Sergio Perez has completed his initiation with McLaren and made his intentions clear, he feels he will be challenging for the world championship in 2013. Perez has held nothing back from the media in recent weeks, taking to the political game almost instantly, saying that he greatly respects Jenson Button but he feels he will challenge him for the 2013 title and also taking a quip at his main rival Sebastian Vettel, strangely stating that he feels Nico Rosberg is the fastest German driver in the sport.
Opinions on Sergio still vary, many commentators have been put of by his late 2012 performances in which he was error prone and often too eager to perform, although it seems to me to be a case of you’re only as good as your last result, as Sergio’s performances at Malaysia, Canada and Italy were dives to be revered. 2013 will answer plenty of questions about Sergio and may paint a clearer picture of just how good Sauber’s 2012 challenger was. To me he has the standout abilities of being able to manage his tyres particularly well whilst still extracting often unbelievable lap times from them, something his team mate Kamui Kobayashi never mastered when given the same machinery. Sergio’s weaknesses seem to be that he is still overly eager to impress demonstrated by his accident with Lewis Hamilton at Suzuka. He also may lack one lap performance, he typically got the best of Kamui over their time together but some feel he could have possibly extracted more from the car, this is something we won’t be able to properly judge until we see him in a true top car.
Just how competitive both Sergio and Jenson will be will depend on the big elephant in the room, the MP4-28. Hamilton raved about how good it was going to be before his exit and its safe to say that while both Red Bull and Ferrari were concentrating on their 2012 campaign, McLaren had long switched focus to 2013. This speaks even more glowingly of what they may be able to achieve when you consider they had easily the outright fastest car at Brazil, a typical McLaren bogey track.