F1: Gloves are now off in McLaren battle with Sergio Perez, says Jenson Button
Latest team feud to erupt in the Formula One paddock this season
Tuesday 23 April 2013
Jenson Button has insisted the gloves are now off in his battle with Sergio Perez, but he is confident his McLaren team-mate will learn from the error of his ways on Sunday.
Button pulled no punches in his condemnation of Perez's driving style following the Bahrain Grand Prix, slating the Mexican as "dirty" and "dangerous".
It was the latest team feud to erupt in the Formula One paddock this season in the wake of the team orders furore that surrounded both Red Bull and Mercedes post-race in Malaysia last month.
Despite his disparaging remarks towards Perez, Button later stated "I cannot retract my comments" as he stuck to his belief the 23-year-old had overstepped the mark.
In hitting Button from behind at one stage, losing part of his front wing, and then later banging wheels with him, Perez's reputation has now certainly suffered in the eyes of the Briton.
At least Button feels Perez has the capacity to understand where the line needs to be drawn after talking the matter over with him.
"We have sat down and discussed it, and I think we have all learned from that race," Button told Press Association Sport..
"It is good he is in a team like this where people are very open with the comments and say what they think to the drivers face to face.
"We have all done that, so that's important, but then we have to be careful with being too aggressive too, because if that builds up it will not be good for the future.
"But overall I think Checo will learn from what happened."
Asked, though, whether the gloves were off with Perez, the 33-year-old replied: "Yeah, but I am not going to change my style of driving.
"I drive the way I think is the correct manner and the way you should to respect your fellow drivers."
Button twice voiced his anger towards Perez over the team radio, at one stage urging those on the pitwall to calm him down.
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh, sticking rigidly to his guns that his drivers are free to race, said nothing, despite being acutely aware what was taking place on track was a recipe for disaster.
"I had a lot of noise in my ear, people saying 'stop this, stop this, it's hurting us', suggesting I stop them racing," said Whitmarsh.
"I didn't, and I know it could have gone horribly wrong. On balance it was the right thing - in the long term - for both drivers to know they are racing each other and are competitive.
"If you do that the driver behind is always going to feel aggrieved, so I let it go because we allow our drivers to race.
"To have said to Checo 'don't fight', or to Jenson 'yield, let your team-mate by', I've not yet done it, and I don't think I'm likely to start doing it any time soon."
Button, who has made his distaste for team orders clear in the past, was fully appreciative of Whitmarsh's stance.
"It is great we have no team orders and are allowed to fight, we just have to respect that," said Button.
Kevin Garside: Manchester United may have history and tradition but, as David Moyes never realised, a big-time manager always bends such things to his will
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Calum Chambers: Who is Arsenal's £16m right-back target?
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal transfer news: Versatile Calum Chambers is a 'gamble', admits Arsene Wenger as Arsenal spending passes £50m
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc