Whitmarsh: Pérez doesn't understand McLaren pressure
8 November 2012 – Martin Whitmarsh has admitted that Sergio Pérez will face a newfound strain when he switches to McLaren from Sauber for 2013. Since signing with the Woking team, the Mexican has failed to score a point for the Hinwil-based outfit.
“He is going to find a different world at McLaren,” the Team Principal told The Daily Mail. “He will turn up in Australia next year with so much more pressure on his shoulders and that is something he has to be groomed to deal with.
“If you turn up and we're not on the first two rows and not competing for the win, then ourselves and Ferrari get that pressure in the way that no other F1 team does. When Red Bull weren't competitive no-one was piling into them, so there is an added pressure to being a McLaren driver. He might think he understands it, but he doesn't.”
Since taking over the Team Principal mantle from Ron Dennis ahead of the 2009 Formula 1 campaign, Whitmarsh had to date signed only Jenson Button.
“We are an international brand,” he continues. “We happen to have two great British drivers at the moment. Looking forward, we had two British drivers because they were the two best I could hire - and we've got a British and a Mexican because they are the best two I could hire for the upcoming season and that is where we are at.”
Pérez – GP2 runner-up to Pastor Maldonado in 2010 – has impressed this year, scoring podium finishes in the Malaysian, Canadian and Italian Grands Prix.