Button expecting steady McLaren start for Pérez
20 November 2012 – Jenson Button is unsure whether Sergio Pérez will challenge for wins as soon as the 2013 Formula 1 season begins in Melbourne. The Mexican, who will make the jump from Sauber to replace Lewis Hamilton, has said he aims for the title in his debut campaign at Woking.
Next year will see Button commencing his 14th F1 season and Pérez will become his ninth team-mate after Ralf Schumacher, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli, Jacques Villeneuve, Takuma Sato, Anthony Davidson, Rubens Barrichello and the aforementioned Hamilton.
“It's going to be a tricky seat for Checo to fill,” Button is quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “Lewis is a guy who has won the World Championship and had so many wins and races with this team. It is a massive ask but what else can you do?
"You need to have someone in the car and he (Pérez) is quick. I've heard he's intelligent, too. I don't know if he will be up to it straight away - he is going to be spending a lot of time in the UK at the factory.
“We will see what happens. I have a feeling he will be competitive, but of course he doesn't have the experience. I don't think he will be fighting at the front at the start of next season but we might be surprised at the first race.”
Having debuted with Sauber and impressed immediately in 2011, Pérez has gone on to clinch three podium finishes in Malaysia, Canada and Italy this year.