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.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.