London: F1 ace Sergio Perez has been told by his new McLaren team to forget his plans for a winter break.
The Mexican, 22, who is Lewis Hamilton`s successor, is being forced to shelve any ideas of sinking tequilas in the sun as he is put through his paces in the team`s race simulator at their Woking HQ.
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has admitted he is taking a gamble appointing Perez, and says that training will start as soon as he joins the team on January 1 when his current contract with Sauber expires.
"Sergio will spend a lot less time in Mexico than he realises at the moment. That means he will be in the simulator, will be with the race engineers, he will be with the strategy people and he will turn up fitter and stronger than he is today," a daily quoted Whitmarsh, as saying.
"My experience of him is that he is really talented, he is very young and he is very raw. He is intelligent and has a nice humility about him. But also you can also sense the belief that he will be a world champion one day. It is a risk taking on a young driver. Bear in mind that when we took on Lewis he was the same age as Sergio is today," he added.
Meanwhile, Whitmarsh also admits he will be under pressure if Perez fails to impress. But the 54-year-old says he is not concerned about the prospect of his head being on the chopping block, the paper said.
"I have the good fortune to be considerably older and I am used to such situations. I have read my obituary a number of times and I can handle that, so I am not worried about me," he said.
"I am also not worried about him. We have the winter to prepare him and we believe he is the one to really get the job done. It is very exciting to develop someone like that. His rookie year was impressive, as is his pace and jaw-dropping podiums this year," he added.