McLaren have accused rival drivers of ganging up on it's young driver Sergio Perez after the Mexican again caused controversy during the Belgian Grand Prix.
In a battle during the race at Spa-Francorchamps, Perez was deemed to have forced Romain Grosjean off the track by pushing the Frenchman onto the kerb on the approach to Les Combes, the Lotus driver was then forced to shortcut the chicane as a result of Perez's actions.
While the regulations deem driver's must leave a car's width for the other driver many feel Perez was ahead heading into the corner and Grosjean should have yielded sooner. Despite that Perez was given a drive-through by the stewards costing him in the fight for points.
After the race team boss Martin Whitmarsh believed the singling out of Perez for aggressive manoeuvres by other driver's in drivers briefings had swayed the decision made by the stewards.
"The reality is that you get a young charger coming into the field and the older guys will try to gang up and make a scene in driver briefings," Whitmarsh told Autosport.
"They have done a bit of that [with Perez]. It shouldn't, but it clearly does make a difference.
"Ironically, later in the race there were two other worse examples that got no penalty - [Nico] Hulkenberg and [Jean-Eric] Vergne.
"It was a very hard penalty and disappointing."
While Whitmarsh accepts Perez may need to calm down his driving style for the next few races, he believes there is nothing wrong with Perez and that he should continue to race hard.
"When you are in his position you have got to be careful," said Whitmarsh. "Even if you are doing what you think is OK, when you know you are under a bit of scrutiny you've got to watch it.
"If I thought that he was wrong I would go and box him over the head but he's got to go out there and race.
"He has to have the confidence and the belief that the team is supporting him and he's out there racing so we will be supporting him."
Ultimately Grosjean blamed the incident with Perez for Felipe Massa beating him in the race.
"I lost a position so it's never the best, it cost me maybe three or four seconds, something like that," said Grosjean to reporters.
"It would probably have been enough to keep Massa behind."
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