McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has downplayed Sergio Perez's recent on-track struggles.
The Sauber driver hasn't had the best of times since he was confirmed as Lewis Hamilton's replacement at the Woking squad, failing to finish in the top 10 in the last three races.
His tussle with the departing Hamilton in Japan let to him ending up in the gravel, in Korea he was involved in an opening-lap incident while in India he suffered another retirement after picking up a puncture during a scrap with Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso.
There have been suggestions that Perez is trying to hard following confirmation of his move to McLaren, but Whitmarsh feels it is part of the learning process.
"He is a young and exciting driver," he said. "Exciting can be good, it can be bad. But I think he did a fantastic job to be up there [eighth] in qualifying.
"He has the speed, and he wants to get up there and win. But if he hasn't got something to learn at 22, there is something wrong.
"I haven't spent much time with him, but [in] the time I have spent [I've found] he is very intelligent, and very ambitious. And, at the moment, he has a good level of humility.
"If we can turn him into a World Champion he will lose some of that along the way."
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