F1 commentators have been told to “shut up” before denouncing newcomers to the sport as mere “pay-drivers”.
Both performed spectacularly in Melbourne last weekend, with Petrov achieving his first ever podium and rookie Perez the only driver in the field to manage a one-stopper on the new Pirelli tyres.
“I know why I’m in F1 and why some people call me that (a pay-driver),” Perez is quoted in a French-language AFP report.
“I’ve always had confidence in myself but it feels good to shut the mouths of those who have not stopped telling me I’m here because I paid for my seat.”
Petrov has a similar attitude about being called a pay-driver.
“If someone says this, I say ‘Shut up! I don’t want to listen to this’,” said the Russian.
“I don’t want people to think that we are here just because of money,” Petrov told The Independent.
“My father wanted to blow all the money the family has and the business,” he said sarcastically, “but after a few races in F1 you can see that I am not here just because of money.”