JUNE 6, 2013
McLaren backing Perez amid criticism
McLaren is standing firmly behind Sergio Perez, despite fierce criticism from his rivals in the wake of the Monaco grand prix.
Former team driver Kimi Raikkonen said he wanted to punch the young Mexican after their crash in the Principality, but McLaren sporting director Sam Michael said Perez's moves were nothing unusual.
Fernando Alonso and even teammate Jenson Button also criticised the 23-year-old at Monaco, but on Tuesday Michael said: "All the moves that he did are all moves that have been done by all of those other drivers at some point in their careers.
"It was obviously hard racing, but that's what formula one is meant to be about," he added during a Vodafone phone-in.
Perez has arguably struggled at times under the spotlight for the first time at a top team and amid McLaren's competitive slump, but Australian Michael thinks the former Sauber driver has done "pretty well" alongside the ultra-experienced Button.
"He (Perez) is a talented driver and the way that he's racing at the moment, McLaren support what he's doing," said Michael.
"We're full behind Checo as long as he keeps developing."