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Drivers' styles should compliment each other - Whitmarsh

ESPN Staff
January 31, 2013 « McLaren confident it can iron out errors with MP4-28 | Marussia to launch at Jerez »
Martin Whitmarsh: "One would imagine we can develop the car in harmony" © Sutton Images

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is hoping the attributes of his drivers, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, will work in harmony to push the car forward on a technical level.

Perez joins the team from Sauber after several standout performances last year in which he made his tyres last longer than his rivals in order to optimise his strategy. Button has also been credited with tyre management in the past, and although Whitmarsh has yet to see Perez on track, he believes the two will work well together on a technical level.

"Inevitably if both drivers have got similar needs then for the engineering team in terms of developing the car, not so much over a race weekend but over the course of the year, it makes life easier than if we have to be diverging all the time," Whitmarsh said at the launch of the MP4-28. "In truth we don't know yet and with Checo it's fairly early days, but one would imagine we can develop the car in harmony and that makes it more efficient for us. Over the course of the race weekend, their assessment of tyre wear and their feelings on tyre strategy we don't know yet and we will find that out in Australia."

One of the problems Button suffered with last year was tyre warm-up, especially in the middle of the season, but he is confident the new Pirelli tyres will better suit his style.

"We've got a tyre in 2013 that does help me," he said. "It's got a much wider working range and I'm not fearful of those issues again. We start the season with a clean slate and I'm very excited that we will be fighting for pole position at every race and hopefully fighting for a win at every race."

Meanwhile, Perez is aware that he may have to change his style to suit his new team, but says he has had to adapt at in the past too.

"I think it is something I have to find out and will have to adapt myself to the car throughout the year," he said. "You are always trying to help yourself by changing your driving style and the set-up of the car and this is something I will have to work on a lot. People always say I have a very similar style to Jenson, but I don't know his style and I don't even know my style. It's very difficult to know which style you have as you are always changing throughout a race, practice and qualifying."