McLaren should have given Perez another year, says new boss

Perez Force India

McLaren were wrong to drop Sergio Perez after just one season, his new boss at Force India believes.

The Mexican was one of the hottest properties in F1 when he joined the Woking-based squad in place of Lewis Hamilton ahead of the 2013 campaign.

But Perez endured a tough year - thanks in no small part to an under-performing car - and was dropped following just one season with the team. He was subsequently picked up by Force India and has put in several impressive performances, not least a superb drive to third at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

And Force India's deputy team principal Bob Fernley believes that McLaren acted too quickly in dropping the Mexican.

"I think they did [underestimate him], perhaps they should have given him another year,” said Fernley when quizzed on the matter by Autosport.

"Based on his second half of last year, which is what we judged when we looked to sign him, I think he did a wonderful job.

"I wasn't overly impressed about the first six months, but I thought the second part was wonderful and that's what convinced us he was right."

Meanwhile Perez has admitted that he struggled at McLaren, and placed the blame on the team's "inconsistent" MP4-28.

"The car was so difficult to drive in the first half the year; it wasn't just a bad car, it was a really inconsistent car - definitely the most inconsistent car I've had in my career in Formula 1,” Perez told Autosport.

"It was difficult for me at McLaren, it hurt me a lot, but I learnt a lot [and] I'm sure that it will help me a lot in my [future] career."

"I'm very happy here [at Force India], very comfortable, very motivated as well,” he added.

Perez currently sits 11th in the drivers' standings while Force India are fifth in the constructors', a single point ahead of the McLaren squad.