Perez radio call to save tyres not a team order say McLaren 14 May, 2013 Jenson Button leads Sergio Perez McLaren has denied a radio call they made to Sergio Perez during the Spanish Grand Prix was a team order. After Mexican Perez and teammate Jenson Button’s wheel-banging recently in Bahrain, boss Martin Whitmarsh said the incident proved that McLaren lets its drivers race. But in the closing stages in Barcelona on Sunday, Perez again closed on his experienced teammate Button’s sister car but was told to look after his tyres. The 22-year-old, who had apologised in the wake of the Bahrain incident, duly followed Button to the chequered flag, for ninth place. “Checo (Perez) himself said at the end that his tyres were finished,” Whitmarsh is quoted by the Sapa-AFP news agency. “What we didn’t want was him to be battling until he ran out of rubber. So it was not tactical, it was practical. It was a fair fight, but if you are asking ‘did we ask him to back off and not fight?’ No, not at all,” he insisted. Perez also denied the ‘team order’ charge via his Twitter account, “Just want to tell everyone (that) the radio message was all about saving the tyres. Never a team order,” he said. (GMM) Related NewsMcLaren: Our journey to full competitiveness won’t be a short oneMcLaren: Another disappointing raceMcLaren: Strategy will play a very important part in the raceMcLaren: Encouraging to see that the package has been a useful stepSpanish Grand Prix: McLaren preview Barcelona weekendButton: I’m pragmatic about what we’ll discover in BarcelonaSpanish Grand Prix: McLaren preview BarcelonaFIA had to disqualify Hamilton in Spain says WhitingMcLaren confident their mistakes won’t hurt Hamilton talksHamilton happy, Button not after bittersweet Spanish GP for McLaren McLarenfan Just look at his front tyre in the Pirelli photo. pacaud At least they learned from Ferrari not to say “sorry” on the radio to Perez after he backed off. 2nd week in a row Perez has outperformed Jenson. His efforts will spur development. A little help from the other side of the garage and they might get somewhere this year.