Watson: Button should stop complaining
26 April 2013 – Ex-Formula 1 driver John Watson believes that Jenson Button was wrong to complain about team-mate Sergio Pérez over his radio during the Bahrain Grand Prix and has urged the 2009 World Champion "to come to terms" with the adapting Mexican.
Button, whose car was clipped by Pérez during one of multiple wheel-to-wheel battles, repeatedly voiced his concerns during the race, but Watson says it is up to him to find an answer instead of accusing his new team-mate of being too aggressive.
"If Pérez gives Button a difficult time, it's up to Button to come to terms with it," 66-year-old Watson, who was a full-time McLaren driver between 1979 and 1983, explained to BBC Sport. "It's a fact of life. He can't expect [Team Principal] Martin Whitmarsh to tell Pérez to back off. If your kid team-mate is pushing you hard, it's not nice, but it's part of the game. You have to respond by getting in and doing the best job."
Watson added that Pérez's actions at Sakhir simply outline his desire to establish a foothold in the McLaren team, having endured a challenging start to the season.
"Someone like Pérez is fast, fiery and keen to lay down his own scent trail, like animals in the jungle, to establish a pecking order in team," he said. "He is desperate to show what he can do, especially as he has not done an awful lot in the opening three races.
"Button is very experienced and the number one driver in that team, even though McLaren say there is no number one and number two. But because he is in that position, he has a target on his back and Pérez will think that if he beats him, he'll be in the pound seat."
After the opening four races of the campaign, McLaren occupies sixth position in the Constructors' standings on a total of 23 points, 86 behind current leaders Red Bull.