Abu Dhabi

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2 Felipe Massa
3 Valtteri Bottas

Michael: Perez adapting to McLaren way

Friday 1st March 2013

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Michael: Perez adapting to McLaren way

Michael: Perez adapting to McLaren way

Sporting director Sam Michael admits it has "been a pleasure" to see how quickly Sergio Perez adapted to the McLaren way.

The 23-year-old Perez swapped Sauber for McLaren at the end of last season and has learned the ropes very quickly at Woking.

Speaking to Sky Sports News Michael said: "Checo [Perez] has worked very hard to get himself up to race fitness, he has spent a lot of time in the simulator at the factory and getting to know the engineers and as soon as he has been in the car he has adapted to the McLaren way of working very quickly, which has been a pleasure to see. But obviously the real test for him is going to be out on the race track."

Although he has looked at ease at McLaren, there have been a few days where he appeared to struggle with the MP4-28 during testing.

However, Michael is quick to point out that conditions haven't been helpful and that the field is very tight.

"I think he has settled into the team pretty well. I just think because of the conditions you get during winter it is very hard to pick where your benchmark is - particularly with the teams being as close as they are, which is great for the business," he said.

"Having the top 15 cars within eight tenths of each other just makes our job harder because it means it is hard for us to identify when we are quick or not. The days have gone when someone is two and half or three seconds quicker than everyone else."

As for filling Lewis Hamilton's boots at McLaren, Michael insists if there is any pressure then it is because of the team's history.

"I think the pressure comes from McLaren's heritage rather than Lewis," he said.

"Lewis is a fantastic driver and did a lot for the team, but the heritage of McLaren is much bigger than any driver in the short term. So I think if there is any pressure on Checo, it is the same sort of pressure that is on Jenson (Button) to deliver, assuming we can produce the car for him."

Really well. Checo has worked very hard to get himself up to race fitness, he has spent a lot of time in the simulator at the factory and getting to know the engineers and as soon as he has been in the car he has adapted to the McLaren way of working very quickly, which has been a pleasure to see. But obviously the real test for him is going to be out on the race track."

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