• Bahrain Grand Prix

'Dirty' driver Perez has to calm down - Button

ESPN Staff
April 21, 2013 « Alonso bemoans poor luck with DRS | Performance too biased towards qualifying - Rosberg »
Jenson Button and Sergio Perez had a tight battle during the race © Sutton Images

Jenson Button says Sergio Perez has to calm down after the McLaren team-mates twice made contact while fighting for position at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Button and Perez found themselves scrapping for points during the race, with turn four providing drama on two occasions - once when Perez nerfed his team-mate on the exit of the corner and once when they banged wheels ahead of the braking zone. Button said he had never experienced that level of aggression from a team-mate and that most drivers grow out of that kind of behaviour in karting.

"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.

"That's something you do in karting and normally you grow out of it but that's obviously not the case with Checo [Perez]. Soon something serious will happen so he has to calm down. He's extremely quick and he did a great job today but some of it is unnecessary and an issue when you are doing those speeds."

Button eventually had to run a four-stop race and finished tenth behind the three-stopping Perez who took sixth.

"I pushed the tyres too hard trying to fend off my team-mate," he added. "Most the racing was clean out there, which is great to see on TV, but the only person that wasn't really [clean] was Checo. I'm all for racing wheel to wheel but you don't really expect your team-mate to bang into you on the straight; that was a bit unusual.

"The last stop was because I was having problems with the rear tyres. I don't know why but I couldn't look after the rear tyres as well as Checo. It was tricky and I had that for the whole race and was really struggling with that. It seems that when it is a temperature thing I'm not able to look after the tyres so well, so a tough race."

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