McLaren sporting director Sam Michael says the Woking team remains fully behind its young Mexican driver Sergio Perez despite strong criticism notably from Kimi Raikkonen after the Monaco Grand Prix.

In Monaco, Perez was the most aggressive driver in the race pulling off a number of overtakes during the race; however, bold manoeuvres with Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso earned him the wrath of the two drivers’ post-race.

Raikkonen was most upset with the 23-year-old after the pair made contact going side-by-side into the chicane giving the Finn a puncture.

After the race Raikkonen said Perez should be "punched in the face" while Alonso jibed: “only McLaren could be happy with Perez.” 

However, Michael claims the moves made by Perez were no different to other moves made on the streets of the Principality.

"All the moves that he did are all moves that have been done by all of those other drivers at some point in their careers," he told reporters.

"It was obviously hard racing, but that's what Formula 1 is meant to be about," he added during a Vodafone phone-in.

Perez had a difficult opening few races to his McLaren career however things seem to turn around after Bahrain where the former Sauber driver finally showed the form McLaren had seen in him and also beat his world champion team-mate Jenson Button for the first time.

"He (Perez) is a talented driver and the way that he's racing at the moment, McLaren support what he's doing," said Michael.

"We're full behind Checo as long as he keeps developing."

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