Following a less than impressive start, Sergio Perez has now been criticized by his Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh, who suggests that the Mexican needs to toughen up in order to succeed. The youngster has not been exuding confidence of late after a series of lackluster performances have seen him gather two solitary points with his new team. The “young diamond” has hardly experienced a glittering start to his McLaren career.
Sergio is certainly not exuding confidence at this current moment and has been significantly outperformed by teammate Jenson Button. While the Brit has the influential advantage of experience on his side, Perez will have hoped to be closer to Button at this early stage of the season.
The lackluster form can be traced back to Singapore last season. After another spectacular podium in Monza, the Mexican failed to score another point for the rest of the season; a drought which stretched until the recent Malaysian Grand Prix. Certainly not form worthy of McLaren and many people suggested that signing for the illustrious team had adversely effected his career. Many assumed that the pressures of McLaren would be too great.
Martin Whitmarsh has publicly criticized the youngster for the first time since his arrival. When speaking to The Guardian, Whitmarsh conceded: “I think he’s been very polite so far this year. He needs to toughen up. He’s been generous in allowing people past him.” The criticism has come despite the MP4-28 clear shortcomings, yet this may have placed more emphasis on Perez’s defensive abilities. Button emphasized that his relative success in Australia was courtesy of expert defensive maneuvers, and Whitmarsh has highlighted this as an area where Perez needs to improve.
Whitmarsh continued, “He’s still a very young guy in a big team with lots of expectations so you’re under a lot more scrutiny and it’s tougher. And he’s got a team-mate who’s doing a great job, so there’s some pressure there, and this won’t go down as his best weekend, of that I’m sure.”
McLaren’s start to 2013 has not been stunning. The team have been forced to recalculate expectations following what appears to be a misguided winter. They are on the back-foot, with all personnel under intense scrutiny. It seems that Whitmarsh is taking a highly critical approach towards Perez, perhaps in the hope of galvanizing the Mexican’s season. Undoubtedly it requires a kickstart, but it may be yet another misjudgment from McLaren to heap yet more pressure upon the youngster so early in his career.