McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has said he sees in Sergio Perez one of the shining talents of the new generation. Hence the decision to sign him up to replace Lewis Hamilton having hardly considered anyone else.
Others see a solid if unspectacular driver whose occasional stand-out results in 2012 owed more to circumstance - being on the right tyres or strategy at the right time; or having a car perfectly suited to the conditions - than stellar ability.
Perez's stats and facts
- Previous teams:
- Grand prix debut:
Cynics also point to Perez's access to Mexican sponsorship dollars and wonder how much that had to do with a decision made by a team who now have to pay for their Mercedes engines.
Whatever the truth of his signing, one thing is certain - the pressure on Perez has suddenly ramped up several notches.
From being at a team where a podium finish is a cause for celebration, he now arrives at one where it is the minimum expectation. Or even, depending on the circumstances, can be a disappointment.
Two or three great drives a year are no longer enough; he has to be a great driver every weekend.
He is not short on confidence - proclaiming that his target is to win the title in his first season.
This is his chance to prove he can live up to those lofty ambitions.