relieved Whitmarsh hails classy Button

Whitmarsh was also quick to include Sergio Perez in his praise, after the young Mexican maintained the ninth place from which he's started the race.

"Checo opted for a four-stop strategy - but, like Jenson, he also drove a very good race, finishing in ninth place not far behind his far more experienced team-mate," said Whitmarsh. "At the end of the race Checo's tyres required diligent nursing, but like Jenson he managed the situation very capably."

Many observers wondered whether the message to Perez to be careful with his tyres hadn't been a coded team order forbidding him from making any overtaking moves on Button who was circulating just a few feet ahead on the track and with older tyres, leaving him vulnerable to attack if Perez had pressed the issue.

Whitmarsh said that this was not the case, however.

"If you're asking did we ask him to back off and not fight? No we didn't," Whitmarsh insisted. "His tyres were finished at the end. We could see the tyre wear energy, and we were worried that he was going to end up without any rubber at the end of the race, and he virtually did – if you look at his tyres there's nothing there.

"He's doing a great job, he's had another piece of learning today, he's had a bit of a master class from Jenson about how to drive through with these delicate tyres," Whitmarsh continued on the subject of Perez. "He's learning. He's still very young and he's had a lot of pressure, and we haven't given him a good enough car.

"Next we go to Monaco, a Grand Prix that McLaren has won a record 15 times in the past," he said, moving on and looking forward. "Although we aren't predicting a 16th McLaren victory on those famously tortuous streets this year, we'll be doing our utmost there to score as many world championship points there as we possibly can."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
12.05.2013-  Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
10.05.2013- Free Practice 2, Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
11.05.2013- Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
11.05.2013- Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-28
19.04.2013- Martin Whitmarsh (GBR), Chief Executive Officer Mclaren
McLaren - Honda MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32 F1 launch, [Credit: McLaren]
McLaren MCL32, McLaren-Honda, [Credit: McLaren]
Fernando Alonso - McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren MCL32
McLaren Honda MCL32
(L to R): Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team with team mate Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
(L to R): Andrew Green (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Technical Director; Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; and the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 with Alfonso Celis Jr (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Development Driver and Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team.

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Arthur - Unregistered

May 13, 2013 10:21 AM

Jenson drove a good race. The car is a dog, and there is no point in flinging it all over the track to try and a gain faster times, it would simply end up in gravel. I don't understand the vitriol directed towards Jenson in certain quarters, it says more about them than him. He is a consummate driver and tactician, cool headed and a great ambassador for the sport. Of course he praised the car at the launch, what did anyone expect? He is PAID to be a team player, through thick and thin, and does it very well. Give him a competitive car and he will win races, simple as that.


May 13, 2013 12:44 PM

Watched in on the Beeb yesterday for a change....Eddie Jordan made me chuckle when interviewing Whitmarsh "So Martin, if Mclaren were a premiership football team, wouldn't you have been sacked by now?" In fairness to Whitmarsh he responded well and even resisted the urge to **** Jordan oops upside the head, say oops upside the head :) DC on the other hand was the opposite to Jordan's sledgehammer approach and got some good detail off of Ross Brawn. As a fan from her GP days i am incredibly disappointed with Suzi Perry though. Asks questions then fails to listen to the answer and her "interview" with Bernie was painful to watch.....

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