Date: 19th April 2013 at 10:33am
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Sergio Perez has admitted that he is feeling the pressure following his move from Sauber to McLaren.

The young Mexican has impressed many in Formula One since he came into the sport with the Sauber team.

His ability to perform well on the difficult Pirelli tyres really made a name for himself during the early part of his career as he was able to run completely different tyre strategies to other teams and drivers.

Then during 2012 he clinched his first podium places, with two second place finishes at Malaysia and Italy and a third place in Canada.

His performances were so good, that he was being linked with a mid-season switch to Ferrari at one stage following the poor performances by Felipe Massa and his links to the Ferrari development programme.

But Ferrari’s decision that he lacked the experience to make the step-up proved to be McLaren’s gain when Lewis Hamilton opted to make the move to Mercedes. McLaren swooped and Perez was announced as Jenson Button’s team-mate for this season.

However the 2013 season has not started as the Mexican would have liked. McLaren have had a slow start and during the opening three Grand Prix’s the team have not had a car fast enough to compete at the front end of the grid.

Button finished 9th in Australia, before a botched pit-stop in Malaysia forced his retirement. Then a good tyre strategy in China enabled Button to qualify 8th before finishing the race in 5th.

Perez hasn’t yet been able to match the performances of his team-mate, he has finished 11th twice, while a 9th place in Malaysia scored him his first points for McLaren.

With Perez’s Sauber replacement Nico H├╝lkenberg scoring points in Malaysia with a 8th place finish and China with a 10th place finish, some have questioned Perez’s performances and wondered if he is feeling the pressure.

‘There is a lot of pressure when you are in such a powerful strong team like that, It is not easy when the team relies on you – just as it would here – to get the two drivers to pull those results out.

‘If you don’t, you feel it ? and he looks like an individual who feels it.’
former McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton told Autosport Magazine.

Perez admitted that he was feeling the pressure, but remained unperturbed by the criticism.

‘I definitely feel the pressure. In McLaren, everyone is watching your performance, every practice, every single race.’ Perez told the BBC.

‘I find it quite amazing that after three weekends, when I had two good weekends in terms of maximizing the car, after one bad weekend I received so many criticisms, but this is quite normal for a team like McLaren, I never thought about it before and if I’m totally honest I’m not bothered about it. I’m here to do my job and I will try my best this weekend. I will keep trying my very best, which I have been doing from the start.’

2008 Formula One World Champion Hamilton insisted that Perez would get the backing he needs by his former team.

‘He has a lot to learn, and McLaren will give him all the opportunity to do that. There is huge pressure at McLaren, there always is.’