Whitmarsh: Perez is an exciting driver and I am trying to help him get a drive

16 November, 2013

It was all smiles less than a year ago on Sergio Perez's first day at McLaren HQ with Martin Whitmarsh

It was all smiles less than a year ago on Sergio Perez’s first day at McLaren HQ with Martin Whitmarsh

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has made a remarkable – if not bizarre – admission when he revealed that he is trying his best to help Sergio Perez to find a drive in Formula 1 next year, despite earlier this week axing the 23 year old Mexican in favour of the unproven talents of Kevin Magnussen.

Speaking to Sky Sports Whitmarsh said, “I am trying to help him get a drive. People say our decision was terribly late, but what I have said to him is to stand back from it a bit. I’ve told him the Ferrari seats have gone, the same with Mercedes, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, and in truth he wasn’t in the frame for any of those so he hasn’t lost a seat. At the time [of the decision] Williams had a seat, but that has now gone, but there is a Lotus seat, and one at Sauber, Force India, Caterham and Marussia.”

Sergio Perez was not overshadowed by his vastly more experienced teammate Jenson Button

Sergio Perez was not overshadowed by his vastly more experienced teammate Jenson Button

“So there is no seat closed to him and we can have no accusations [that] we made the decision too late. I have rung Force India and I have rung Lotus. They both do a good job and I have recommended him because he deserves to be in Formula 1,” said Whitmarsh.

“He is an exciting driver, and I don’t want to talk about why we didn’t re-sign him. I would rather say we saw such great potential in Kevin that we decided to sign Kevin. It was not about what Checo did wrong. What Checo did wrong was that Kevin existed. Kevin was part of our programme,” explained the McLaren team principal, who has gone on record claiming that Magnussen is the next Lewis Hamilton.

“If you go up and down the pit lane and speak to the knowledgeable people they will say Kevin is the most exciting young driver not [yet] in F1. Now I went up and down the pit lane [to speak to people about a deal for Magnussen] and no one wanted to do it, so we went for it,” revealed Whitmarsh.

Kevin Magnussen impressed McLaren enough to be fast-tracked into F1

Kevin Magnussen impressed McLaren enough to be fast-tracked into F1

“We could have taken a lot of the drivers that are available, the experienced guys, but we made a decision we wouldn’t take any of those guys in preference to Checo. That is why I can reasonably recommend him to another team because, as I say, he certainly deserves to be in F1. He is an exciting driver to watch, he will go for it and I enjoy watching him.

“When he was at Sauber I thought ‘That was good, let’s see what we can make of it’, but it hasn’t worked out for us. I don’t regret it, I didn’t have a Kevin last year – so it is as simple as that. If I didn’t have a Kevin or a Stoffel [Vandoorne] now we probably wouldn’t be making the change, but we have a Kevin, and we need to try to get him in,” concluded the McLaren team principal. (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.


  • Hugo

    “we sacked his sorry ass; someone should hire him”

  • Just joking

    The guy needs a psychologist. What a load of crap from Mr Whitmarsh.

  • MIKE GASTON

    ‘He’s not good enough for us, but he is good enough for you!”

  • Boycottthebull

    Just when you think you have heard everything Whitmarsh drops this bombshell. This week we have learnt Perez is rude and arrogant, doesnt work well with others in the team, Slags his team off whenever he doesnt win blaming everyone but himself, not to mention his famous driving style of pushing others off to pass them and he recommends him to other teams? Talk about sowing the seeds of discontent and see what blooms. If you cant build a good car thats one way to progress through the constructors championship, erode the others from within.

  • Eevel_Empire

    Jeez Martin! I think it would have been better just to not say anything in this instance.
    Whitmarsh’s whole statement is just one big contradiction.
    ”If there weren’t two rookies who have never raced in F1 who we believe will be better than a guy with three years in F1 then we would have taken Perez over more experienced drivers who we also believe to be better. Having said that, Perez is great, please take him so that I don’t have to feel guilty about doing my job.”
    And then: ”I believe I’ve ruined his chances of competing in F1 next year but not really, the top teams wouldn’t have taken him anyway so that helps my conscience a bit”.
    Martin, you didn’t force Perez to sign with McLaren, he’s a big boy and he should have known the risks.
    He was given a wonderful opportunity that others would do anything for, don’t feel guilty because he didn’t make the most of it.
    McLaren, and you in your job for that matter, won’t find success by settling for average.

  • Eevel_Empire

    As another poster (sorry, I can’t remember who) said: first there was Ron-speak, now there’s Martin-speak.
    Martin-speak is characterized by long-winded contradictory bulls___t.

  • AFA

    Just when you thought Martin Whitmarsh wasn’t really THAT stupid…

    Seriously, the team is probably in its worse state in the last decade, you got Sam Michael who pretty much messed up every team he’s been to, the design and engineering team do not seem able to get their sh*t together and built a proper car, you have Mr Slow Button as your No. 1 driver, a totally inexperienced new No. 2 driver, and you’re trying to help the driver you JUST dropped, because he was arrogant, didn’t give good feedback and didn’t deliver, find a new seat?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME WHITMARSH??

    Just a question, aren’t the shareholders of McLaren at all frustrated with Mr Whitmarsh’s incompetence??

  • iceman 2.0

    Great !! tomorrow you find someone more exciting you drop the Kevin guy and sign him in. If you built a truck for F1 no God can race it to victory.

  • Maldoquado

    Good. I never thought he was the next Hamilton, Hakkinen, Senna, Prost etc.
    Next…

  • harry harris

    My dearie Mr Whitmarsh………….. ooooooo I see….. you are trying to get him a drive……. mmmmmmmm nice words. But still not good enough. You know man….. if you are really trying to get him a drive. Why don’t you put him back to his previous seat in your team because he deserve another chance. You are such a BIG FAT LIAR …….. just like Mr Domenicalli.

  • ZombieJebus

    Chico’s next drive will be a Taco truck. And that isn’t racist, it’s a point of fact. The good news is he’ll be able to eat and work at the same time, removing the current issue he has in F1.

    Can’t believe people think Hulk is too heavy. Ever see what Perez weighs? Just saying…

  • Ukwhite

    Whitmarsh has faulted again. Don’t expect much from 2014. Just curious where Perez is gonna end….

  • Eevel

    @ZombieJebus, no that isn’t racist at all! You’ve just stereotyped every Mexican that exists! ;)
    However it is quite funny though and every race should be able to poke fun at themselves and shouldn’t get offended over every stupid little thing that anyone says.
    AFA I agree with a lot of what you have said however I do believe that Magnussen deserves the drive.
    He has shown a lot of talent and could very well be the next Hamilton.
    I believe that he’ll show the kind of speed against Button that Perez was not able to, without having to resort to dangerous moves or pushing others off the track.
    This is where for me Whitmarsh has redeemed himself as well as getting Honda as their engine supplier.
    Magnussen is one of their own and he has more than delivered up to now, for me he is the logical choice – I believe he’s going to be a big star in F1.
    Whitmarsh needs to stop being so nice, let Perez go, he hasn’t exactly set the F1 world alight this year and everyone knows F1 is a ruthless game.

  • Badman jose

    Now its easy to see why Hamilton packed his bags, adios Whitmarsh.

    Jose

  • Tru

    I remember the big hoopla about Jan Magnussen and then the sacking.

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