May 26th, 2013 (F1plus).- There’s no doubt that McLaren is off the its usual pace, but it is also true that they have little by little improved and are getting closer to their usual performance standards. The team's drivers are certainly helping to achieve that goal.
Today at Monaco it was a testament to that as Sergio Perez's brave and entertaining drive showed us what can be done as he managed to overtake Alonso...yes Alonso, just before the chicane and after taking care of his teammate (and vice versa) in the same exact pace.
Unfortunately, Perez luck wasn’t unlimited and when he tried the same move on Raikkonen, the Finn reacted by blocking the way, leaving no room for the MP4-28 which touched the barriers.
Perez's race was over, his ambitions took the best of him, but considering he’s a racing driver, such driving display is accepted, although McLaren lost the opportunity for a good double points finish.
“I’d had a great race – I’d been overtaking cars through the afternoon – but in my opinion Kimi didn’t leave me enough room when I tried to pass him as we exited the tunnel, and as a result I got squeezed into the wall on the entry to the Harbour Chicane.” Perez said about his incident.
“That was a real shame – I’d overtaken both Jenson and Fernando there, and Jenson had overtaken me there too, but I couldn’t have avoided the crash with Kimi. Of course, any passing manoeuvre at Monaco is risky, but, at the end of the day, you have to leave each other a little room.” He added.
“It’s particularly frustrating to retire from a grand prix in which you’ve driven hard and fast, especially when you’re so near to the finish.
"So, all in all, I’m extremely disappointed – for the team as much as for myself.” The Mexican concluded.
On the other side of the garage was Jenson Button, who rather had a quiet race. The Briton started from ninth and finished sixth basically because of his teammate's retirement and Raikkonen's late pit stop.
He did however pass Alonso –who seemed to have an uncharacteristic day at Monaco- and made the most out of situations around him, bringing valuable points in the process and confirming McLaren's slow but steady recovery.
“Things weren’t looking very good initially, but the Monaco Grand Prix is one of those races where you need to hang in there until the very end, because anything can happen – and today it did.” Button said.
“Then, in the last few laps, Checo and Kimi tangled, and suddenly there was a battle behind them because they were circulating slowly in their damaged cars. So I took the opportunity to jump up the inside of Fernando at Rascasse, which was quite fun, and came home sixth.” The 2009 champion added.
“It was a pity that Checo’s late-race retirement meant we couldn’t score more heavily today – that would have been a big boost for the team – but I bagged a decent number of points, and our pace in clear air was good, so there are positives we can take away from today.” Jenson concluded.