Sergio Perez: I’m in Formula One to fight

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Having received criticism from many sections of the F1 paddock for his aggressive driving style, Sergio Perez has hit back at his doubters, claiming that he is in Formula One “to fight”, as proven in Monaco two races ago.

The Mexican driver was particularly opportunistic when trying to overtake on the entry to the Nouvelle chicane, passing Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso during the race. However, when attempting to pass Kimi Raikkonen, the two drivers made contact, causing Raikkonen to quip that somebody should ‘punch Perez in the face’. Despite this criticism, Perez believes that he is simply doing what he set out to do.

“I feel frustrated. I feel that my performance with McLaren has been good. I have total support from my team. As a driver this is very important, to count on your team’s support,” Perez explained in an interview.

“About the criticism, I believe everyone has their own view. I’m not here to be liked by everyone. I’m in Formula One to fight for my team and if that causes criticism I don’t care.”

These comments provide a wonderful insight into Perez’s attitude towards the rest of the season. McLaren have failed to impress so far this year thanks to the poor pace of the MP4-28, stunting the progress of Perez and teammate Jenson Button, yet Perez’s refusal to lie down and accept the meager points on offer underlines his credentials as being a star for the future.

The team will be hoping to bounce back at its home race, the British Grand Prix, in two weeks’ time.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.