Sergio Perez has been left lamenting after yet another tough and “complicated race” for both the Mexican and McLaren, which eventually saw Perez only manage 9th position after a frustrating 55-lap race for the Woking-based outfit. Jenson Button also suffered a dismal evening, picking up front-wing damage at the start and eventually finishing 12th.
At the start of the race Jenson Button out-broke himself and lightly made contact with the rear of Paul di Resta’a Force India. The resulting damage forced the 2009 World Champion to return to the pits for a new front-wing, which subsequently saw him rejoin the track action plum last and over twenty seconds behind the Marussia duo of Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi. Further up the order Sergio Perez managed to enjoy a relatively clean start, however the Mexican driver soon began to suffer from severe tyre wear and poor traction.
In a bid to improve their chances of perfecting overtaking maneuvers throughout the race, McLaren had set-up both Jenson Button and Sergio Perez’s cars with minimal downforce. Initially it was expected this approach would see the duo become an issue further up the order as the race progressed, however Perez in particular found overtaking to be extremely difficult. This saw the 23-year-old become stuck in traffic as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix progressed, unable to make up considerable ground and only just manage to steal 9th position away from Adrian Sutil in the Force India.
“This was a very complicated race – and harder than we’d expected.” Explained Sergio Perez, who scored McLaren’s only points of the race. “I struggled a little on my first set of prime tyres, and I’m not too sure why. We had bad rear tyre degradation and poor traction overall. We’d opted to run with minimal downforce in the hope of being able to pass other cars in the race. But, despite that, in the event I found it difficult to overtake, and the fact that I spent a lot of the race stuck in traffic therefore made things very difficult. Still, it was a positive to be able to take 9th position from Adrian [Sutil] on the very last lap – one more point for the team may not sound much but it’s always helpful.”
Sergio Perez is now looking ahead to the next race weekend around Austin’s Circuit of the Americas for the United States Grand Prix, which he regards as his home race due to its close proximity to Mexico. With only two races remaining this season, which McLaren incidentally won this time last year, the Woking-based outfit will be looking to continue finishing in the points before undoubtedly gladly waving goodbye to what has been a torrid 2013 season. Sergio Perez is still unconfirmed for next season, and will be striving to show his worthiness to the team in the final two outings of the year.
Picture Copyright © McLaren F1 Team