Sergio Perez: “Our time will come”

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Sergio Perez has found rough waters so far in his first season with McLaren. Hampered by an underachieving car, the Mexican driver has collected just two points so far this Formula One season and has even been urged by McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh to “toughen up” against his rivals on the track.

But while acknowledging the difficulties he currently faces, the man they call “Checo” is confident that the Woking gang is heading for a turnaround.

“It is no secret that we are not performing at the level that we want to, so we are all disappointed,” Perez told the series’ official website, Formula1.com. “We are ambitious and are here to win and we are far from doing that at the moment, so of course, you look for reasons and blame. But we are all confident that our time will come, that success is probably waiting just around the corner.”

Perez’s three podiums for Sauber last year had many tagging him as a potential star, and those predictions were fueled further upon his jump to McLaren to race alongside former World Champion Jenson Button. With things not quite going to plan, Perez admits that the difference between his expectations going into 2013 and the reality is “very far.”

However, even in trying times, there are lessons to be learned that can prove very important down the road. That appears to be the tack Perez is taking as he tries to make the most of — at least for now — a less than optimal situation with the MP4-28.

“I also have to say that I’ve learned a lot in the last couple of months and over the first three races, so I can say that I’m a better driver now than I was,” he said.

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McLaren unveils 2018 F1 car, the MCL33

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McLaren F1 Team became the latest to launch their 2018 challenger on Friday, taking the covers off their new MCL33 chassis early on Friday morning.

McLaren endured a difficult 2017 season of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, with their partnership with Honda eventually dissolving after a troublesome power unit saw them plagued by unreliability and low power.

A switch to Renault power units is expected to see them get an uptick in form, and the MCL33 chassis itself is actually an evolution on last year’s MCL32. Still, the team highlighted areas to improve upon, and aims for a return to prominence in 2018.

“The McLaren team was created by a brave pioneer, and has had bravery at its core ever since. Whether it’s been with brave drivers, brave leaders or brave fortune, this team has always fought back. And we definitely view 2018 as the year when McLaren will move closer to the front, fighting teams and drivers as we improve our fortunes,” said Zak Brown, executive director of McLaren Technology Group.

Brown also highlighted the car’s new papaya orange livery, a throwback to some of the most popular color schemes that have adorned McLaren entrants in a variety of disciplines. Brown indicated that this came about from requests of fans who wanted to see such a livery return to the McLaren marque.

“Our return to a papaya orange livery for this year wasn’t simply an emotional decision; it demonstrates that we are listening to our fans, building deeper engagement with them and the Formula 1 community as a whole. We want McLaren to earn respect on and off the track, and this felt like a good starting point. We want to show everyone what makes this team special, whether that’s our fans or our partners – there’s room for more on our journey.”

The team’s racing director Eric Boullier expressed optimism about the team’s potential for 2018, but also acknowledged the season will be sure to see its fair share of challenges.

“I think the whole team feels proud of this car,” he asserted. “The design, engineering and aerodynamic departments have done an incredible job delivering a new car with a new power unit in an extremely short timeframe. We never took the easy route or looked to shortcut a process or a solution; and the result is a car that is neat and well-resolved.

“That said, we are under no illusions that it will be difficult to splinter the hegemony at the front; and that the midfield will be full of well-funded, experienced outfits with plenty to prove. We are humble about the challenge ahead, but feel we’ve prepared well, have a solid package that we can build upon and exploit as the season progresses, and have two excellent drivers who will make the difference in races.”

The MCL33 took to the track on Friday for filming at a test track in Spain, and will be run in anger for the first time when testing begins next week at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

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