Jo Ramirez – a key figure at McLaren for almost twenty years during the days of Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen – has hit out at Sergio Perez following the Mexican driver’s dismissal by the team.
It was confirmed earlier this week that Perez will not be racing for McLaren in 2014 after a disappointing year that has seen him fail to live up to the lofty expectations of the team. Instead, 21-year-old Kevin Magnussen will make his Formula One debut with the team next season as Jenson Button’s teammate. Although Perez’s dismissal has shocked many, Ramirez believes that his attitude and approach meant that he did not fit in with the team.
“The syndrome of becoming an F1 driver went to his head very fast,” Ramirez explained to Mexican publication La Cancha. “He always complained about the British press, but they were the same press that wrote: ”Checo’, a good driver, but why is he so arrogant?’
“Checo grew a lot as a driver during the last three years in F1, but unfortunately he didn’t grow as a person at the same rate. Today the drivers are arriving in F1 at a very young age without knowing how to behave. In most cases they have a manager that coaches them. Sergio tried to do it alone and failed.”
Perez enjoyed two successful years at Sauber in 2011 and 2012, scoring three podium finishes and coming close to winning the Malaysian Grand Prix last year. However, McLaren’s decision to sign the Mexican driver was something of a snap decision in the wake of Lewis Hamilton’s departure. It appears that the team has decided to put its faith in their youngster, Magnussen, who has been a part of the setup at Woking for many years now.
All eyes will now be on Perez to see if he can claim a seat on next year’s grid.