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Perez ready to adapt driving approach with McLaren

ESPN Staff
January 9, 2013 « Whitmarsh impressed by Perez | Whitmarsh promises Perez equal treatment »
Sergio Perez met the media at McLaren's factory © McLaren
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McLaren's new signing Sergio Perez says he will have to change his approach to racing now he is a driver at the front of the grid.

Perez joined McLaren over the winter after two years at Sauber and has set his expectations on winning the title. He impressed McLaren with three podiums over the course of last year after excelling in wet conditions in Malaysia and looking after his tyres in Canada and Italy.

Perez has often been praised for his ability to manage tyre degradation over race distances, but he thinks he will have to draw on other strengths now he is driving for a top team.

"I think the approach this year is different," he said. "At Sauber the approach was always to maximise the race potential and not so much the qualifying, here the target is to be pole position and win the race. Normally the fastest strategy is the one where you are pushing all the time and in that respect I will try to help with my style and my understanding of the tyres, but the approach needs to be different. We have to attack qualifying a lot more and extract the maximum from the race."

Perez said qualifying was one area where he would aim to improve next year, but he is not expecting to turn up at the first race and secure pole position.

"I think obviously it's something to improve," he said. "It's not like when you get into a top car you will be in pole position. There is work to do but I'm not worrying about the qualifying pace, I think I can be up there if I put everything in place. I can maximise the potential of the car so that's the most important as a driver."

Perez's form dropped off towards the end of last year, but he is confident he has learned from tthe mistakes he made in 2012.

"I think I have to take the positives from 2012 and learn from the negatives," he said. "You learn more from the negatives than the positives. It has been a great season last year, a lot of learning and now it's another approach. The way we approach the grid is completely different so we have to fight for it."