Sergio Perez, Sauber, Monza, 2012

Perez: ‘My target is to win the championship in 2013’

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Sergio Perez, Sauber, Monza, 2012In the round-up: Sergio Perez his target for his first season with McLaren is to win the world championship.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

I’ll do what Lew couldn’t: Perez thinks he can win championship in his first season (Daily Mail)

“My target is to win the championship already next year. That takes a lot of work during the season, so it’s very important to start my preparation really well with them and try to reach their targets.”

Mein Name ist Bernie, ich wei?? von nichts (Kleine Zeitung, German)

Bernie Ecclestone tells Austria’s Kleine Zeitung a race at the Red Bull Ring is not likely to happen, and suggests if Turkey does not hold a race the 2013 F1 calendar will be 19 races long.

Vettel: Titles add extra pressure (Autosport)

“It’s not our decision or in our hands when other people try literally everything to beat us. There might just be a little bit of a rumour; other things might get said; and other things might happen eye to eye without any words, without you having to mention anything.”

State comptroller authorizes $29.3 million for Formula One (Austin-American Statesman)

“State comptroller Susan Combs has approved payment of $29.3 million [??18.1m] from the state Major Events Trust Fund to organizers of November?s Formula One race, slightly less than what a group affiliated with Circuit of the Americas had requested in July.”


Comment of the day

Where do HRT rate among F1’s least successful teams? Some thoughts from @Red-Andy:

It?s difficult to compare eras because so many things were different. Minardi?s best finish in twenty years of racing in F1 was fourth place, which they managed three times.

But most of their good results were due to attrition; e.g. their last fourth place was the 1993 South African Grand Prix, where Christian Fittipaldi finished fourth out of seven classified finishers (two of whom weren?t running when the chequered flag fell). Nowadays it?s unthinkable that you would get only seven cars finishing a Grand Prix.

Also, in that race Fittipaldi qualified 3.5 seconds off the leader?s pace, which isn?t far away from what HRT were managing this season ?ǣ and not at all bad compared to the efforts of some of the teams floating around in the early to mid-nineties.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Five years ago today McLaren formally apologised for the Ferrari ‘spy scandal’ for which it had been excluded from the 2007 constructors’ championship and fined $100m.

Image ?? Sauber F1 Team

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  • 103 comments on “Perez: ‘My target is to win the championship in 2013’”

    1. So, if Sauber have their car up and homologated already, we definitely know it’s the C31 with some tweaks.

      Lets hope they paint it blue…

      1. It’d be a clever move, given that the C31 was the best Sauber ever (excluding the BMW ones)

      2. TELMEX blue? yes please :)

      3. They – and partners Chelsea FC – have both landed what is believed to be a major sponsorship deal, though they haven’t announced what it is just yet.

        But unless it’s a title sponsorship deal, I suspect they’ll just keep the white, grey and red in 2013. Maybe in a different design, though. The 2011 car wasn’t that bad.

    2. he’s setting the bar high isnt he?.. i can see him winning a race or 2 and finishing in the top 5 but cant see him coming in touching distance to redbull or ferrari.his main battle will be with jenson.that could b v tight.

      1. Oh, so he should only aim for, say fifth overall, then? He’s with a team that knows how to win championships, and will probably be driving a car capable of winning them. Why *shouldn’t* he aim for the title?

        1. I do agree with the car part but not with the team part.
          Throwing away 2 dead-certain championships (2007/2012) within 5 years is an amazing feat.
          But aiming high is a right way for Perez.

        2. One title since 1999, and they’ve had the quickest car in 05, 07, 08 and this season. Could have won 2000 and 2003 as well. Hamilton left Mclaren because they have a propensity for shooting themselves in the foot, they’ve shown over the last few years they DON’T know how to win championships, particularly in this modern era of F1 where it is so competitive (2011 being an obvious exception) and every point and every mistake you make will count at the end of the season. Yes they’ve won titles in the past but in the Lauda/Prost/Senna years they had a car that was sometimes a second a lap or more quicker than the next fastest, plus some all time great drivers. Senna won his last title over 20 years ago, Hakkinen 13 years ago, Mclaren have won plenty of races in the meantime but they are living on past glories when people say they know how to win championships.

          1. That’s still no reason for Perez to settle for anything other than first place. I’m pretty sure McLaren would not have taken him if they felt he was going to say “I’m okay with fourth or fifth place at the end of the year”.

            It’s funny, because when Hamilton joined in 2007, people were talking up the iea of him being champion in his first season.

            1. @prisoner-monkeys
              I agree.
              If we had turned it around and he had said “I am aiming for 4th, but 1st would be nice” we would all brash him for being unambitious and lazy.

            2. @prisoner-monkeys I wasn’t disputing that point, of course Perez is going to say in public he wants to win if an interviewer asks him, whereas privately he would probably settle for a couple of wins and some podiums as he establishes himself in the team. I was just commenting on the fact that Mclaren’s reputation as a team that wins world titles is undeserved if you go on the last decade’s results.

              If you compare Mclaren to Red Bull whose teamwork and race strategies over the last three seasons have generally been exemplary, or to Enstone with Renault when they had their chances with Alonso in 2005 and 2006. Even with Brawn in 2009, they got a chance and made the most of that opportunity to win a championship whereas Mclaren who have had more chances to win titles in the last decade than any other team apart from Ferrari only managed to win one.

              And did people talk up Hamilton’s chances before the season started? I don’t remember this, it would seem a bit strange given he was a rookie competing against a double defending champion, going to a team that hadn’t been particularly successful the season before. I can see how people would say how he had a shot once he got his eight podiums in eight races and showed he wasn’t just your average F1 driver but not beforehand.

        3. one title in 20 years is not exactly top performance

      2. @padelee

        he’s setting the bar high isnt he?

        He’s driving for the team that built the fastest car this year. Setting it lower is not an option.

        I don’t believe McLaren have hired him so he can spend a year learning how to be a racing driver.

        1. But you also have to be realistic about it. The guy is relatively inexperienced. I remember years back, when jenson was at Bennetton/Renault and he said the same at the start of the season and he actually ended up having his worst championship result up to that time. Michael said the same on his return to Mercedes. Martin Whitmarsh himself stated that Chico is one for the future, a driver who they will have to mold into a champion. I would just tell him that you are not expected to win the championship in your 1st year. For your 1st year, get used to the team, the car and try and fight for victories if you can.For a championship push next year McLaren should be throwing everything behind Jenson. A former Champion, it only makes sense!!!

          1. He got more experience at same age of Hamilton, he is fast and in fast car he can easily do it a la Vettel.

            1. @Nickpkr Or do it a la Hamilton rather, since we all know Vettel didn’t come nearly as close to winning a championship as Lewis did, his first time driving in a top tier team. Then you add the fact that Checo is coming to McLaren with two solid seasons at Sauber under his belt, and not a rookie like Hamilton.

              Now we have a show on our hands.

      3. Remember Hamilton only just lost the championship in this debut year racing in F1 at all, let alone McLaren. Perez has experience which counts for plenty. I think it’s a realistic goal for him.

    3. I’d say he will fill Hamilton’s shoes perfectly, crashing and breaking down through the season

      1. How much did Lewis crash this season again? Hell, apart from 2011, his booger year, how much did Lewis crash in his 5 years at Mclaren? Not anywhere near as often as people make it out to be.

        1. Feel free to completely disregard an entire season if it might disprove your point.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys Would you say that 2011 was a benchmark year for Hamilton? One we should judge him by forever? Or was it an exception? I think @kingshark is right in his response to a guy, who accuses Hamilton of “crashing through the season”. Especially after a year in which Lewis demonstrated that he’s not only quick, but very mature behind the wheel.

            And when it comes to the “braking down” part, there’s no indication that this bad luck will be transfered to Checo. So justus is two for two when it comes to being wrong.

            1. No, I’m saying that you have to count all of a driver’s results when considering his performances. You can’t just disregard an entire season because you don’t like what happened and it doesn’t line up with your perception of that driver. It happened, and because it happened, it needs to be considered.

            2. He was responding to a specific point: an insinuation that Hamilton is crash-prone, which I’d say isn’t true. In this context 2011 was an exception, but no one is saying that it didn’t happen.

          2. Fair enough – so when we talk about Jenson now being a top f1 driver do we have to consider the fact that he was regularly beaten by Barrichello in th 2007/2008 seasons and the second half of 2009 when the Brawn was no longer the best car?

            or how about Alonso’s error riddled 2007 season? Kimi getting Whooped by Massa in 2008? Heidfeld outscoring Kubica in 2007 and 2009?

            Drivers improve and mature during their careers (or in some cases they fall off) . By saying Perez will fill Hamilton’s Shoes you are saying that he will replace Hamilton adequately. In 6 seasons Hamilton had 1 bad year (2011) Other than that he won 21 grand prix and set 26 pole positions finishing on the podium 49 times in 110n races. not a bad career so far that. Bear in mind other than 2007/08 and parts of 2011 Hamilton has not had THE fastest car in F1. Since he won his championship in 08 Brawn and then Red Bull have always been quicker.

            Perez has big shoes to fill – it will be interesting to see how he gets on.

            But going back to your original point – if were going to consider every drivers season before forming an opinion surely the fact that Hamilton has had 1 bad season out of 6 (and been their leading point scorer in 5 of them) should mean we form a more positive opinion of him as a driver?

        2. Apart from 2011, his only embarrassing crash that made an impression, for me, was in the pitlane in China on worn tyres

          1. and maybe Canada 2008, also in the pitlane?

          2. LoreMipsumdOtmElor
            13th December 2012, 12:53

            He forced both Ferraris off the track in the first corner in 2008, He threw away his championship hopes by trying an absolutely unnecessary maneuver on Alonso in the second corner in Brazil that year, he smashed the McLaren into the wall at Monza on the last lap, he almost took out his teammate in Canada 10 … the list is long.

            1. LoreMipsumdOtmElor
              13th December 2012, 12:54

              Brazil: 2007

            2. Interesting that your “long list” contains 4 items, half of which involved no contact with anything.

        3. Well, he made up for in stupidity off the track anyway, so I wouldn’t call it thaaat much of an improvement. ;D

    4. Well if car turns out as good as 2012, Perez definitely can do some damage, up to him.

    5. I have never heard ol’ Hammy boy being called “Lew” before…
      It sounds quite… Middle aged :P

      1. The tabloids do it quite regularly as a pun headline for ‘you’ – like when he won the title the back pages all said “Lew Beauty!”

    6. I think Ecclestone is still just playing some mind games. I can’t think of missing out on an Austrian event, have ‘just’ 19 races and three three-week gap in the calendar next year, unless some part of the Austrian offer is not right for Bernie. That’s why I think he is just playing games and tries to put pressure on the organisers.

      1. I agree completely. When Bernie first says something, you can expect the opposite to end up happening… it’s his favorite negotiation tactic.

      2. The A1-Ring is not a proper F1 track. I don’t even think it’s FIA Grade 1 any more.

        1. @joey-zyla The Red Bull Ring, as it is now called, is a Grade 1 FIA circuit, at least until its next inspection which is next year.

    7. Maybe the media asked the question in a certain way and i’m sure Perez is ambitious and determined to do great, but shouldn’t he set his goals more in the direction of regular podiums and a first win before talking about the championship? I think he should realize that everybody expects that of him first and foremost, not the championship.

      1. @andrewf1, but they all say that, don’t they.

    8. He wants to win in a Mclaren? Big news.

      Regardless. I actually like Perez and I’m sure he will prove the critics wrong in 2012. His first win next season, if the MP4-28 is as quick of a car as the previous one, is unavoidable, but championship? I don’t think so.

      1. Either way it puts an intriguing spin on the “Jenson as #1” narrative that some are proposing.

      2. @kingshark here’s a spanner for you though – what if he doesn’t get his first win? While Jenson does win GPs?

        1. @raymondu999
          I do not think about failure. ;)

    9. Good on you, Checo.

      Oh man, I’m going to find it hard to resist becoming a McLaren fanboy next year…Jenson Button and a fresh Sauber graduate :P

    10. Austria would likely be a boring DRS-fest anyway, Especially since they want 2 drs zones on all tracks that is able to run 2 zones next year.

      don’t get me wrong, its a great track that i wouldn’t mind seeing return, however i don’t want to see another track where drs passes are so easy & unexciting that there boring to watch.

      btw im going to be 1000x more vocal when drs hurts races next year because
      1- im fed up with the stupid thing
      2- its no longer the temporary thing it was sold to us fans as been & i can’t stand the prospect of having to suffer with drs long term.

      1. I dont really see how F1 can go back to bore-fest primitive racing. Did you see the last few races of this year? Wow .

      2. @Dizzy Look at Abu Dhabi, Valencia and Brazil from this year. The majority of people would say either 1 of those 3 races was the best in the season. How many DRS moments can you think of that took place.. The only one I see is the Abu Dhabi overtakes, and that was never completely on DRS, it allowed people to get alongside another car and to battle it out going through the corner.
        That’s what DRS was meant for, to counter the dirty air which comes off the back of another car when following. It takes some fine tuning, but they got it spot on in Abu Dhabi for 1 straight, now they just need to do it on another straight.
        It’s a temporary measure to get it right. Not a temporary measure to get rid of it altogether.

        1. That’s what DRS was meant for, to counter the dirty air which comes off the back of another car when following.

          but thats not what it does, drs does nothing about the dirty air, the dirty air is still there & is still a problem (as paddy lowe said post india).

          as long as drs remains the problem of dirty air shall remain as drs has removed the push to do anything to try & make the cars less aero sensitive to it as we have seen with planned rule changes for 2014 been dropped purely because teams see drs as working.

          other series like indycar & formula nippon have shown you can do things to make the cars race better (ground effects in indycar & a mashroom diffuser in f.nippon) & the racing in those series has been 1000x better than the drs/pirelli/kers boring, unexciting, uncontested & easy highway passing we see in f1 now.

          most my friends/family have already walked away from f1 after decades of following it because of all this artificial gimmickery we have now with drs & pirelli & im very close to doing the same.
          drs is killing my intrest in f1 because in my vie its killing the racing & devaluing overtaking, i hate drs to the point where i’ve turned off races where its made things far too easy as that sort of ‘racing’ (if you can even call it that) is not what im intrested in.

        2. It’s a temporary measure to get it right. Not a temporary measure to get rid of it altogether.

          That is not how it was sold to the fans though.

          When DRS was announced in 2010 it was a temporary system in place until 2014 & then the new aero regulations as well as turbo engines/adjustable boost & the more effective ERS system was introduced.

          I remember saying on James Allen’s website in Feb 2011 that I was only accepting of DRS because it was temporary, I never liked the system & still don’t however since I only had to put up with it for 3 years I wasn’t going to make a fuss.
          I also said that if I saw signs it was becoming more permanent I would start to make a fuss & thats what I am going to do since it now looks like its going to be sticking around long term.

      3. I’m in full agreement with @dizzy on DRS. And since the FIA have bottled on the aero changes for 2014 and intro of ground effect and less wings, I’m losing faith that the concept will only be a temporary one. 2014 was their big opportunity to fix an inherent problem with the formula. What a shame.

      4. Very true, Dizzy. I have the same feelings, DRS is a joke. I don’t know how anyone accept this gimmick, which creates boring, meaningless passes done without zero skills. If it’s true they want to have 2 stupid passes zones at every track, that means there will be no overtaking without DRS anymore. That’s insult to intelligence of fans and skills of drivers. That’s creating the idea Formula 1 needs DRS, eventhough for 60 seasons there was no need for such gimmick and there were tons of exciting races. Why do they think every race has to have hundreds of meaningless passes? Why are they taking away opportunities for real racing, like in Canada at the backstraight or through Eau Rogue up to Les Combes at Spa?

        I can’t imagine in 2014 with 1 second of push-to-pass available per lap they still want to have DRS. My interest is waning year on year and I’m a fan since a long time. I accept KERS as push-to-pass. I can even accept high degrading tyres, as everyone has equal chances to use them in the best way, eventhough it’s no longer possible to push on them every lap. But I will never, ever accept something like DRS, which dumbifes overtaking, makes overtaking a mere formality and destroys the art of defending. Nowadays Jarama 1981 would be called as a boring procession, while in fact races like that are what F1 should really be about – pushing to the limit, while others are trying to push you into mistakes. I take that procession every day over fake races like Korean GPs in last 2 years.

      5. The difference is that at Red Bull Ring the straights are relatively short. Instead of a 1.1 km boring blast the longest straight is maybe about half of that.

        1. Yes, top speeds are quite low there and it’s all about braking and acceleration, I seem to remember.

          So it could be just right for DRS – it’ll set up a handful of extra openings at turn 1 and maybe the downhill right hander (T3? 4?) but won’t make cars slingshot past each other every lap.

        2. Yes, I generally find that tracks like India and Korea has had some problems in overtake-quality/quantity wise, as the straights have been a tad too long.

    11. But as Jenson said in an interview when Lewis was there the car was built around him but now it will be built around Jenson which will be interesting to see how check adapts it for his driving style.

      1. @mclarenboy0310 Will be interesting to see how they handle the setting up of the front suspension geometry. Perez is always trying to coax the car into corners with multiple steering wheel motions – Button is always guiding the car in with a single motion.

        1. I think that possibly checo might even make the car work for him more than button. But we will only see next season how they get on with the car.

      2. Jenson said in an interview when Lewis was there the car was built around him

        Thats Jenson making excuses for his snail’s pace.

        Do you honestly think that Lewis took gambles on using different front wings and rear wings from his teammate when the car was being designed around him specifically? There wouldn’t be a choice of a different approach if the car was being designed around his style.

        1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
          13th December 2012, 7:39

          “Do you honestly think that” f1 teams head to a race with one set of gear and one only? Teams back to back test all year round in practice sessions even rarely in races if your name is mark webber. We all know who the favored son at redbull is and even they like to keep their options open. So what your saying is unfortunately tripe.

    12. There’s a lot of factors involved, but if the 2013 cars are evolutions of this season’s cars then you’d expect to have McLaren and Red Bull up the front again (while I quietly pray Ferrari sort their stuff out). If this does happen, with a quick car it’d be hard to see how Perez would beat Button. Button’s a WDC, he’s devastating when the car is exactly how he wants it, and I think he’s a great driver. Perez? An unpolished diamond by comparison. I just don’t see him beating Button’s experience and intelligence in his first year in the team.

      1. it’s sad Lewis lost the WDC in ’07 by a single point. Otherwise I could have explained how it is completely possible for rookie drivers to win WDCs even though they are seated next to better drivers like Alonso.

    13. Perez must have lost his mind! He made me laugh so much ahhahaha

      1. What do you expect him to say? McLaren is a team that is expected to be a championship contender every year, how can they have confidence in his driving if he doesn’t have confidence in it?

      2. And yet when Hamilton made his debut in 2007, people were talking about how he could win the title in his first season …

        1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
          13th December 2012, 7:44

          Well considering the story from a mclaren mechanic about how they all wanted to work for alonso at the start of the year. Plus ron dennis’ warning that lewis shouldn’t be surprised if he was half a second slower it appears the team didn’t believe he could. I don’t remember seeing any journalists express the view that he would before the season started either.

      3. What else do you expect his goal to be?
        He’s in a top team, if he set his goals to low, what happens if he reaches them?

        “My goal was to win a race this season, and since I’ve already done that, I’m off to have an ice cream with Kimi.”

        I’m also sure McLaren would be super annoyed if he set himself easily achievable goals, they don’t pay their drivers to go through the motions.

        1. “My goal was to win a race this season, and since I’ve already done that, I’m off to have an ice cream with Kimi.”

          The BMW way, then.

        2. “My target is to win one race in order to become race winner with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and maybe score little more than 3 podiums, because achieving less than last year in a Sauber would make me look useless. But besides that I have no ambitions, I absolutely accept Jenson Button as a team leader at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. I know I am worse driver than Nico Hulkenberg, who really should be in my seat right now and actually I think Vodafone McLaren Mercedes made a mistake hiring me. Just looking objectively at my achievements last year, they were all down to luck and strategy. It was pure luck and strategy that I was 1-1.5 second per lap faster than my teammate in Malaysian and Italian GP. By the way, in 2011 Italian GP I was even luckier, when on a 1 stop strategy I was 5 tenths per lap quicker than my teammate, who was on a 2 stop strategy. But let’s return to 2012, shall we? I was the creator of all my problems. I broke gearbox in first qualifying of the season, so I had to start from last position. I looked at Romain Grosjean from wrong angle, so he punctured my tyre at the first corner in Spanish GP, when I was in 4th position. I made Maldonado angry in Monaco, so my team in return didn’t want to check if suspension in my car was all right – it wasn’t, I crashed in Q1 and had to start from last place, again. And look at mistakes I have made at the end of the season – I absolutely won’t learn from them, as I am only stupid Mexican kid and you know how stupid Mexicans are, huh?

          I have no ambition. Motivation is low, as are my targets. I have to say sorry to Nico Hulkenberg, I really didn’t want to take this seat from you! And of course I want to assure you Lewis, that anytime you will be frustrated at Mercedes next year or in 2014, you can return to Vodafone McLaren Mercede simmediately. I will gladly give this seat to you and retire from F1, because I know I’m not a good driver, so I will happily come back to Mexico in order to drink tequilla all year long.”

    14. Perez will probably wind up around third or so, behind Vettel and Button/Alonso.

    15. Dont know if Perez can beat But next year or not. At least, he is now much in McLaren’s mood: very very very optimistic :)

    16. wow getting a little full of him self is he. McLaren should of hired hulkenburg instead by the sounds of this guy he is turning into a new maldarnado

      1. Let’s see him use his car as a weapon a few times before we jump to that conclusion.

        1. Should’ve hired Hulkenberg? Sigh, I hear this over and over again. But why? Perez, despite being 3 years younger has already accomplished more than Hulk has in his relatively short career.

          1. @kingshark, with all due respect but comparing ages to compare driver’s achievement is absurd, specially when we know Hulk has equal experience with one year off and Perez in a car which was miles ahead in terms of pace and ease on tyres.

          2. I think it’s because Hulk is more mature than Checo. If McLaren can inject more maturity into Perez then I think he will deliver what Hulk would deliver. But at this moment it’s all speculations and opinions, only few races into 2013 we will know who was right and who was wrong.

          3. I guess some of you have noticed that I am probably the biggest Perez fan around here. Burt before I liked him, I liked Formula 1. With that in mind, as of right now, I believe The Hulk is the better driver of them both. That being said, I also believe that Perez can improve a lot and also that the old “podiums due to strategy” line is a bit, in my honest opinion, unfair.

          4. Hulkenberg won GP2 in his maiden season while Perez couldn’t beat Maldonado at the championship even after Maldonado retired the remaining races.

            1. Let’s not overlook the fact Maldonado was in his fourth year of the category and Perez his second.

              When Maldonado was in his third year of GP2 he was beaten by his title-winning rookie team mate… Hulkenberg.

            2. And?. He still couldn’t.

              Also, I will always be suspicious of Maldonado’s drop in performance happening right at the same time Hulkenberg stepped up. I remember him being billed as the next Schumacher by quite a few people.

              And I’m amused by your dislike for Pastor.

      2. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        13th December 2012, 7:47

        Agree with you i do, to the dark side he shall fall

        1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
          13th December 2012, 7:48

          sorry i don’t really i just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to yoda speak.

    17. Shouldn’t winning the championship every year be every drivers target?

      1. @fisha695 u took the words out of my mouth….whether u are in a HRT or Ferrari, u should aim for a WC every year

      2. It’s just the same as saying drivers should try to win every race. That doesn’t mean that any driver actually expects to manage to win every race in the season, but you turn up on Friday and put all of your effort into trying to win the race – it’s what all drivers of top cars should do. The WCC is simply the result of 20 races added together.

        But further back it’s not quite the same, there’s not point in Caterham, for example, focussing effort on winning the race but they should focus on winning their race, which is the race with the cars around and in front of them (for example there’s not point in Pic analysing Vettel’s lap times, speed trap results and long runs – that would not be a productive use of his time!).

        1. Meant to say WDC (though the WCC is also achieved in the same way)

      3. It should for all that can have some halfway realistic chance of having a car that is good enough. I am sure Alonso, Vettel, Button do, and Webber might have that goal set for himself as well, and maybe Rosberg too. We know Maldonado was thinking about such things when he won his first race. And I would be surprised if Hamilton, somewhere deep down, fancies having a go at it despite not expecting the car to be the benchmark next year.

    18. From the comments above it seems there are quite a few people skeptical about Perez’s chances, mostly on the basis of a slightly scrappy end to the season. However, I don’t see why this should be a problem for next season, especially if with a fast car he should start with fewer people in front of him. Instead, I think his, as well as Button’s, biggest challenge will be to get the most out of the car on a consistent basis. Last year, both drivers struggled to get the best out of their machinery in qualifying, and that cost them in the races; Perez by running into other people, and Button by getting stuck in traffic. However, if the car is good then, then both drivers will start the season as championship contenders, and I don’t rate Perez’s chances any lower than Button’s.

      On Formula 1 in Austria, Bernie says he hasn’t talked to anyone about it – which is quite a statement – but he also says “Well, the hotel situation is a near catastrophe. What would you say then? Is Austria prepared for Formula 1?” I guess Bernie isn’t too keen on camping anymore ;-)

      1. I wouldn’t be too worried about Button’s qualifying. It hasn’t been fantastic lately, but when the car suits him, he can pull out the lap. Think back to ’09, when he had consecutive pole positions, and even as recent as Spa, when he was dominant in qualifying (And then the race). If he can qualify near the front, then he can have very good races.

    19. Although it’s good to target the summit and even more so when you are with a top team like McLaren but being realistic is just as important. By publicly stating his intentions, Sergio is putting more pressure on himself to be scrutinized and critisized by the media and the fans. If in case, he was asked a question like that, he can always dodge them and that’s what drivers have to do in a heavily PR favouring team like McLaren.

      1. Arrrrgh I get so sick of hearing stuff like this. Do you really think that he was sat there on his sofa one day and was just like “Mum! Get me the phone! I’ve just decided I’m going to be world champion next year, and I want to tell the world’s media right now!”

        No, what happens is that he’ll be being interviewed, because that’s what F1 drivers tend to do when they’re not driving race cars. The journalist will ask something like “You’ll be the new guy in McLaren next year. They’ve got a good car, do you think you can win the championship?” and he’ll have given the most logical answer that, of course, winning the championship is his goal (as it is for every driver on the grid, and especially those driving for McLaren, and doubly especially in a year when there’s every reason to think that their car will be the class of the field), but then goes on to say that it’s a hard task and that it’ll take a lot of preparation over the winter. So what’s he saying here really? That he’s going to put in a lot of work to make sure he can maximise his potential in 2013. And being a McLaren driver, his goal is to win the championship. That’s the standard expected of every driver who puts on the McLaren overalls. Frankly I’d be worried if he wasn’t aiming that high, and I’d question whether he was right for a McLaren seat if he didn’t believe he was capable of winning.

        Regardless what he says, he’ll be in for media scrutiny, just like Kovalainen was when he was drafted in to replace Alonso at the last minute.

    20. Perez didn’t win the championship in his first season, just like Hamilton. Moving to Mclaren in your 3rd year doesn’t automatically make you a rookie.

    21. Considering the car he’ll have next year, there would be something wrong if Perez wasn’t aiming for the championship next year.

    22. All in all, I think next year will be Button’s big opportunity to be a two-time WDC. As the link said, chances McLaren will built the new car around him – his statement was full of optimism and even some distinct flavour of threats to the opposition. Also, both Red Bull and Ferrari developed the 2012 models right until the very end – Newey admitted it, but Ferrari must have been affected more given their already worse foundations. In contrast, McLaren was out of the title hunt earlier, meaning that every development on the 2012 car could have been entirely focused on improving the 2013 performance and not on gaining places in 2012. Car and driver has major factors in their favour. Perhaps the main thing which could hinder Button’s progress performance-wise will be Newey’s other statement: that there is simply not much to develop on the cars in the framework of the current rules. I think this is especially true for the very sharp end of the grid, namely McLaren and Red Bull. Even so, McLaren was practically the quickest car out there for the majority of the season this year. All they have to do is to eliminate reliability issues and work on pit stop speed consistency.

    23. If anyone has doubts about Perez being able to win a title in his first year at McLaren, remember that Senna won against Prost in 1988 (when the McLaren won 15 out of 16 races) and Hamilton was so close in 2007, tied with Alonso and 1 point behind Raikkonen at the end. All he has to do now is get the speed and consistency! Also he has had some brilliant moments lower down, including the British F3 in 2008 (at Monza):

    24. I’m hearing reports Lotus and Force India will finalise their 2013 driver line-ups today: Grosjean to stay with Lotus, and Bianchi to partner di Resta at Force India.

      Vitaly Petrov and Giedo van der Garde are apparently still wrestling over the Caterham seat.

    25. Hamilton will beat Perez next season in the points standings. It’s hardly surprising though.

    26. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      13th December 2012, 13:15

      Big words!!! In a Mclaren it could be possible (trying to repeat the feat Lewis did in his rookie year back in 2007), but I still think it’s more words than facts. Let’s see if his talent can be polished by Mclaren and give headaches to Jenson

    27. Well, i think there is rivalry already on the horizon between the two. Button saying he will leading the team in 2013 as the lead driver, while Perez is saying he will go for winning the championship in his first year. So, I can clearly see there will lot tension between the two. Martin Whitmarsh will have his hands full..!!

    28. New sighing says my goal is to win the championship………..well derr, what else is He gonna say.

      On a side note is there layout etc changes to the site or is my comp going wacky again.

    29. I think Perez can hardly do worst than Hamilton did this year,
      Fourth or fifth won’t be hard at all, 2 or 3 wins will do it. He never took Ferrari number 2 seat, why he will take it at Mclaren ? Button will be having the rough edge as Hamilton is not there to help him get excused to underperform. Next year Sauber and perhaps Williams will be in the podiums again, is going to be as tight or more as it did this year.

    30. Given the amount of money HRT had they were not that bad. I’ve met team members eating sandwiches on the street, they travel in normal passengers class and sleep in two star hotels – absolutely normal people.

      Perhaps an article about drivers’ mentality would be interesting for the people – how some drivers come, smile to the media and sit in the car to start driving for the pole, while the rest are thinking – on which turn exactly the differential will fail and will I get money for the next season?

      There’s a stark difference in F1 teams and the way they work – both on and off the track.

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