Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Sergio Perez: Talented With Tyres?

Since the announcement that Sergio Perez would replace Lewis Hamilton at McLaren for 2013 was made, the issue of whether he is capable of delivering has been hotly contested by pundits and the media.  The abilities of the young Mexican have recently been defended by Sauber team manager, Beat Zehnder.  Talking to Auto Motor Und Sport he called Perez, 

"A natural talent in terms of tyre management." 

He added, 

"He has an incredibly good feeling for getting the best out of the tyres and at the same time keeping them alive."

Sergio Perez on soft tyres at the Canadian Grand Prix 2012

Perez was able to adopt a one stop strategy in races in 2012 notably in Canada and Monza when he was rewarded with podium places.  In Canada he was able to complete 29 laps on the supersoft tyres, an impressive amount considering Jenson Button, who is renowned for his tyre conservation, could only manage 19.  However, Sergio's tally of 29 laps was smashed by Pastor Maldonado who completed 41 in the Williams.

When you look at the statistics regarding the number of laps completed on a single set of tyres, it is the teams further down the field who perform better.  So is Perez particularly gifted at conserving tyres? Or is it that the Sauber isn't as harsh on its tyres due to the fact that the level of downforce created isn't as sophisticated as it is on the cars of the top teams?  

I wonder whether his 'natural talent' will be so apparent when he is at the wheel of an aerodynamically superior car like the McLaren.

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