Perez happy to be on a learning curve

Monday 24-June-2013 14:22

Sergio Perez admits he has been forced to change his driving style since joining McLaren, but he feels it has made him a more complete driver.

The Mexican was one of the hottest properties on the grid last year after claiming three podiums, and McLaren were quick to snap him up following Lewis Hamilton's departure.

However, his maiden season at McLaren has not gone according to plan as the team have found themselves battling the midfield runners instead of challenging for race wins.

Perez has also come under criticism from several drivers on the grid for being too aggressive, but the 23-year-old believes he has grown a lot in the past few months.

"I would definitely have liked to be in a much better position than I am now; coming here and fighting for race wins rather than trying so many times, but this is life and this is F1. There are no guarantees at all," he is quoted as saying by Autosport.

"I think I am happy because I have learned a lot. I have grown up a lot as a racing driver, so in that respect I can be happy.

"I am a much better driver than I was at this stage last year even though I had maybe double the points. I am in a better position as a driver, so I am happy."

He added: "Being at McLaren makes me a more complete driver: to know exactly what is going on with the tyres, with the race.

"Last year I was pretty good at managing the tyres, so I thought I was very good.

"When I came to McLaren with a very different car, a very different way to drive, I found myself against Jenson [Button] that I was not so good, so I had to learn and work on that.

"And I think right now I am driving very different to how I was driving in Sauber, and still I can be good in managing the tyres. Those things are important right now in the sport."

McLaren are down in sixth place in the Constructors' Championship - behind Force India - after picking up only 37 points in the first seven races.

Jenson Button's P5 in China is their best finish to date and when asked if he thinks the current McLaren can become a winning car, Perez replied: "I think we are very far from that. We have to do big updates, big improvements.

"At the moment we are one second per lap slower [than the pace setters] - so we are not in the position that we want. You don't win races by being one second off the pace."

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