McLaren urge Perez to “toughen up”

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Sergio Perez needs to “toughen up” in wheel-to-wheel combat according to team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

Whitmarsh said the team’s new driver has “been generous in allowing people past him”.

“He was a bit more robust today,” added Whitmarsh after yesterday’s Chinese Grand Prix. Perez provoked the ire of Kimi Raikkonen during the race when the Lotus driver hit him on lap 16. “What the hell he’s doing?” said an angry Raikkonen on the radio afterwards.

Whitmarsh said Perez’s driving was “robust” and shrugged off claimed he had been “weaving”. The stewards came down on the side of the McLaren driver, taking no action.

However the race ended in disappointment for Perez as he finished out of the points in 11th place.

“I had a reasonably good first stint and thought we could achieve a good result with the strategy,” he said. “But then we encountered degradation with the tyres and that compromised our pace.”

“We still don’t have the speed in the car, but it’s been a useful learning weekend for the whole team, we got some useful points on the board, and we head to the next race with a clearer idea of just what we can do.”

Perez has two points on the board following his first three races for McLaren.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”