Button and Perez clear the air

Tuesday 23rd April 2013

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Button and Perez clear the air

Button and Perez clear the air

McLaren have made sure the tension between team-mates Jenson Button and Sergio Perez doesn't boil over following the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Button admitted after Sunday's race at the Sakhir circuit that he was "angry" and urged Perez to "calm down" after they went side-by-side on the track on several occasions.

The Mexican broke a front end-plate during one of their tussles while Button pushed him off the track in another altercation.

No harm was done, but Button felt his team-mate's driving was "dangerous" and warned "something serious" will happen if he doesn't alter his style while Perez hit back by saying he was "as aggressive" as Button.

McLaren, though, have been quick to defuse the situation and have held talks with both drivers behind closed doors.

"We have sat down and discussed it and hopefully we have all learnt from the race... it could have all ended in a very different way for both of us," Button told reporters. "It's great that we don't have team orders and are allowed to fight."

"I think he will learn," the 2009 World Champion said of Perez. "I think it's good being in a team like this that will be very open with comments and say what they think to the drivers, face-to-face. We've all done that, so that's important."

Meanwhile team principal Martin Whitmarsh believes it is normal that his drivers want to give their all on and off the track.

"'Team Button' want to beat 'Team Perez'. They'll be saying 'this is hurting us' and that's normal. We like that dynamic," explained Whitmarsh.

"Right down to the mechanics, they want their car to beat the other car. That's how we work as a race team and it gives certain tensions in the system. But I think that's the right way to do it."

Button urged the team over the radio to "calm" Perez down and Whitmarsh believes the Brit's maturity is one of the main reasons why the situation didn't get out of control.

"I have spoken to Jenson now and the thing is he is so mature in his attitude," said Whitmarsh.

"That is the good thing about Jenson. He can stand back and be reflective in a way that you cannot when you are hot and sticky after just stepping out of the cockpit.

"Very quickly he gets to that point where, because he is an intelligent guy, he will know that Sergio is not a bad guy. Sergio is a guy that was under pressure who possibly pushed a little too hard on some of those issues.

"They are easy guys to manage as they are really good people and there is genuinely good spirit between all parts of the team.

"The good thing to come out of this is Jenson will get over it, because he is a star like that, and Checo will come out of this with his confidence at a higher level and he has demonstrated the passion and the spark that people expect to see from him."

Spa, Spa, Glorious Spa

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