'Perez stamping his authority on the sport'

Wednesday 05-June-2013 10:57

Sergio Perez is making his mark in Formula One and proving he is ready to challenge the best in the business, according to McLaren sporting director Sam Michael.

Just weeks after being urged to "calm down" by his team-mate Jenson Button following some questionable moves at the Chinese Grand Prix, the Mexican's driving style was once again in the spotlight in Monaco.

Not only did he have another tussle with Button on the streets of Monte Carlo, but he also had incidents with Fernando Alonso of Ferrari as well as Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen.

Alonso criticised Perez after the race saying "only McLaren has to be happy with him" while Raikkonen went a bit further, saying maybe he "should be "punched to the face" after the Finn picked up a puncture during their scrap.

BBC Sport adds that Raikkonen's comments may have been "motivated by what sources say is his personal dislike of Perez".

Michael, though, insists he would rather Perez take the fight to the more established drivers on the grid than just cruise during the races.

"It's always a balance," he told BBC Sport. "Ultimately you want him to be able to race and push as hard as he can. It's not a lot different to how some of the great racers of the last 20 years have driven.

"You are playing a numbers game but I'd rather he did that than be criticised for sitting there when he could have had a go. He's stamping his authority on the sport and showing he has the ability to do that. It's not always going to come off, just as it hasn't with other people.

"Of course you can argue he lost a fifth place, but once he'd committed to that move, Kimi threw it away as well as him. Kimi always had the option to turn away from the corner."

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