Perez accepts he needs to improve

Perez accepts he needs to improve

Formula 1

Perez accepts he needs to improve

By

Sergio Perez has admitted he is unhappy with his performance in the 2013 Formula 1 season amid question marks over his McLaren future.

The Mexican has scored 18 points this year compared to team-mate Jenson Button’s 38 and his place at the team is being evaluated even though boss Martin Whitmarsh has said the squad will “in all probability” retain the same driver lineup.

Perez accepts he must get the best out of the car at every opportunity to fulfil his potential even though McLaren has also struggled with an uncompetitive design.

“I have to say that I am not happy with my performance at all,” said Perez. “The car and the year have been very difficult, we are still learning about the car so it makes things difficult.

“[In Singapore I went] from being P7 in practice three, looking quite good, and we went a little bit in the wrong direction, we lost two tenths and we are P14. My season looks worse on paper than it has been in terms of speed but I know very clearly that I have to improve and I am working to improve because once we get the car we have to be right in every single detail.

“Even though the car has not been there, we haven’t been good enough all together to maximize every single detail.”

McLAREN LOOKING FOR MORE

Although he accepts the Mexican has faced a tough challenge, Whitmarsh wants to see more from Perez.

“It is not easy coming into a team and beating someone like Jenson who doesn’t often make mistakes, gets it right, is quick, knows how to work with the team very well,” said Whitmarsh. “He has set himself ambitious targets, he will want to go further, we want him to go further.

“This is a year of learning for him. I am sure we haven’t seen the best of him yet, I am sure he strives to be up there and wants to beat Jenson.”

As well as suggesting there is more to come from Perez, Whitmarsh also said there was no possibility of junior driver Stoffel Vandoorne racing for the team next year.

“Yes, I think I can,” said Whitmarsh when asked whether he could rule out, absolutely, that Vandoorne would be one of McLaren’s race drivers in 2014.

SERGIO PEREZ IN 2013

Starts: 13

Points: 18

Best grid position: 8th

Best finish: 6th

Qualifying record versus Button: 5-6

AUSTRALIA

Start: 15th Finish: 11th

Misses out in rain-hit qualifying but race pace is similar to team-mate Button’s as he finishes two places behind him.

MALAYSIA

Start: 9th Finish: 9th

Has a poor qualifying, ending up a second off Button, but turns in a solid race drive despite having to abandon a planned three-stopper.

CHINA

Start: 12th Finish: 11th

Crashing in the pit entry in FP1 kicks off a dire weekend in which he’s slower than Button. Clashes with Raikkonen in the race.

BAHRAIN

Start: 12th Finish: 6th

A couple of tenths off Button on Saturday, he drives well in the race, although incurs the ire of his teammate and Alonso after clashing with both.

SPAIN

Start: 8th Finish: 9th

Outqualifies Button for the first time, but can’t match his teammate’s tire management and ends up following him home.

MONACO

Start: 8th Finish: Retired

Shows a good turn of speed and qualifies well and while there are some good, on-the-limit, moves he also overdoes it on occasion, leading to his race unravelling.

CANADA

Start: 12th Finish: 11th

Outqualifies Button but should have made Q3. Has a solid, if unspectacular race and while he doesn’t score, he is the first McLaren to take the chequered flag.

BRITAIN

Start: 13th Finish: 20th

Has a wild weekend at times and starts down the grid, but a blowout while trying to fight his way to a point leads to him pulling out of the race close to the finish.

GERMANY

Start: 13th Finish: 8th

Struggles a little in qualifying, but his race pace is good and he finishes not far behind Button, with only the recovering Webber between them.

HUNGARY

Start: 8th Finish: 9th

Has one of his strongest weekends, making Q3 unlike Button. Struggles with his tires in the first stint, but shows decent race pace thereafter despite finishing behind his teammate.

BELGIUM

Start: 13th Finish: 11th

Poor timing means he doesn’t get a proper run in Q2. A needless squeeze on Grosjean in the race earns him a penalty and costs a points finish.

ITALY

Start: 8th Finish: 12th

His raw pace is similar to Button’s and he shades him in qualifying. But proves not to be as formidable in combat in the race, slipping out of the points late on

More RACER