Perez says he needs to change approach

Sergio Perez says he will need to change his approach to Formula 1 this season if he is to make the most of his switch to McLaren.

The Mexican, who spent his first official day at the team with a factory visit on Tuesday, reckons that if he is to achieve his ambitions of fighting for the title then he will no longer be able to simply the play brilliant tyre tactics that helped his grab podiums last year for Sauber.

"The approach this year is different," he said, when asked by AUTOSPORT about the way he will be attacking the races and revised tyres for 2013.

"At Sauber it helped me because the approach was to always to try and maximise the race potential, not so much the qualifying. Here the target is to be in pole position and win the race.

"Normally the fastest strategy is the one that does more stops and you are pushing all the time. In that respect obviously I will try and help with my style, with my understanding of the tyres, but I think the approach has to be different."

Perez has set his sights on using the next few weeks at McLaren to get into fully understanding his new surroundings, having already spent one day at the factory before Christmas to try out the simulator and have a seat-fitting for the 2013 car.

"I want to understand the car quite a lot in terms of set-up for me to be able to have a good communication with my engineers, and it is a very important part for me to build my relationship with my engineers, with my team and get together so when I get to the first test I have as much familiarisation as possible with the whole team," he said.

"Then when we get to Melbourne I want to be very well prepared so that everything comes automatically, so I don't have to think of many things."

Perez is also not holding back in his belief that he can make a success of his switch to McLaren, despite critics pointing to the fact that he failed to score a point in F1 ever since he signed for the team.

"I think the biggest challenge is to win," he said about 2013. "We are all here to win, and the challenge we are all facing at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is to win. This is the target.

"I think definitely when you come into McLaren you are expected to win every race because you are in the best team - and if you are not winning there is something wrong.

"So in that respect I expect more pressure but as a driver that is what you are looking for: to be in a top team, the best team, and to win races and to win championships."