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McLaren backs Perez over Monaco criticism

McLaren sporting director Sam Michael insists that there is nothing wrong with Sergio Perez's overtaking, despite criticism from rivals after Monaco.
Sergio Perez may not have been the most popular person in Monaco two weekends ago, but has found an unexpected ally in the form of McLaren sporting director Sam Michael.

The Mexican, having already raised the hackles of new team-mate Jenson Button in Bahrain, got under the skin of two further world champions – Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen – with forceful attempts to pass them at the chicane in Monaco. Although Alonso's decision to avoid a collision with the McLaren resulted in him having to give up a place for cutting the chicane, Raikkonen proved to be a more feisty opponent and, after both had been forced to cut the corner after Perez's first effort, came to blows second time around.

Raikkonen was forced to pit with a punctured rear tyre, eventually finishing tenth, while Perez retired with brake problems as a result of being sandwiched between the Lotus and the barrier, but it was the Finn's post-race reaction – in which he suggested punching Perez in the face would be better than trying to talk to him – that best summed up the mood.

Michael, however, has moved to defend his driver, insisting that Perez is only doing what his accusers have done in the past – and doing what he should be doing as a 'racing driver'.

"It's an interesting question but, ultimately, he's a racing driver and he's just racing,” the Australian told journalists during a media phone-in, "All of the moves that he did are all moves that have been done by all of those drivers at various points in their career - some recently and some long ago. The overtaking opportunities that are available at the chicane in Monaco are the ones that have been used for a long time before 'Checo' was even born.

"Ultimately he's racing for his position. He's establishing himself and the racing that's he's doing all those other drivers have done themselves. That's F1 - it was obviously hard racing, but that's what F1's meant to be able."

With the Canadian Grand Prix next up, at a venue where Perez took one of his three podiums in 2012 but which could also prompt more antagonism as the Mexican looks to use the limited overtaking points, Michael insists that the team will continue to back its man.

“He's a talented driver and, the way that he's racing at the moment, McLaren support what he's doing,” he claimed, “We're full behind Checo as long as he keeps developing.

“He definitely went through a transition in the last two or three races - he's really been able to mix it on pace with his team-mate and that's good. Technically, he knows what he wants from the car and is quite explicit about that with all the engineers. He's good for the level of experience he's got.”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
17.03.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21 race winner and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138 2nd position
26.05.2013- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138 and Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
13.04.2013- Free Practice 3, Sam Michael (AUS) McLaren Sporting Director and Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
26.05.2013- Race, Helmet of Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
26.05.2013- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21 and Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
27.07.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T

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Taz

June 05, 2013 2:12 PM
Last Edited 418 days ago

Methinks they defend him too much, got to get that Telmex money in I guess. There's a happy medium, got to take risks but the move on Kimi at Monaco was never on as were a few others he's tried. Got to show a degree of judgement, its pretty marginal with Perez.



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