Perez admits he was too “aggressive” and “risky” on track
However the Mexican has admitted that at times he was perhaps too aggressive and risky on track, particularly when racing team-mate Jenson Button. The Brit asked the team to “calm him down” over team radio after Perez made slight contact with him whilst battling in the midfield.
Perez went on to finish in sixth place, four places ahead of Jenson Button. Talking in a team statement Perez said “I guess I was a little aggressive on track today; banging wheels with Jenson was perhaps a little too risky, a little too hard, but the team never came on the radio to tell is to stop racing. There were no team orders.
“There was a lot of adrenaline from both of us, and Jenson is always a very strong race, but hopefully we’ll help each other a little more in the future.”
Button echoed claims that he was perhaps too tough on track, saying “But there was a lot of clean racing out there too – although as I say Checo was a bit tough, which was a little unusual.”
However it was all happy families after the race with sixth place man saying “He was calm and friendly after the race, though, which was great; but that isn’t surprising because he’s a great guy as well as a great driver.”
Describing his race he said “That was an incredible race – really enjoyable. I have to thank the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team first of all – we’ve been through some difficult times recently, but they kept on supporting me. All in all, it’s been a solid weekend – we got pretty much the maximum from the car, ran a great strategy, looked after the tyres, and scored some very useful points.”
Button had a difficult race overall and finished where he started in tenth place. He was dueling with Perez and Hamilton for fifth, sixth and seventh but a late pit stop dropped him down the order after he ran out of grip with worn tyres.
Reflecting on a tough 57 laps he said “Today wasn’t brilliant for me. Okay, the race was a lot of fun, but I didn’t get the result I wanted because I used up my tyres fending off Checo.
“There was a lot of action out there, and as I say I wasn’t really able to conserve my tyres as a result. That was partly because I had to work my way back through after my second pitstop, when I’d been fighting with Romain (Grosjean).”
Martin Whitmarsh certainly enjoyed watching the race from his pit wall perch, saying “The 2013 Gulf Bahrain Grand Prix was a fantastic motor race, and I’m sure it was hugely entertaining for the tens of millions of viewers who watched it at home as well as for those lucky enough to be here at Sakhir to see it for real.”
However there were some tense moments when his two drivers were racing, and racing very closely indeed. He spoke on that very subject and said “The two of them spent much of the afternoon in close proximity to each other – sometimes in nail-bitingly close proximity actually – but that’s motor racing. Both Jenson and Checo are fast, forceful and hungry for success – and that’s exactly how it should be. It’s called racing, and we at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes always allow our drivers to race. It’s what this sport is all about having said that, it’s probably fair to say that Checo was a little too combative with Jenson this afternoon, and I think he knows that.”
Image courtesy of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.