• McLaren news

Whitmarsh promises Perez equal treatment

ESPN Staff
January 10, 2013 « Perez ready to adapt driving approach with McLaren | Webber cracks under pressure - Marko »
Martin Whitmarsh: "Sometimes it can cause issues, but they will definitely have equal treatment; that's how we operate" © McLaren
Related Links

Martin Whitmarsh has promised Sergio Perez he will not be seen as a number two to Jenson Button at McLaren this season.

With Button entering his fourth season with McLaren and having won eight races with the team, the lesser experienced Perez admitted he would have a lot to learn from his new team-mate. However, while Whitmarsh said that Button would be in the better position at the start of the year he stressed there will be no preferential treatment between the two drivers.

"People like to have that debate but the fact is Jenson has got the advantage in terms of he knows the team, he's got the experience and he's been world champion," Whitmarsh told Sky. "So he's got a lot of things going for him, and he's also a great driver. But Jenson will be very generous. I know him very well, he'll be generous in his time, his opinion, his guidance, but when they pull out the garage Jenson will want to beat Sergio; when Sergio pulls out of the garage he'll want to beat Jenson.

"That's the dynamics we have in our team. Sometimes it can cause issues, but they will definitely have equal treatment; that's how we operate. I think that dynamic, that competition within the team is good and we're here to win world championships so both drivers want to be part of that. Of course both drivers contribute to the constructors' world championship but secretly - or perhaps not secretly - they both harbour the ambition to be world champion this year."

Whitmarsh added that there would be no hangover from the departure of Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes over the winter.

"We're focused on 2013; we've got two great drivers. Lewis is a great driver, he's been part of this family for a long time and I don't think he, we or anyone else can predict the future. But at the moment, in 2013, we're at the start of an exciting season with two drivers - we're going to focus and try to win the championship with those two drivers."