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Perez 'amazed' at level of criticism

ESPN Staff
April 18, 2013 « 'I have a great car' - Rosberg | Caterham needs new direction - Kovalainen »
Sergio Perez: "I've definitely felt the pressure" © Sutton Images
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Sergio Perez has been surprised by the criticism levelled at him following his disappointing performance at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Perez struggled for a set-up throughout the weekend and crashed twice in practice before qualifying 11th and finishing 12th in the race. He has scored two points after McLaren's troubled start to the year, but says he was amazed that his Chinese Grand Prix performance attracted so much negative press.

"I've definitely felt the pressure," he said. "At McLaren everyone is watching your performance at every single practice session and every single race. I find it quite amazing that after three weekends, when I had two good weekends in terms of maximising the car potential, that after a bad weekend I received so many criticisms. But I think this is quite normal and usual for a team like McLaren.

"I'm never thinking about it and if I am totally honest I am not bothered about it. I am here to do my job and I will try my best this weekend and the next 16 weekends. I will keep trying my best on those 16 weekends, which I have been doing up until now."

After the race in China, team principal Martin Whitmarsh said his driver needed to be more aggressive on occasion. While Perez accepted his boss's advice he said this year's generation of tyres means it is important to only pick the important battles on track.

"We had a word about it. It is difficult to judge when you can be aggressive and when not," he said. "When you are in a different strategy and mainly looking after the tyres, the worst thing you can do is fight someone next to you who is on a different strategy and two or three seconds faster than you. You will wear your tyres out and you are not actually fighting that guy, you are fighting someone who is behind you. It is a difficult balance to judge."