F1 Winter Break
McLaren don’t fear Perez and Button feud after duo bang wheels in Bahrain
McLaren Honda
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Apr 2013   |  1:36 pm GMT  |  251 comments

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is confident Jenson Button and Sergio Perez will be able to move on after the team mates clashed several times in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Perez, who joined McLaren from Sauber this season, has had a lacklustre start to the season, prompting Whitmarsh to tell him earlier this week that he needs to “toughen up” and “use his elbows” – and in Bahrain, the Mexican did just that.

The 23-year-old boldly overtook Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso to show signs of the spark which attracted McLaren to him in the first place. However, Whitmarsh was probably not expecting Perez to be so robust when racing his team mate.

While fighting over fifth place, Perez tapped the back of Button, breaking off a part of his front wing. Luckily for McLaren, it didn’t puncture Button’s rear tyre, nor necessitate a new front wing for Perez but it did prompt Button to get on the radio and say: “He’s just hit me up the back. Calm him down.”

The pair then banged wheels at high speed as Perez, who was faster than Button at that stage of the race, tried an ambitious move around the outside but Button defended, even squeezing his team mate off the track and onto the dusty run-off.

“It was uncomfortable for Jenson,” said Whitmarsh. “But they’re two good guys and I think they’ll work it out. We’ll probably get the two together and have a chat to them and let them talk amongst themselves.”

Whitmarsh said he had told Perez, known as Checo, after the race that hitting his team mate was unacceptable but otherwise praised his new charge’s ambition and spark as he went on to finish sixth, four places ahead of Button.

“Rule number one, don’t hit your team mate. That could have been a puncture for Jenson and taken his own front wing off. If he’d have come back to the garage then, he’d have been for it – and he knows that. Unquestionably that was over the limit. Wheel-to-wheel banging was marginal but you don’t jump on a youngster who has just done that.

“I want him to feel good. I told him one of the moves was beyond what I consider to be OK but he’s a young guy. I want him to enjoy the moment and what he did. It was some really spirited, tough driving. We’ll be calm and go through the other stuff.”

Button was furious with Perez after the race saying: “I’m not used to driving down a straight and your team mate wiggling his wheels at you and banging wheels at 300kph. That’s things you do in karting but grow out of. That’s not the case with Checo.

“We’ll have to have a little chat I think because I don’t like banging wheels at 300kph. That’s dangerous. He has to calm down. I mean, he’s extremely quick and did a great job today but some of it is unnecessary and an issue when you’re doing those speeds.”

Whitmarsh added: “Jenson doesn’t appreciate all that but the great thing is he’s a grown up. If he’s been beaten by his team mate and he’s happy I’d be concerned, but I’m not concerned that he feels like he does because that’s how he should do, but he’ll get over it.

“Very quickly he gets to that point where, because he is an intelligent guy, he will know that Sergio is not a bad guy.”

Perez admitted he was too aggressive in Bahrain, but said his team mate was equally as assertive.

He said: “I agree that we were too aggressive, but he was as aggressive as I was. I went out of the track a few times. We were fighting. This is something we have to speak about to sort it out.

“Hopefully for the next race we can help each other a little bit more, but with the pace of our car and where we were we could not give any room to anyone so we were fighting really hard.”

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Perez has to be stopped with this moving about in the braking zones and swerving in the straights. I can't stand these boys all over the track that have came up from gp2. It isn't racing the way I want to see it and when u hear Martin Brundle saying di Resta should have given kimi and romain the Perez chop its worrying for the way f1 is going.


McLaren are rapidly becoming the comedy team of Formula One.

Can't you just see Whitmarsh's face change from China to Bahrain?

What will the lads be up to next race?


It also surprises me that nothing, as far as I know, has been said about the way Peres pushed Alonso off the track when Alonso tried to overtake him somewhere in the last third of the race. I thought that was against the current rules on overtaking that dictate that a driver must make room for another driver when the overtaking driver's car -- or a portion of the car -- is alongside his own. In this particular case, not only did Peres push Alonso off the track but also drove off it himself. Any comments, James, on this incident and how the overtaking rule is being applied?


If Perez is stuck behind Button, who ended in 10th place, Perez would not have gained any points for the team and for himself. It was a case of a teammate clearly faster and another teammate trying hard not to let him past. I can understand that in the event, rather drastic measures had to be taken to overtake. Hitting the rear tire in front is easy to happen in such circumstances. But pushing one's teammate completely off the track is clearly a deliberate and unsporting move to keep one's position. I wonder whether McLaren team manager really cares about gaining maximum points for the team by turning a blind eye to a slower teammate blocking deliberately without intervening.


button its a great driver

but last sunday perez was faster than him ,thats it !


He was faster at a track with two LOOOOONG DRS zones. Every time Button gained seconds elsewhere on the track, he was going to lose it to an equal car that benefitted from double DRS zones. I don't see why anyone finds that impressive from Perez, actually...Impressive would have been getting around Button CLEANLY and quickly in a lap or two, with that much of an advantage....


Na the tyres made Sergio stronger on pace Jenson is better so far this season.


The 'Perez chop' is no worse than Schumacher's normal defensive driving, nor Rosberg and Webber.

Weaving is another matter, although moving back onto the racing line under braking whilst the other car is safely behind is a complete non-issue and has been happening for years.

The only thing I find especially GP2-ish about Perez is his highly ambitious dives from 50 meters back.


The duel between Button and Perez was fantastic to watch and brought real racing back to F1. Both drivers had to beon top of their game to stop teh otehr passing and there was pretty minimal contact all in all. Button made too much of it, Perez will probably learn from this and try not to be too eager. Whlst I appreciate that safety is meant to be paramount one of the major attractions of motor racing is the thrill of the risks that the drivers are taking. As someone else stated, regarding Senna, a reall driver takes teh opportunity to try and poass as soon as it appears, they don't hang about. All-in-all Bahrain gave us quite a few amazing battles (Perez vs Button and then Webber vs Hamilton). This is what Grand Prix racing is meant to be about, this is what the sport was built on and the advent of shonky tyres and DRS has stripped teh sport of this marel somewhat, or at least made it artificial.


I beg to differ about Perez and Jenson being on top of their game while squabbling for position. If anything, though exciting to watch, they were both dangerous and barely legal.

The Hamilton/Webber dwell on the other hand, was pure race craft with both drivers perfectly within F1 rules and etiquette at all times, yet doing things with a car that you'd only have thought were possible with a bicycle. No off track moments, no contact, no bad blood, just supreme talent.


Apologies for the typos there!


James, Please, can you more carefully select the photos. Whitmarsch looks on this one like a zombie. 🙁


... if the cap fits......


That is a sensitive topic as safety is always a concern, however as Senna once sad: if you see a gap and don't go for it, you are no longer a racing driver. I actually enjoyed Checo's drive this Sunday as for him having beaten Jenson on track and scored solid points. I also am sure he will fine tune his overtaking and defence moves and keep improving.


Yep, I agree.

It shouldn't be such an issue if they reduce the excessive DRS (because the drivers will be a little more even).

Like you say, it annoyed me also, when Brundle said di Resta should have done the chop. Di Resta was racing fairly and safely.

It's not so bad with no DRS (or less DRS), but when there is DRS cars can go flying past each other and weaving is dangerous with such a speed difference.

I felt Rosberg was also too aggressive in his defending, also doing the chop.

The accident by Perez was caused by inexperience in my view, but it caused no major problems so as long as Perez learns from it then it is fine.


The Perez Button accident was caused by Button. Watch the video again and you'll see that he slowed quite dramatically. If he was in another team, McLaren would have reported him to the stewards for brake-testing Cheko.


Yes I reckon it was caused by Button, he was rather hypocritical with his comments as well. Button was very slow and couldn't accept Perez was faster. If he was so scared of Perez's driving he should have just let him past.

Also, where have all the 'Button is the best at looking after the tyres' people gone? Raikkonen makes those people look very silly doesn't he


Rear ending your teammate is down to poor judgement, and Perez misjudged the closing speed. No way was that Button's fault.


He didn't brake test Cheko. He covered his line to prevent him taking the undercut. He didn't use his brakes at all. I remember Alonso doing the same thing in Canada at that tight hairpin before the long straight. It's perfectly valid race craft. Perez, still being relatively inexperienced, didn't anticipate it when getting back on the throttle.


I don't think he was brake-checking him as such. He took the inside line to defend, and pretty much parked it on the corner so he could get it turned in and stay on a more inside line rather than being slow AND running to the outside on exit leaving the inside open. Perez would have been expecting him to run to the outside, so went in from the racing line to take a later apex and get a run on Button down the inside on the exit. He was basically blocking right through the corner, knowing that Perez was faster. Perez's only option (not that he could have known at the time) to try (and fail) to get past him being to go right around the outside. And if he'd tried that, I'm sure Button would have been watching in his mirrors and just let it run out to the track edge.

There wasn't anything illegal about it as such, but given that they both race for the same team, it was pretty daft. It's one thing to take a defensive line on entry, but if you're having to race that defensively, you're slower. Against another team? Defend away. Against your own team mate, especially when your team is already struggling for results?

Even with their "no team order" policy, McLaren should have told Button to ease up on his defence against Perez. It wouldn't have only favoured Perez (assuming Perez would then have made the pass); the fighting slowed both of them down, hurt their tyres, and put them both at risk of not finishing at all. I was surprised Button's rear right didn't give up after that direct hit from Perez's front wing, and at the time I was thinking, "When it goes... serves you right".


Yeah, that's my view too.

Button was also more agressive than Perez when he drove him off the track when Perez already had the racing line


I'll have to rewatch to see who caused it, but definitely I think Button went over the line in his defence against Perez, which even JA pointed out Perez got pushed off the track by Button.

Yet only Button is making any complaints here.


If it was Vettel, Alonso or Kimi or Hamilton they would have expected the slow down, a typical defence. Just shows lack of experience on Checo's part - I'd imagine a McLaren driver would handle such scenarios.

Though when they banged wheels, I think it was Jenson who moved into him. I can't find the video on youtube, but from what I remember in the race it did look to me like Jenson waved into Perez, while Perez kept parallel with the white line on outside.


Agree 100%. Kimi, Jenson and Fernando are all able to pass and defend whilst racing clean.

Unfortunatly the GP2 mentality that is coming into F1 isn't being controlled at the GP2 level - only minor penalties are applied to serial offenders, just see Cecotto in Malaysia and Canamassas in Bahrain. Someone is going to get seriously hurt....



I agree GP2 racing culture needs to be stamped out but there are waves of drivers trying to come up to F1 with sponsorship dollars.


I think F1 of modern times reached a seminal moment in Australia 2013 - with the second retirement of Schumacher it was the first race where none of the drivers on the grid had raced in a Grand Prix where a driver had been killed.

Whilst cars are infinitely safer than they were even a few years ago, we have had a long run of very good luck.

I watch F1 to watch great close racing, but I do not want to see anyone injured or worse. I think some younger drivers have become anaestethised about the dangers that still exist. It will be no good being sorry after the event



Kimi, Jenson and Fernando dont do real racing anymore. They do their own race, at their own pace, just looking after the tyres and the car. If the car behind them is half a second faster they let it pass.

I'm sorry but we're all here complaining real racing is gone, thats its all about tires and aritifical overtakes with DRS, then a kid like Perez comes showing some real guts and you bash him. Pathetic


This is not about 'racing', it is about racing sensibly - no one wants to get killed. Perez is not the new Hamilton whom JB beat over three years. Perez is naive and unnecessarily dangerous in the face of a fortunate opportunity... JB, you will note, has successfully raced against LH for the last three years without complaint... Do you think Perez is better thanh LH? Really? I doubt JB is afraid of Perez but he knows that a naive idiot can cause a serious accident... Who else has been complaining about Perez..?

My Guess is MW wanted to prove his lacklustre choice of Perez was really a clever one and so he allowed what should not have been allowed - to make his choice look vindicated. He knew JB's tyres were spent. MW is an idiot and a dangerous one at that. Had either ended up injured or dead he would have been responsible. 'We let our drivers race regardless of the cost' - idiot! You have to place orders at times because to not do so is dangerous and bad for the team.

What was it, Carlos Slim (money) in the garage...? So, MW caters with a silly dice. Would have looked really thick had either been injured. Not ratiopnal no mattter how exciting. Do we risk lives for excitment? Sick.


My friend, find yourself a video of Suzuka 2005.

Then tell me that Kimi and Fernando can't race!


Ive got mixed feelings about it, yes I want to see wheel to wheel racing but I think alot of the younger drivers go a bit to far e.g Perez, Maldonado, Grosjean.

watching the GP2 races you get the impression the drivers have little respect each others safety. I think that's partly because safety of the cars is really good and they are so hungry to win.


Sounds like the GP2 culture is superior to the fake racing of F1.

F1 is the pinnacle of nursing tires...

tom in adelaide

Well said!


If Kimi and Alonso cant race then how come Kimi got up to 2nd from 8th and Alonso recover to 8th with NO DRS after falling to the back? Not racers, yeah right.


I think Button whines too much.


I think Button just "lost grip."


Yeah in actual fact Jenson, Nico and Webber suffered the worst with tyres at Bahrain.


Yeah. Button leverages his good rep SO hard. Not falling for it. Perez was great.


Hear hear.

Perez got ran off track by Button and we didn't hear him complain anything about it.

In my view, yes Perez was being aggressive, but but to the point where he tried to run Button off track in his attacks. Whereas Button did run Perez off track in his defence, which wasn't allowed since the incident at the same track last year between Rosberg and Hamilton, and Rosberg and Alonso.

I was actually surprised that it wasn't noticed by the stewarts that Button pushed his teammate off track.

If Button really felt the fight shouldn't be going on, then he should've just thought better and let his faster teammate go, rather than have a fight then complain it was dangerous and risky. If he truly felt it was dangerous and risky, then why get involved in it?

So yer, Button being a whiner again. He should just get a grip and talk through his driving rather than speaking it out.


Agree. Those supposed Number 1 drivers all whine over the radio, "he's too slow", "calm him down" or the hypocritical "save fuel". Alonso, Vettel, Button and Mercedes fall in this category. The moment the guy in the other side of the pitbox happen to be faster, they complain. At least I give credit to McLaren to let their drivers go racing. Go Checo, give Jens a run for his money!


+1 Button is one of the biggest whingers on the grid, next to Alo and Web

Scuderia McLaren



Do you want an accident like the one we had last year in Spa because some driver think he is some kind of Rambo?


Button himself could also have avoided it.


There was me thinking McLaren were a team without a #1 driver.....afterall that's all they've been saying in previous years. Quite telling that JB is well and truly trying to stamp his authority as #1 and his general comments towards Perez are patronising at best. He jumped into the Sky F1 interview with Whitmarsh yesterday and soon shut up when he's own driving was displayed to be beyond reasonble.

Whitmarsh looked so uncomfortable in that SSF1 interview as it was obvious JB was trying to jump in as if he was management. JB for all the PR spiel was shown up yesterday to be a terrible loser. I'm very disappointed some of the UK press (esp the BBC) are going all with JB's comments and viewpoint but unwilling to show SP's view in comparison.

It's going to be fascinating watching them too fight it out.


+1 about JB being patronising, especially that "calm him down" comment, he obviously thinks he is team management, Vettel style. Hope Perez thrashes him in coming races.


Oh calm down dear ! Good enough for the PM, the late Michael Winner, good enough JB in the heat of the moment. Can't yo'all look at the bigger picture and stop getting so intense about it, loosen up everyone.



Perhaps we should go back a few years when we heard no Team Radio and the drivers did not have to speak to the media.


Its Buttons exesive politicking that caused McLaren to lose the best driver in the field. Its just disgusting to watch and Whitmarsh just seems to wither away with forced laughter each time it happens.


Spot on! I couldn't have put it better. I am surprised that no journalist has mustered the courage to call this out. Well done to Anthony Davidson for putting Button on the spot. It seems that Button was unable to hear those questions!

The Whitmarsh-Button dynamic does not augur well for Perez who is trying to settle into the team (or Mclaren, if they need a driver to challenge Vettel/Alonso). I also have wondered how much of a factor this was in Hamilton's decision to leave the team. Hamilton is not as articulate or smooth as Button with the media, but he seems a lot more clear thinking in his on and off track decision making than Jenson/Mclaren seem.

If I was the team boss, I would put Jenson in his place. Is JB part of the team management? If so, he needs to also shoulder a greater portion of the blame for McLaren's declining fortunes. Last year's car wasn't good enough, neither is this years, though it was the best car ever at time of launch.

I am not sure what objective basis there is to praise Button's "maturity" and "intelligence" after this incident. The media and team are standing to lose their credibility if their comments are biased by their friendships with some drivers. Of course, for the media to get an inside pass to the inner workings of teams, these friendships are essential.


well said.


Disagree with 1 of your points - last years Mclaren was MOrE than good enough for both titles - instead they came 3rd! Lewis was extremely unlucky, Button was extremely slow for a third of the year, and the team were operationally poor.


Actually Timmay, you and I, in fact, agree. 🙂 I was being humorous and quoting Button at various points over the last year...after 2011, he was brimming with confidence for 2012 stating that the car would be more to his liking...after winning Aus '12 he wrote Alonso's chances off, then by Abu Dhabi or so he stated that the 2012 car didn't suit him, and Whitmarsh kept apologizing that the team haven't given Button the car he needs. Fast fwd to the 2013 launch and the new Mclaren was built around Button's style, and according to him was the best car ever built by the team. Now, it's waaay off the pace to the point where Whitmarsh has to deny that the team are beginning to focus on 2014. It's interesting that last year's Mclaren would have looked below average for 50% of the season if not for Lewis. How fast would a Lewis or Alonso drive the '13 Mclaren? We'll never know...


Please be more respectful in your comments, three have been deleted due to various slanders and also calling drivers "she" - I mean why do that??

It wastes so much of Mod's time

They will all be deleted if you can't control yourself - thanks


Jenson is going to get his doors blown off in races by Checo as the season goes on, there's no doubt about it. But they both need to improve their qualy performances once the upgrades come through.


Ummm, Perez could not cleanly pass Button even with the advantage of DOUBLE, LONG DRS zones. In the same car.

If you think that merely harassing the car in front, lap after lap, using two DRS zones, shows talent and speed, well then....er, OK.

Not in my book. If Perez was so great then he would have EASILY passed Button with those two, long, DRS zones...this at a track that doesn't even NEED DRS to pass on. Not impressive, and highly risky, and cost the team points by wearing out tyres. Hope he made his sponsor happy at least.

But it doesn't say much good about Checo as a racer, or a teammate.


Not sure, both of them are mediocre. I wouldn't expect anything balanced performance from them with Jenson coming slightly on top due to experience. Checo really comes across as a slow learner.

I hope next year, McLaren chooses their drivers as a racing team and not a corporate business.


that I do agree with. least inspiring McLaren driver pairing since Watson/De Cesaris in 1981?


anything but*


Doors blown off -"there's no doubt about it".

OK Nigel, I'll hold you to that. End of season, or earlier, would you say?


I reckon it'd be worth putting a fiver on Checo to win in Italy, so let's say by then he'll be higher in the drivers table than Jenson.


I think Button had as much to answer for as Perez did in the aggressive stakes. Credit to McLaren for letting their guys duke it out as well.

One thing I observed with both Button (on Perez) and Perez (on Alonso) is driving them off track while side by side. In this day and age of ultra wide run off's and super safe cars it can be done on many circuits. But from a pure racing and sporting perspective I don't think that's fair.

The driver behind who has managed to get alongside using well judged race craft after trying a different line out of the turn. They then try and position themselves on the outside to make a move on the inside for the next turn, only to be forced off track by a driver not willing to give any space on circuit. For me that's not good racing. Plus its dangerous.

Saying all that I'm not the former world champ trying to force my position as the number 1 in the team...


What Aussie V8's for fair overtaking and giving each other room. Last weekend in NZ there was some fantastic wheel to wheel fair racing.


Why should a driver have to yield to a passing driver. If the driver making the pass doesn't leave himself enough room or isn't far enough ahead to complete the pass that isn't race craft. Its not completing the pass, the car ahead has the line and should have the right to it. I think there are a few too many rules to F1 and this one of them, last week Webber got penalized for doing essenially what Kimi did.


With no rules regarding blocking, unless the guy behind has a clearly superior car (or is a clearly superior driver... or these days, has much better tyres), it's very easy for the guy in front to just keep placing his car in the right places to remove any chance of overtaking.

It still happens in V8 Supercars a bit, because despite there being rules (and despite the supposed car parity), they don't count for much if they're not enforced. So you'll see certain drivers (*cough* Garth Tander *cough*) cover the inside on the run up to the corner, and then going into the braking zone they'll pull over to the outside leaving no room. The guy following can't take the inside, and then any chance of going around is also removed. The guy at the front makes the call, and the guy trying to overtake can only react afterwards. But if the guy leading leaves his line change late enough, and they're both already on the limit just trying to go as fast as possible, the guy behind doesn't have time to pull back to the inside line clear of the other car, the less grippy line, and get on the brakes to still make the corner.

Again, with a clearly superior car it's a bit different. But in two fairly evenly matched cars where the guy following is putting in a better drive, without rules he could very likely be stuck there.

As for the car in front having the right to the racing line... if he is genuinely ahead (e.g. JEV vs WEB in China) then yes he has the right to the racing line. If the guy behind is in a position to try an overtake though... the racing line generally takes the car from the outside on entry, to the inside at the apex, and back to the outside on exit, i.e. the car crosses the entire width of the track and back. That doesn't exactly leave much room for overtaking in a lot of the calendar's corners, and F1 has few enough good overtaking spots as it is now.


I watched this weekend's Super V8's and I didn't see much in the way of rules at all. 🙂 I will say though for those that complain about DRS, KERS, and "Cheese Tyres" they should take a hard look at Super V8's.

Since in F1 unlike oval racing passing outside of the DRS zones is done under breaking for the most part it's is pretty harsh to expect the driver in front to leave space for the driver passing on the outside in his blind spot. That is just my feeling on the matter. If the following driver can only pass by the leading driver politely allowing him that seems a little bit artificial to me.


P.S. I'll have to start including a table of contents soon. I'm fully expecting one day to hit the post button and get the message, "Error: Your post exceeds the 1,000,000 word limit." Haha.


I agree completely. If someone was completing such a well judged pass he wouldn't have to rely on the other driver to give him the room.


In this case I have to agree. Although Perez did hit the back of Button, and was weaving rather a lot, and did it in China too, in this case I don't think Button can talk that much. He was just as aggressive when racing.


I think in the Button-Perez case, I think it was just after Perez hit his wheel, so maybe it was a bit of a "okay, enough of that, you're going off now" retaliation.


Button brake-tested Perez, so its hard to see how he could be retaliating for that.


That's how I saw it too



thats what I saw, but I can't re-watch it, cant find it on youtube.


the funny thing is Perez held his line it was Jenson banging wheels with Perez not the other way around.

6 Wheeled Tyrrell

I agree completely, I thought Charlie Whiting had issued a clarification to the rules a while back stating that if a significant part of an opponents car was alongside you you had to leave enough room for them.

Button did it to Perez and Perez to Alonso, and yet not even the race commentators said a thing as if nothing was wrong. Maybe I misunderstood the rules, but it did seem odd to me that such robust defense was not even investigated.


Noticed the same.


the car on the outside has to be at least half a car on the side to claim that the other driver has to give room... is its even slightly behind the car in front has all the right to take his normal racing line, wich is using all the track..


Vettel was penalised for less last year against Alonso in Monza. I wasn't exactly surprised McLaren didn't run to the stewards over Button pushing Perez off, but Alonso did have a whinge on the radio when Perez did it, and AFAIK nothing happened.

Maybe having seen the same thing happen between the two team mates and doing nothing about it, they felt it would be too inconsistent to penalise Perez for doing it to Alonso. But as much as I'm sure McLaren wouldn't have wanted to see one of their own drivers penalised for defending against their other driver, the rules should be applied consistently, not when it does or doesn't suit someone.


Indeed. In fact it was before the 2012 season, yet despite this there are several cases of it happening throughout the 2012 season (e.g. Maldonado on everybody, Raikkonen on Perez in Suzuka, several cases in Korea, Vettel on Alonso in Monza).

I don't think it is much of an issue so long as it isn't done in a dangerous place. Easing someone off onto tarmac on a hairpin isn't comparable to easing someone off through Turn 1 at Suzuka or Curva Grande imho.

Rubinho's Keyfob

You're not alone on this point.

Listening to the commentary when I watched the race [Brundle/Croft], this rule was alluded to at some point but it was in the specific context of someone leaving space when turning in for a corner.

Both the BUT/PER and PER/ALO incidents were, I seem to remember, on the straight or coming OUT of the corner.

However, wasn't the rule clarification a result of ROS doing the same thing twice last year at this very circuit (IIRC, at least once on the pit straight)?


Well at least we know Mac does not do team orders, not in the past, not now, good for them

I think it works both ways, Checo was pushing too agressive an might have taken both cars out, but if he was faster at the time, Jenson could have moved over and save tyres and gain points instead

Anyway it was fun to watch


They should have said 'Multi 65 , Jenson'.


I think you need to ask dc about mika hakkinen and McLaren team orders.


The only thing I recall about Mika, DC and McLaren were the drivers' 1st corner agreements. Whoever gets to it first gets the win (Australia 1998).

I don't recall any team orders though.


Ah right. That was before I started to follow Formula 1, so I didn't know about that.





Or Hamilton vs Alonso Monaco 2007 - Hamilton told to hold station after the final pit stop. Pretty much exactly the same situation as Webber vs Vettel in Malaysia. Which is why I found it hard to stomach Whitmarsh saying that McLaren don't go racing like that.


Whilst i agree that team mates should at all costs avoid contact, I do feel Jenson is being a bit a little over dramatic about the situation, he gave as good as he got. He forced Perez wide and gave him no room at turn 3 into 4, I wonder who would have got the blame if an accident had occured after that!


Jens definitely wouldn't shy away from putting blame on another driver, should there be an accident.


I agree with Whitmarsh (for once) - the contact was the only point where Perez crossed the line, and fortunately it was pretty minor. Everything else was fine, and no worse than several other drivers were doing (Rosberg, Alonso, Webber all spring to mind).


The end plate to wheel contact was purely a recing incident, remember Alonso in Malaysia. That happens or is close to happening quite often right at the apex around slower corners. But Jenson pushing Perez off the track was not an incident, it was clearly on purpose.


Whether it was a racing incident or not is irrelevant. What's the golden rule of Formula 1?


The point here is that if Jenson had been further up the road he wouldn't be moaning. Schumacher worked Button out and always intimidated him on the track because he knew that Button is weak and loves a moan.

In fact the only time I can remember Button being strong is when he put Hamilton into the wall in Canada - he joked with EJ about it in the bbc season review. Funny how that was ok but Sergio yesterday was out of line?

This whole episode reminds me I believe of what Patrick head told Damon Hill. "This isn't follow the leader"


"Schumacher worked Button out and always intimidated him on the track because he knew that Button is weak and loves a moan"...Just like turn 1 in Austin, Texas in 2012! As I recall it, Michael and Button were rarely ever competing for the same piece of tarmac, but I can remember JB sending one up the of MS in Germany in 2006.


The specific incident I should have mentioned was Barcelona 2010 when Schumacher into t1 cut across Buttons path as Button had come out of the pits. Button actually had a whinge about this afterwards and Michael just shrugged his shoulders.

Of course I remember Austin and Button once again moaned about Michael. My point is more that Button is a clean driver and doesn't like any form of robustness. I think the other drivers know this and try and intimidate him.

Button though I feel is clever and has very cleverly manipulated the media to his advantage. I say this not as a criticism (he is clever and articulate) but as a fact. My view is that in this incident like (Martin Brundle)is that Button actually started the incidents with Perez by taking a slow and tight exit out of T4. Then proceeded to get on the radio and complain just as he did to Hamilton in Canada. Perez then took the bait and Button cleverly came out in the media knowing that he has there backing. His interview with sky was very good although unfortunately they didn't ask him about that T4 incident.

In short I prefer a driver who does his talking on the track. I feel button is a political driver but please don't think that means I don't think he is good. In my view he is the 5th best in f1.


Point taken, but would so many people have commented had they not heard the radio messages, and are you saying that the other drivers don't have a whinge or whine about something during the race weekend? I have no evidence, but I suspect it went on long before we started hearing the team radio traffic. I wonder what was being said to Rubens all those years ago in Austria? To be fair, I've since heard them, but my general point is that we had no access to them at the time events were unfolding. Button's move Perez is nothing new, it's a move you will see at the hairpin in China on a regular basis, and you will see more of it when drivers are under pressure from their opponents.

If I'm honest, I would have been more disappointing if he (JB) had tried to change his comments when doing the TV interviews.

As for manipulating the media, I'd give them a bit more credit than that.


I think a lot of people were thinking the same thing. I like Button for the most part but he memorably put his own teammate into the wall not that long ago.

And all that bellyaching into the radio, is it really for the team or is it for race control hoping for a penalty? A lot of drivers are doing it after every pass defence or wheel on wheel tap these days.

Whiney voice: "WHAT IS HE DOING?!?!?!"


It's funny in a way because you obviously have to say "Well, they told Checo he needed to get into it" but Whitmarsh and Button are right, there's getting to it and there's banging about. Perez in that race reminded me of myself playing basketball in high school...coach pushed me to be more aggressive and I'd end up fouling out too soon because I hadn't figured out where "aggressive" turned into "overboard" yet.

I imagine Perez is a faster study than I was, though. 🙂


Watching Button mini melt down reminds me of a top 10 tennis player taking out the No1 player ,only to be scuttled in the next round by a player ranked a 100 below him.

While Mclaren has had their wosrt start to a season in 20yrs,Button has been walking around all chirpy,secure in his Nos 1 status.

As soon as he reach double digits points last week he was all up in the papers along with Witmarsh chiding Perez to up his game.

The question is what kind of man is Button?why is he publicly critizing his new and inexperience team mate for his 1st offence so to speak.This tell that he may not be the nice guy he campayne in the media to be.We saw what he did to Lewis in Canda,and we saw what he did to Checo then ran crying to Withmarh,like a teachers pet.so this is really a media campayne to brand Checo dangerous and experience,and have him relegated to N02.While he Button revel in No1 weather the team is doin good or bad

Be careful BuTTON Checo has alot of money behind him,he is latin and therefore has no intrest in the validation of the British media.

Also Withmarsh is invested in Checo,when Lewis failed it just made his choice in Button look good,now Checo failing puts more pressure on him.so buttons little inside political games are nuetralize and playing underdog wont work.Checo is now the underdog,who is firery,and unafraid to speak his mind.If Button thought he had a compliant subsuviant teammate,he is grossly mistaken,Checo is his worst might mare,because he is immune to Buttons most potent weapon.The media.Button is now punching down and that a loosing position for a mediocre driver incapable of creating magic out of an average car


Yes, he nailed Lewis in 2011 with a media campaigne, lets see how far he can go with Cheko who is not British, therefore has zero fear for the British press and is a driver with massive sponsorship money as well.

I think the wheels are gonna come off the bus if there are any repeats of the Bahrain race.


Well... the British media nailed Alonso in 2007; It was good for Hamilton to get a taste of it. He grew a lot after 2011.


Looks like it's gonna be thrilling to see what happens at McLaren! 🙂


Don't you like JB, is that what I'm hearing?


Can't agree more with you.


If anything this goes to show that sometimes Team Orders are necessary; as a McLaren fan I was watching through my fingers waiting for the inevitable.

Whilst it's debatable whether Perez would have done much better had he been let past, there were a good few laps where he was obviously held up by Button, and it doesn't help either of their races for him to be getting frustrated behind a slower car.


"Whilst it’s debatable whether Perez would have done much better had he been let past"

rubbish! did'nt you see the end of the race ? Perez overtook Webber on the last lap and finished a few lenghts behind Hamilton so would have got p5 for sure and maybe even have threatened Di Resta


Jenson is making a meal out of this and is in desperation trying to assert himself as a number one. I think Perez is right that both were a little bit too aggressive but I for one don't mind it at all. And if Button does not want to go wheel to wheel at 300km can I please have his seat Mr. Martin Whitmarch?


Last week Perez got involved in a controversy with Raikkonen and Hamilton for waving and beeing silly.

"What the hell is he doing?" It wasn´t Button who said that last week about Perez in China


Yes, good point, not hearing complaints about the ice man are we?


Yes but Sergio gave kimi a 'Schumacher chop', which is not acceptable . He doesn't want his championship ruined by an alsoran driving in poorly run team.


Perez merely held his line through the corner, which put him on track for the outside. Unfortunately Kimi happened to be coming up the side of him. He wasn't weaving around like a nutter or anything, but that said, I'm not sure I agree that he should have been given the ok from the stewards on that move. It was somewhat "Vettel vs Alonso, Monza 2012"-ish from what I recall of the recent incident (might have to watch it again), in which Vettel was of course given a drive through.

Don't remember what he did to Hamilton though, and he has certainly had some rough moments in his career so far. But in Button vs Perez, Button certainly didn't help matters by aggressively defending against his faster team mate.

From memory, Perez was looking quick last year at Catalunya before he DNF'd in the race, so maybe next race he can further challenge Button's status.


According to many observers Kimi's assessment of the incident did not consider Perez's point of view, i.e. Perez was unsighted and did not deliberately chop Kimi...rather he took his line into Turn 4 at Shanghai, unaware to Kimi's presence on his outside.

Generally, Perez's driving has been a bit scrappy of late (note his drives towards the end of last year). Jenson usually drives fairly against his rivals and demonstrates good judgement, but I assume we are commenting on incidents that occurred during the Bahrain GP primarily. In this case, my opinion is that Jenson was rattled by Perez's aggression, which at times was a bit over the top. He was also rattled by the fact that he was being genuinely outpaced, against his expectations. That led to some irrational driving, such as when he squeezed Perez and deliberately (subject to more analysis I admit) held him up in Turn 4, thereby playing a role in them touching. He, MW and the fawning media glossed over these incidents choosing to focus on Perez's faults, without Perez being there to defend himself.

To me what happened in the heat of the moment was no more dangerous than what other drivers have been seen doing. What puts me off is the team's off-track response to the situation...I have no idea why Whitmarsh/ Button feel the need to constantly remind everyone that Perez is inexperienced, and Whitmarsh even stated to Hill/Herbert that Perez has been outdriven and outthought by Button...this coming after a race when the opposite seems to have happened. It's barely Perez's 4th race and he's being publicly criticized and undermined in patronizing tones by his boss, and now the matter is settled internally, giving Perez insufficient opportunity to respond to these statements in the public eye. I wonder where his support system within the team is? This just makes McLaren appear more like Jenson's team rather than two drivers operating on an equal footing off the track as well as on it.


Agree 100%.

No wonder Lewis left inspite of being offered more money.


Didn't Raikkonen bring this up in drivers meeting about Perez weaving driving style.


And you know when Kimi says things that you have to really realise that you did something wrong.


+1 yes! "what the hell he is doing!"


How could Whitmarsh not feel embarressed defending Button here? While he publicly chided Perez (twice in 2 weeks) for hitting Button, while at the same time giving Button a free pass for pushing teammate into the grass?

It remains to be seen whether Button got hit because of Perez or because Button slowed, just a tad, deliberately or not. If I was Perez, I will be all over the telemetry data from Button to check on it before having that "little chat". Perez need to assert himself here - he did not wrong to apologize. If Button din't want the wheel banging, he should have let Perez past; as he knew that Perez was faster than him. Too bad a mature/experienced f1 driver complaining over the radio in an amateurish fashion.

Tornillo Amarillo

I guess that Perez cannot publish the telemetry on Twitter 😉


I guess Button will unfollow on Twitter him as well.

Tornillo Amarillo

Yes, but he will ask Checo for setup sooner or later...


As I have said (and man I have a ton of opinions for a newbie F1 fan) Perez is over his head. He might grow into the job he might kill himself not sure which. Button was right to put him in the sand. Button was probably due a penalty of some kind for doing it as well but sometimes you have to send a message.

Here is to hopping that by the end of the year Perez has matured a little, stopped the meandering driving and ready for next year.


You know, I would have agreed with you until this weekend. Perez seemed to be intent on just finishing, jumping out of the way coming up behind him. But this weekend he was transformed. No way is he over his head. They wanted him to be like Hamilton and that's what they got. Would be interesting to know if Button eased off slightly when Perez clipped him.

Rubinho's Keyfob

"Perez seemed to be intent on just finishing," ... "They wanted him to be like Hamilton".

That's a very interesting point you make there. Before Bahrain, Perez was out of the points (only just!) twice and scored points once. But yes, his demeanour on track seemed to be that as a new boy in the team he didn't want to race too hard and cause incidents or DNFs (see Grosjean last season).

However, perhaps Martin Whitmarsh's pep talk was based around the idea that if you're going to bring the car home but score zero points, you may as well get feisty and either bring the car home with points or don't worry about bringing it home at all (in the Team Principal's press conference this week, he pointed out that McLaren were one of the "financially stable" teams - a less "stable" team (Sauber?) might prefer it that the car just makes it back to the garage in once piece).

Looking back at the stats from the last three seasons (2010-2012), Lewis started 58 races. He finished (but out of the points) just twice. He retired 11 times. So basically, he either scored points (45 races) or he didn't finish the race.

I think that's what Perez has to bring on board - a bit of "hero or zero" - a team like McLaren can find plenty of drivers who can drive that car around a track and come in 11th or worse (11th or 20th doesn't make much difference for them).

If that's what's going on then I can't wait for Perez to start bringing some of THAT attitude to bear against drivers in different teams ... 🙂


Fair comment, but so far she is not proving to be good enough for a top team lineup. Neither is Button either in my onion.


You may be right, only time will tell. He certainly was aggressive, even if he wasn't polished and smooth. Time will tell.


Have marketing departments of F1 teams figured out after RBR Sepang story that Inter-Team Drama gets your team and your sponsors plenty of free exposure in world media and air time from FOM feed?

I hope so! As it can only mean more excitement. Perhaps equal treatment of team mates will become a fad for a while as well. Just for a little change. Can you just imagine such a shoving match between Alonso and Massa? Interweb would be lit up for weeks!

Button is sore that Perez got the better of him. And my jaw is sore at all the cringing I had to do during the GP when Perez, Grosjean, Button slicing and dicing! How fun was that!?


Yeah we all love dicing and wheel to wheel stuff, but I don't like a young bloke loosing control of a car at 300clicks and taking a team mate out. If you have the speed there are better ways of nailing the guy in front cleanly and aggressively.




Perez needs to take a little more care to avoid contact but can't fault his ambition to get past. I daresay Button doesn't much like being overtaken by his younger, inexperienced team mate, but I expect he better get used to it or do something about it. I think Button was a bit over the top in his argument, the contact was unfortunate, but Perez will sharpen up now he has found his afterburners.


Whoop, this is another enticing, juicy battle to keep one's eye on.

For sure, the Perez-Jenson wrangle seems better than the Vettel-Webber one because in this case, Jenson is the number 1/ more experienced driver so it's imperative he keeps the up start young gunner in check or else...

Yes, Perez had me a little confused for ever since he had joined Mclaren, we hadn't seen any of that hot latin temperate boil through the visor and that's why Perez-Maldonado have never eye to eye track (same reason why Alonso should watch his back)

Regards for Jenson, yesterday's race didn't put him in a good light for whenever a driver asks the pitwall for help in regards his teammate, that automatically deducts points off your racing pedigree >>> thoroughbred racers settle issues on track.

Anyway, I wonder how Whitmarsh will rein in Perez for whenever people like Perez get into that zone, you might as well cross your fingers and hope for the best.

But fair play to Mclaren, will letting the drivers race (as they usually do) they gave the fans a good show.


At the end of the race Jenson's car was found to be underweight and there were toys scattered all over the place.

Whine whine whine!

All joking aside; I listened to the race commentary live on BBC 5 before watching the highlights on BBC and I must say I'm disgusted by how they overplayed it on BBC 5 and made it look worse than it really is. Everything Perez did was FAIR racing and at no point did he "disrespect" JB. They were even calling for team orders to stop Perez passing. Those guys should hang their heads in shame!

Jenson had the faster car at the beginning, but not the middle or end. He was in front with clear track, if he's the faster driver, drive away from your team mate. If you're the slower driver, get out the way and let him pass. If not, expect a fight. Simples


"if he’s the faster driver, drive away from your team mate. If you’re the slower driver, get out the way and let him pass. If not, expect a fight. Simples"



I praise Checo for not only being very aggressive, but not simply accepting number 2 status. This sort of thing sets the tone within the team. Just like Hamilton established himself against Alonso.

Bravo Checo. How exciting.


As much as I like drivers fighting it out, the contact could end up with a car flipping over. I do not wish to see anyone getting physically hurt. Same goes for anyone running their opponents off the track.


Vettel v Webber

Hamilton v Rosberg

Alonso v Massa

Perez v Button

Di Resta v Sutil

fun times 🙂

Also what is going on with Williams and Sauber?


I have this feeling that Kimi and Alonso better walk into a bar together, flip a coin, and decide who will take the challange to Vettel.

If they keep taking turns having a good race, while Vettel keeps it steady, they are going to help Vettel win. We need inter-team Lotus-Ferrari Team orders!

Who's going to be the #2? Alonso or Kimi? 🙂


Noooooooooooooo.....:( i dont want the season to be over in afew races......


Like I said before, Alonso has to drag himself back into this already at 30 points back. In my view if he can't, he should at least stay of out Kimi's way. I want Vettel to grab the 4th in a row, but like you say - I don't want to see Vettel win it by Hungary. We need a contender, and Kimi after 1/5th of the season is done is that contender.


Are you mad? That's collusion


Either that or Vettel will crush them both while they take points off each other.

Last year Vettel had 1 win in first 11 races and took the WDC. He has 2 out of 4 so far, and was just barely once off the podium.


I'm waiting for the MAXIMUM ATTACK to get going 🙂


Not much by the looks of it.

Hulkenberg's putting in a show, but on the whole - considering where they were last year - it's a little confusing and very disappointing...

Jumpy O' VeRbUmP

C’mon, Checo – ignore the whinging old farts.

You’ve remembered what F1’s all about.

Entertainment. Entertainment. Entertainment.



You won´t say that if Checo ends up in an serious accident, will you?

Jumpy O' VeRbUmP

Fortunately, modern safety standards have allowed F1 to become entertainment-driven.

Like it, or not, that’s what the organisers perceive the majority of fans demand.


That is a very perceptive point


I think Perez has taken a step towards justifying his place at McLaren. He still has some way to go yet but he definitely out drove Button in the race!


Step forward? Being the new Maldonado is not much of a step forward. He has created controversy in two races so far


It is rediculous to try and compare Perez to Maldonado

tom in adelaide

And great drivers never create controversy right?? SIGH.

Very misguided to call him the "new Maldonado".


Hamilton has been penalized many times in 2011. Vettel, last year in Monza. But it seems Perez can do whatever he wants.


Bit harsh calling him the new Maldonado. Check hasn't put anyone out of a race that I can recall.


It is better to prevent things before they happen.


Jenson was interviewed on sky with Martin whitmarsh and he was laughing and joking about it all - he even said Perez did the right thing but that he needed to learn the difference between confidence and aggression. He went on to say checo did a much better job that day and had out driven him.

He was funny, courteous and seemed very sanguine about it. I'm amazed at the bbc reports that seem so at odds with the sky interview. Perhaps the media just wants another team mate war because the last vettel versus webber one was so good for ratings and exposure.

I've not seen such a difference between webbers mood after Malaysia and Jenson in Bahrain. If Jenson was laughing and saying Martin should stop egging checo on is counted as 'furious' then I think we need a new dictionary for whatever mark webber was 😉


Jenson was completely different in his BBC interview, for whatever reason.


Which one came first?


I wonder if the BBC interview was earlier? And he'd calmed down as he was genuinely chilled out in the Sky interview. It wasn't even a planned interview he ran down to where Martin Whitmarsh was being interviewed. He clearly thought the hit which might have caused a puncture was too far but he honestly seemed more bemused than anything. He kept saying tensions run high in mid race but he had a lot of fun and Checo had got the better of him for the first time and he'd done a poor job. He didn't blame checo for his placing, he said it was just one of his worst drives for years.


Whether you like Jenson or not, which driver likes his team mate run into the back of him nearly causing a high speed puncture. Im sure Jenson knows the drill once in front of the camera- he's probably the best skilled at selling the team harmony game and then sticking it to his team mate off camera..No one and I mean no one can be ok with the incident despite the fact Sergio was quicker. Jenson obviously showed his anger by driving him off track.


He was livid (by his standards) in the BBC Radio 5 Live interview Jennie Gow did with him straight after the race.

He'd calmed down a lot when I saw him to the longer interview with Damon, Johnny etc for Sky with Whitmarsh




A smile is deadlier than a snarl when doing so done down. Button did that with Hamilton increasingly often last year.


Jenson thought it will be easy to assert his place as No.1 based on just his seniority. Now he is complaining as he has his task cut out. But Some of the moves by Perez should not be tolerated by the officials.


Jens probably thought Perez oughtta give more respect and act more easy on seniors/pensioners... they're old and slow afterall.


To be fair Perez has been utterly anonymous through testing and the first 3 races - it's not like Jenson has been harried all year. I think 3 years of dealing with Lewis is going to be more of a challenge than checo psychologically. I'm a Button fan but it must be hard to know your teammate is the fastest in F1. Button doesn't have that pressure this year.


I am pretty sure Button deliberately backed off the throttle on the apex of the corner when Perez hit him. He did it on purpose to make Perez look bad. Poor form Jenson.


Button is very psychologically tough, and I'd be surprised to see him stoop so low. You'd have to be tough to enter "Lewis Hamilton's Team" *and then* outscore him for the time they spent together (672 to 657, for the curious). Also, remember the way he dealt with Jacque Villeneuve's mind games when they were team mates at BAR in 2003(?), which was essentially Jaques' own team? He ousted JV and stuck with that team through everything (even a costly contract dispute) and then got what he deserved in 2009. I'd be very surprised if he was as desperate as you're suggesting so early on in his and Checo's driver pairing.


'He ousted JV' from BAR ???? From that remark you are adding to the notion that Button was working politics to get a team-mate ousted to his own advantage.

This is what other posters are saying about the Hamilton situation & are beginning to say re. Perez. If people think that one driver can manipulate Teams consisting of many bright & talented people, to further his own career then it appears that it is just part of the personality cult.

" I don't like this driver, that driver's a cheat, another driver's a political animal....but MY driver's the best in the history of motor racing - ever.

The X-factor is based on judgements like that.

Incidentally, Button didn't have JV removed from BAR, he did it all by himself.


It's called defence. I'm not sure why Checo was not anticipating this, he must have been in the zone/tunnel. But then again, this kind of things separate great drivers from good.


Slowing down when coming out of a corner is nothing new in F1. Drivers do it to slow the following cars. The trick for the following Driver is know when its happening. Nothing to do with making anyone look bad, just normal racing.


It looked that way to me too.


Obviously all including James have missed where chico hit him at the first bend of the race. still a cracking fight and i thoroughly enjoyed it.


He slowed to block the inside. That's good defending. Typical defensive technique. Perez was caught out but should have expected it.

Overall there wasn't much wrong with the fighting but the team should put the team first and stopped them costing each other time. If they'd raced as team (with Button or Perez ahead) they both could have scored higher.


I thought that as well, he was definitely slower than usual through that corner


Button was annoyed at the strategy by McLaren at the first pitstops, that is where this started. Had they pitted him first as is the standard for the lead driver he wouldn't have come out behind Perez and hence would have run in clean and not dirty air. This resulted in his tyres going off in the second stint and hence the early pitstop and the resulting battle between the drivers.

Perez was too aggressive - he does need to learn where the line is. Button shouldn't have driven him off the track and though I think only did it to send a message - he was lucky not to get a drive through in all honesty.


When I see Raikkonen vs Hamilton in a one-to-one scrap for positions, i am thinking about who's going to come out on top at the end. With Perez, I am also thinking, apart from who's going to come out on top, is whether they're going to hit. And that purely from the way he drives. Just needs to iron out that part of his game. Else, he's good.


Throw Perez, grosjean and Maldonado in a queue - demolition derby time.


Kudos to Martin Whitmarsh on his approach to this . There has not been many things I like about Mclaren lately and I think Perez's driving was silly and dangerous a few times on Sunday. As well as other races .But there were some very good bits too that you don't want to take out of Chekos confidence.I think presented the way Martin suggested with encouragement but more measured attack next time will do Sergio the world of good. Both Jenson and Cheko have to be careful because they were lucky not to incur penalties for avoidable contact and not leaving space when Jenson pushed him off track.

I said when Sergio signed that he will be beating Jenson sooner rather than later and I have to believe Mclaren see this possibility already. I really hope he looses his sudden jinking down the straights when being passed as well as not leaving space because they are incredibly dangerous especially when he's done it to drivers much quicker than him. But at the same time I did see great skill last year which I believed warranted a Mclaren drive and I wont back out of it just yet.


They told him to race so he raced. JB is just as blame worthy. Only difference is Checo came out on top. Checo did what others are too lame and afraid to do on limp tires, which is fight for points. That is nothing short of pure F1 driving.


Didn't Kimi , Lewis and Fernando fight for points?

Mike from Colombia

Some of Jenson's words seem to have been left out here. They are important to include to get an understanding of the relationship between the two drivers:

"I've raced with many team-mates over the years and with quite an aggressive team-mate in Lewis, but I'm not used to driving down the straight and then my team-mate coming along and wiggling his wheels at me and banging wheels with me at 300km/h," he said. "I've had some tough fights in F1 but not quite as dirty as that."


I guess this puts an official end to the Vettel- Webber comments, at least until Grosjean pushes Kimi around

What the race showed is that the field was much closer than usual, except for Red Bull, everybody had to pass/defend at some point, more fun than follow the leader races


Grosjean first has to see what the back of Kimis car like before they worry about banging wheels


Well done to LH for again beating the Mclaren,s. I am astonished by Whitmarsh,s naivety!! What has to happen before he realises we are not in the 80,s? The team should have made a decision and stock to it. This faffing around is why they are in the position they are in. Button is simply not quick enough, Perez is not experienced enough to drive for Mcl. There you have it, until they address this they will continue to come no where in the champs.




McLaren - Let the guys fight because:

Answer 1) We are a fair team and we dont admit team orders

Answer 2) World champs are out of our reach. Great chance to gain good reputation of a fair team. $$image$$


Perez put manners on Button, and Button got mad. Thats all there is to the story of McLarens drivers; top engineering team, average drivers.

Scuderia McLaren



James, off topic, but an under reported story line with respect to the tires creates some doubt as to whether these Pirelli tires suffer from some fundamental design flaw (other than their lack of longevity.) This weekend we had Hamilton's left rear tire delaminate, breaking his supsension, transmission and gearbox resulting in him getting a penalty. Massa also suffered two blown tires during Sunday's race which are unlike what I'm accoustomed to seeing. He thought one of the two blow outs was also delamination. There was a good slow motion replay on TV. Are these tires no only crap for racing, but also unsafe? When was the last time two or more tires delaminated on different teams on the same weekend? What are you hearing?


The only time anything remotely related to the tyre failures occurred in the past was in the 2005 United States Grand Prix. Then one of the Michellin's on Ralph Schumackers car blew up while he was (much like Lewis and Massa) pretty much driving impeccably and quietly minding his own business.

As a result, Michelin withdrew their tyres from the race for safety reasons and only 3 Bridgstone shod teams took part in the race (Ferarri, Minardi and Jordan).

This is quite different to what happened with Pirelli in Bahrain (and at least one other race). Here's a small list:

1. During free practise in Malaysia, Jenson Button braked hard, only for his tyre to actually burst. Horror!

2. Lewis Hamilton was traveling in a straight line when his tyre suddenly delaminated.

2. Filipe Massa had just exited a curve and was traveling in a straight line when his tyre suffered a sudden delamination.

There is possibly something wrong with the tyre structure as well as the compounds.


JA's very defensive for the Pirelli, you can tell that from his past comments and posts that relates to the tyres, so you won't get agreements from him.


As with most subjects half the readers like the current tyre strategy and the other half do not, and probably for the same reasons: it takes away from "pure" racing and brings an uncontrolled variable that mixes up places, same goes for DRS

Wether you or me or James like it is a matter of opinion, what I do not agree is the comments on this being Pirelli's fault

Pirelli are delivering a product made to FIA's request an are doing a very good job with a very difficult task

Their tyres are rubbish because they are designed to be so, not because of poor quality or engineering, we should complain with FIA, not Pirelli

I does seem after this race in close quarters and extreme heat and sand, they probably found their limit, and having 3 punctures is a bit too much and safety should be the priority

Mind you, it was 3 punctures from around 110-130? tyres used during the weekend, so it is not a bad percentage

Of course HAM and MAS will disagree

I like the added variable and the strategy it brings, if Red Bulls eat tyres more is because they have more downforce, which makes them faster on the twists and slower on the straights, they can play with these elements and achieve a good balance, like they did in Bahrain

Just for the record, I do think last year's degradation was less extreme and worked better for the show


Not defensive, but keen on balanced arguments, as with every topic. I see the good and bad in this tyre situation

There's a lot of negative bandwagon jumping with regards to this subject, which needs to be balanced out

However post Bahrain, I think it looks like things have gone too far and are likely to be reined in. Will be interesting to see how and by how much.


What do mean by the tyres being reined in?


Glad to read that from you, James. Cheers!


James, I don't agree with your last paragraph. Bahrain did not take it too far. You can still see that some drivers made 4 pit stops. Allowing drivers a little elbow in pushing gave us an awesome wheel to wheel racing. I think Bahrain should be taken as an example of how it should be - a fine balance between roting tyres and provding that little extra for drivers to push.


Seems deffensive to me.

A large number of us have been against the Pirelli philosophy from its inception so the accusation of 'bandwagon jumping' is unwarranted.


Button's post-race reactions are confusing. I can't tell if he's being honest and sincere or if he's just playing us.


he is media savvy. I think he quickly realised how he was coming across and changed his tone accordingly - the difference between his interview with BBC and Sky. Still, damage done Jenson, eh? Look above, mate.


I'm surprised Whitmarsh is so openly criticising his driver recently. I wonder if it has anything to do with Horner in Malaysia appearing to be weak, and Whitmarsh wanting to appear in control after a poor start for the team?

Probably not, but Mclaren have a real problem retaining talent at the moment so I'd suggest it unwise for Whitmarsh to be dictating to his drivers so much in public.


Exactly right, IMO.

The whole thing of the warning to Perez to "use his elbows & be more agressive", plus the comments after the race from within the Team, should not be played out in public.

It's a difficult thing to do when five microphones are stuck under your nose, seeking 'scoop of the day', however Button has done himself no favours by making the comments he did, as he should know it will be hyped-up, as on this thread.

The Team-talk should take place before the public discussion. But instant gratification insists its done differently.


What Button did wasn't hyped. On Sky, he actually said he'd seen Whitmarsh squirming before the media and he'd turned up to help him, before putting his arm around Whitmarshes shoulder and then spouting reel after reel of his now famous words. It was that bad, that sad and that cringeworthy.


@Peter C

My bad.


What I mean is that when the Button/Perez controversy sits at the top of the headlines & receives millions of 'hits' on-line, then the thing is being ramped up out of proportion to its true news value.......then it is 'hyped'.


I've always said that of Button

Bring Back Murray

Maybe he's trying to deflect the media attention away from this own failings!


I'm not sure it was criticism, more like a little kick up the ****...and - as we saw - there's nothing like a little kick up the **** for motivation 🙂


Bear in mind Perez weaved a lot during the race he also bumped wheels with jenson on another occassion.

I do believe Button was trying to teach him a lesson by forcing him wide and off track, but when Perez hit Button's rear wheel it's obvious Button is taking a defensive inside corner line and Perez the normal line and thus is able to get on the throttle earlier so nothing to do with Button brake testing him, it's the law of physics.

Perez also bumped/tangled wheels with Grosjean but that has been forgotten due to the talk over his run in with Button.


What a coincidence, Button's form fades as a future potential team and current sponsor for Button's team mate makes a rare appearance at a F1 race

Quoted from sportsmedia.com

"How significant might Sergio Perez's swashbuckling run to sixth place turn out to be for McLaren? The young Mexican finally put in a performance to justify the hype in Bahrain, a drive which included several closer than close encounters with teammate Button, on a weekend when the man who funded his way through the motorsport ranks made a rare appearance in the paddock. Carlos Slim, one of the world's richest men and the baron behind the Telmex empire, cut a relaxed pose in the paddock, accompanied by his high-flying son Carlos Slim Jr, but this is unlikely to have been simply a social call. Telmex, which currently backs the Sauber team, has been suggested as a replacement title partner for McLaren since the moment Vodafone confirmed its exit, while there are also lingering rumours about the return of the Mexican Grand Prix at some point in the not-so-distant future. The chase continues for Slim and his bagfuls of pesos."


Its highly unlikely that JB would have risked a puncture or taking both cars out by deliberately slowing to create a problem for SP. The postings on this news item all seem to want to knock JB. Why? He is a great ambassador for McLaren and a team player. SP was a bit over the top but it was great fun to watch and of course it was pointed out that the richest man in Mexico was there to do a deal so why not let SP go for it. Martin Whitmarsh did not look the least bit put out when JB joined him in the Sky interview. It came across very well for both who seem to have a good working relationship. JB does whine a little but that's just being a typical British male. We all do it as is clear from the above postings!!


However, I think you might find the anti-JB comments are not all from 'British males'.


Point taken. Problem is that British people always want to knock their own countrymen/women if they have any success and its annoying. JB & LH are good for this country in sport.

Adrian Newey Jnr

James - at the beginning of the season, people were speculating that Checo would bring Carlos Slim Snr/Jnr's money to the team. With those two being at Bahrain and being spotted in the Ferrari garage rather than the McLaren one, do you think Ferrari have highjacked Whitmarsh's plans?


I wouldn't read too much into that

The question is, do they plan to invest more themselves, do they plan to leverage relationships with other businesses for McLaren/Sauber etc

Looks to me like they were fact finding and I'd expect them to act on their findings and we'll see what the outcome of that is.

F1 offers great global opportunuties for countries in emerging markets and Slims can see that


Great Sergio!!

Button, you have a challenge to raise your game!

Hopefully both do well in the next races and if they have to race among them, better!!


Well, didn't Whitmarsh say he's too nice a chappy.

Yeah a bit aggressive but it does carry some traces of Lewis though.

And he finished way in front of Jenson, for those who support Jenson will have their piece of opinion which is fine. We all will speak for those we support, somehow.


I think ultimately the end result will please Mclaren: Perez has some confidence back and Button gets a reminder that he needs to keep pushing. Mclaren have shown over the years that they dont really mind who picks up the points and this proves it again. It's nice to see team mates that are allowed to race! However, can you imagine the pressure Perez would be under now if he had broke his wing and punchered Button's tyre?


But noooo, the pressure is now on Button.


To me JB really lost his cool in Bahrain, his choosing to defend Perez with such vigour destroyed his tyres forcing him into an additional pit stop. Whilst it made for great on track action for the fans it was not the behaviour you would expect from the most experienced man on the grid. He didn’t seem to have the bigger picture, with regard to the race, in mind. Based on the season so far, I have the feeling Perez’s pace could have been a bit of a one off, but it would be interesting to see how / if JB could respond if Perez becomes the stronger driver.

The Mclaren guests at the weekend were extremely interesting. Sky gave interesting commentary of the events, but didn’t quite spell out the significance. The Slim family attended the race held in the country of major Mclaren shareholders. I still believe a Telmex deal would be bad for the team in the long run, but it does seem to be the way the team moving, although Ron Dennis was suspicious in his absence. On the subject of the future of Mclaren, if the Honda deal is due to come to fruition in the not too distant future are we to expect this will have a bearing on driver line up? JB has a great level of support in Japan, something I’m sure the manufacturer would want to capitalise on. It makes me think JB might not be retiring anytime soon, even if Sergio is faster, and Sergio’s seat could be secured through the slim’s even if JB is faster. Mclaren look like they could be tying themselves up in a few knots that could be difficult to undo.


Always been a JB admirer, but his reaction here was over the top, and a touch graceless.

He got beaten, the end.

Tom in adelaide

Hi, very offtopic, but thought people might find Formula E this interesting:


These thing sound just like RC cars! Excruciating. :p


Can anyone tell me why F1 cars don't have break lights?


very funny!


Hi James,

I've seen similar debates on the same on other F1 websites and I have to say that the level of debate is far greater than sites that should know better! It's a credit to you and your team that you have maintained such a high standard of debate. This goes for pretty much everything I read on this site. Not sure if its merits a post, but it's just something that I wanted to say thanks for keeping me informed.


Thanks for the feedback

It's increasingly difficult to maintain the standards, as we get more and more posts that don't meet the rules


Say thanks to the new drivers,this site is pretty unknown at Latin America, but ive seen a lot of spanish speakers here now... so new drivers new fan sites...

Tornillo Amarillo

James, you say that Whitmarsh told PEREZ that he needs to “toughen up” and “use his elbows” and that in Bahrain the Mexican did just that.

So now, before Spain, I think Whitmarsh has to say that PEREZ needs to WIN a race to show that he really deserves to be in Formula 1, and Checo will obey again...


Although your commentary with Gary Anderson is excellent (and better than the BBC TV team IMO), I did feel that the line you took on this was confused because Gary fell into the same trap that Martin Brundle used to and DC does now - the analyst should sit back and quietly analyse what's going on, but it's all to easy for him to get distracted by being drawn into minute by minute commentary.

This race was exceptionally confusing because there were three strategies all unfolding at once, not just the usual two. In this case, it was easy to assume that Button and Perez were racing each other, but actually they weren't. The reason why JB was holding up SP was that JB's tyres were shot and SP's weren't. This signalled that JB was going to need four stops, but SP wouldn't - so SP was going to finish higher.

To be fair to Gary, his post-race article acknowledged this and he changed his tune from what he had said during the race. However I think he might have realised it at the time if he had been a little more analytical.

With hindsight, JB was already beaten and just holding SP up pointlessly. If he hadn't, SP might have finished a place higher in the end, so SP's impatience is understandable. The team could have instructed JB to let him pass, but that would have been problematical - we've seen subsequently that MW will have a difficult job to do in massaging JB's wounded ego if SP continues to beat him. I wouldn't write off JB just yet though - SP is great sometimes, but erratic.


I think button got owned. As far as the bump from Perez on button I think Perez was just trying to take a late apex and out drag Button out of the corner and just miss judge it slightly. Mclaren needs Perez to be a racer because button is not.


Yes, I think Perez 'owned the stage'.


Not anything against Sergio butI think he walked a thin line on sunday by being that aggressive against his own teammate. if he or Jenson had failed to finish that race, most of our comments would have been different; wondering why Mclaren went for the 'slow Mexican boy' when the likes of Hulkenberg were available.


The comments on here are either bashing Jenson and then praising Perez or the other way round.

Formula one is turning into a side show, the racing side is slowly evaporating from the sport.

Tyres and fuel are now governing race strategy rather than letting drivers race.

Then when Vettel goes racing he gets lambasted for not obeying team orders.

Bring back the good old days of wheel to wheel racing before it removes the attraction.


Well done McLaren for ruining Checo's race.

THanks for sticking up for Button because P5 was up for grabs for Checo if the team had the balls to use team orders.


Im happy they didn't use team orders. Neither should RBR and Mercedes.


Yeah he was only 0.7secs behind his Mclaren predecessor at the flag.


SP and JB went around 1.5s slower when they started to fight each other, so yeah, if JB used the brain for the team, P5 had a real chance to be taken.


I think Perez just misjudged braking when he hit Button's back. It wasn't dangerous driving. Surely someone with Button's experience should have understood that and talked to Perez about it behind closed doors. After all, you did squeeze Perez offtrack. Perez isn't the big, bad wolf, is he? The fight between those two was just good, hard racing as it should be. Button's overreaction just displays his insecurity.

Button does have varied skills that help him get results when situations get tricky. In normal circumstances, his pace just doesn't do it. Just be honest with yourself, Button. Acknowledge your strengths and, more importantly, your weaknesses, and work on getting the best out every weekend, rather than putting 60% of your efforts on track and leaving the remaining 40% offtrack to play political mind games to manipulate your teammate into feeling the "pressure" with help from friends in the media (opinion leaders).

I wonder how much of this special Button skill had an effect on Hamilton (if at all) while he was at McLaren. That's assuming I'm right in Button's assessment. I can be wrong. My apologies in that case!


The famous fight between Schumacher and Hakkinen at Spa 2000: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE-aR9cK7w8. Is this dangerous driving? Button, please give us your views.

Some would say that overtake from Hakkinen was thrilling to say the least. Others might say Schumacher was defending dangerously, leaving no room for Hakkinen. Still Others might say both drivers were equally skilled with their hands, as well, as their heads, and that, Hakkinen beat Schumacher hands down on this one on both ends. Bernie might say anything; sorry, can't help you there.

My dad says, driving a car at 300 Km/hr is just dangerous! Full stop! Go figure.


Button is not shy of having a good battle with another competitor, it has been mentioned plenty of times over the last 2 seasons.

What he doesn't expect is to drive wheel-to-wheel with his team mate over a number of laps.

That's the big mistake Button made. In the case where the Team will not give orders, he shouldn't have defended & wrecked his own race, it would have been far better for Perez (sorry, I don't know him well enough to call him 'Checo') to easily pass Button in an effort to catch Webber.

I feel that Button is honest enough to admit to himself that he messed-up & thing could have been much better......with hindsight.


..and i'll say Schumacher had blistered rear tyres that day and was repeatedly running into wet patches to keep them cool. So for Hakkinen it was just a matter of time to snatch that position from Schumi, and i must admit, he did so quite spectacularly.


Looks like Button is struggling again... More egg in the face of Whitmarsh and Button.

These two are destroying McLaren. Hamilton could not work with these under achievers.

Perez is sandwiched too... but he has the money to override the pair.

McLaren will not improve until the pair of them are replaced with competent people.


Rob, please tell me what has McLaren achieved in the last 10 years, even when the team was being run by Ron Dennis. Let me remind you, one very lucky WDC and nothing else. The team has been on the ropes with their bad cars at the start of each season for years and has nothing to do with Jenson and Martin. This year everyone was hyping the new McLaren and it typically turned out to be a dog. The one thing that I find very interesting is how unsuccessful the mighty team were even during the 6 years Hamilton was there. Please stop with the finger pointing and watch the sport that we all enjoy.


As has been said, McLaren were at fault here not the drivers. The strategy was changed before the first stops happened when they brought Checo in first, in front of the lead driver. This gave Checo the undercut and put Jenson into massive traffic when he came out. JB destroyed his tyres in this traffic and this started the downhill spiral we all watched. I also agree that it was especially important for McLaren to get Checo up as far as possible considering they had the richest man in the world sitting there as a potential sponsor watching what was going on. JB is a tough cookie and trust me as someone who has met him on several occasions, he will be back scoring good points for the team. I happen to think that this line up is a good one and I say good luck to both of them.


Yes, I agree. That first stop ruined Jenson's strategy. I wonder if it was coincidental that it happened during the very weekend that the Slim family was there. In hindsight Jenson shouldn't have fought so hard against Sergio because it ruined his tyres and all the hard work he'd done during the first half of the race went right out the window. It's great that we saw Sergio coming alive during this race but I think he walked a fine line with the way he fought against his team mate. I'm inclined to believe that had he hit someone elses rear end he wouldn't be the hero he's been made out to be.

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