Sergio Perez was handed a ten second stop go penalty for causing a multiple car incident when attempting an overtaking move on Paul Di Resta on lap 37 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Perez tried to take Di Resta round the outside pushing him off the track, a move which caused him to go wide himself . As he rejoined the track, he clipped the car of Romain Grosjean and the resulting slower pace of the Frenchman caught out Mark Webber, who proceeded to launch over the top of him.
It was another non points finish for the Mexican, who will drive for McLaren next year following the flight of Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes. Since the announcement of his move following the Singapore Grand Prix, Perez has failed to add to his points tally for the season and stands only eight points above his team mate at Sauber, Kamui Kobayashi. Kobayashi is yet to secure a seat for the 2013 season, yet he hasn’t been particularly outperformed by his 22 year old team mate this season.
So what has happened to Perez in the last four races since the announcement was made? It could be a case of him going through the motions at Sauber, showing a slight lack of concentration due to having his mind half on his new team. It is probably more likely to be an ambition to impress his new team that has caused him to buckle under the pressure slightly, and if this is the case how will he cope when he actually makes the move?
At the tender age of 22, is Sergio Perez mature enough to deal with the pressure that a drive at McLaren will inevitably bring? Lewis Hamilton was the same age when he started racing in F1 with McLaren, but he had been with the team in the Young Drivers Program since the age of 15 and knew the way things worked. McLaren haven’t won the Constructors Championship for 13 years, and with that prospect looking increasingly unlikely this year, the focus turns to 2013. Perez will need to perform and be regularly clocking up podiums and high points finishes if he is to help the team achieve the title that has eluded them since 1999.
The hiring of Sergio Perez as a replacement for Hamilton at McLaren did seem to be fairly swift. Only time will tell whether it was an inspired choice or a snap decision they may live to regret.