March 7th (GMM).- Sergio Perez has felt the added pressure of stepping up the F1 grid for 2013. Formerly the surprise podium-getter in a Sauber, the 23-year-old has now been signed up by McLaren, to replace the ultra high-profile Lewis Hamilton.
"Of course the pressure is higher now," the Mexican is quoted by Speed Week, as he represented his new employer at the Geneva motor show.
"But I have no problems with it.
"Anyone who can't handle pressure should not sign for McLaren," added Perez.
According to most pundits, Perez has had a mixed first winter with the famous British team, complaining about "extreme" tyre degradation and a difficulty adjusting to the new MP4-28.
"Of course I would have liked to collect more information before going to Australia," he admitted.
"Some days it was cold and really difficult to learn about the car," said Perez.
"But I don't know anyone in the pitlane who had carefree winter testing.
"So it's the same for everyone, not a disadvantage for us."
The young Mexican without a doubt has more eyes looking at his direction given the size of the shows he has to fill in for. Besides, jumping from the upward moving, but yet mid-size team of Sauber to McLaren is surely a challenge.
Expectations were different at Sauber with a podium finish seen as a big achivement, something Perez did three times. But, at the Woking based team, victories are a must, and since McLaren has gotten at least one every year since 1997 (excepting 2006) not bringing home a trophy would be considered a failure of some level.
So indeed, It would be a great opportunity for Perez to jump to stardom, but it still it would be a challenge to him to cope with the level of attention and expectation around him.