McLaren praise Perez for “solid” start

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Sergio Perez has made a strong start with McLaren according to team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

“He has done a solid job,” Whitmarsh told Autosport. “It is easy to get rattled coming to a team like McLaren when you don’t have a quick enough car.”

“He is an intelligent guy. He is incredibly young but again in my mind he has not put a foot wrong.”

It has not been an easy change for Perez who joined McLaren from Sauber. His former team did not have a simulator for him to work on, whereas McLaren have one of the most sophisticated simulators of any F1 team and rely on it heavily for development.

The team has also had to contend with a problematic car in the MP4-28 which has fallen well short of expectations.

Perez failed to make the top ten shoot-out in qualifying for his first race with the team and finished out of the points.

He took a ninth-place finish in Malaysia after trying to run a three-stop strategy without success, forcing a late pit stop. Perez scored an impressive second for Sauber the year before.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”