Jenson Button has been warned not to allow Sergio Perez to get "too cocky, too soon" at McLaren.
Former F1 driver John Watson, who spent six seasons at Woking from 1979 until 1985, believes it is important that Button makes sure new recruit Perez doesn't outshine him during qualifying as it will put him under pressure on race day.
"Teams are always in love with the guy that's ringing the nuts out of the car," he is quoted as saying in Britain's Express.
"If Perez is driving the wheels off the McLaren and doing a really quick flying lap in qualifying, even if he is not going to get to the end of the race, that's not a good position for Jenson to be in.
"Jenson may deliver in the race but teams get dragged to the guy who can get the single-lap performance out of the car.
"[Ayrton] Senna did that and Lewis [Hamilton] did that. Jenson does not want to let his team-mate get too cocky, too soon."
While Perez, who joined McLaren from Sauber at the end of last season, will no doubt be looking to impress straightaway by beating his more experienced team-mate, Button is facing a different challenge now that Hamilton is no longer at the team.
"When you have a team-mate like Lewis, you sort of unconsciously raise your own level of performance a little higher. You push each other on," Watson added.
"But when your team-mate is not at that level, you find yourself unconsciously maybe not pushing yourself as much.
"For Perez it will be different. It will be much easier to push himself. He will be looking to go quicker than Jenson.
"It will be a different dynamic for Jenson than when he was up against Lewis, but he should not be looking over his shoulder to see what Perez is doing.
"He should be leading the team by his own ability, knowledge and his own record."
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