Sergio Perez had quite the disappointing stint at McLaren and worries that it might have irreparably damaged his market value.
When Daniil Kvyat was ousted from Red Bull, Perez could empathise all too well with his predicament. He too experienced his own unceremonious replacement in 2014, with McLaren jettisoning him for Kevin Magnussen. It was a slow walk to the gallows for him since he joined the English team in 2013. He happened to come onboard at the worst time for the team too when it was just starting to decline and scored less points that he did with lesser team Sauber. Even after three podiums with Force India, he hasn’t quite gotten over the trauma.
“I had a really tough time at McLaren and it seems that this is what everyone remembers, but no one remembers my time at Sauber, my time at Force India. All I can do is keep doing my job, keep doing as well as I can, keep improving as a driver.”
It’s the kind of black mark that unfairly taints one’s record. Fail once and fail in public and it’s all but over for you. Nothing short of a championship win could easily erase that sort of stain and all Perez can do is scrub at it, bit by bit, until all his sins are washed away. And it seems that he’s still hard at work.
“I think in the last years I have improved a lot. I’m a more complete driver in all aspects, qualifying, race, pace, better experience. So if the opportunity ever comes, I will be ready for it and I’m up for it. If not, all I can keep doing is my job.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 28, 2016
If Perez is speaking this way after working so hard at clearing his record, we can only imagine how Kvyat must feel. We’d like to be optimistic, but given the way public opinion goes, he’s got a long way to go before all is right with the world again.