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Perez believes Bahrain drive silenced his critics

Apr 30, 2013, 11:00 AM EST

AUTO-PRIX-F1-BAHRAIN-PRACTICE

Sergio Perez says his performance in the Bahrain Grand Prix proves he can justify his place at McLaren.

Perez finished sixth after beating his team mate and Fernando Alonso in tough wheel-to-wheel battles.

“We’ve been through some very difficult moments but I think this is the start of our season,” said Perez. “I never lost my confidence, I always believed in myself. I’ve shown the critics that I can do a good job.”

Perez came in for some criticism after lackluster performances in the early races of the season.

He drew fire from Kimi Raikkonen for the manner in which he defended his position in China. But, as was also the case with Alonso in Bahrain, the stewards were unmoved by the complaints of Perez’s rivals.

Perez focused on honing his race set-up in Bahrain which allowed him to go on the attack from 12th on the grid.

“The strategy and the pace of the car allows you to be different,” said Perez. “You are not defending, you are attacking.”

Team mate Jenson Button also felt Perez had overstepped the mark in Bahrain but the pair resolved their differences:

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