McLaren have 'two number ones' in Jenson Button and Sergio Perez for 2013 Formula 1 season
Jenson Button will receive the same treatment as new Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team-mate Sergio Perez according to team principal Martin Whitmarsh.
The Mexican has joined Somerset-born Button in the Woking team's garage following an impressive 2012 with Sauber, replacing Mercedes-bound Lewis Hamilton.
Despite Perez - affectionately known as Checo - being ten years younger then the 2009 World Champion who is a top ten finish away from 1,000 career points, Button's superior experience will not give him team privileges.
Talking at today's launch of their new MP4-28 car, Whitmarsh said: "When the cars pull out of the garage for the first time they will both have a point to prove and that's really exciting.
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"We have two number ones. Jenson has clearly a lot of experience and I can sense in Jenson that he has put a lot of confidence in the car and the team and himself.
"He believes he can win the World Championship and he will be given every opportunity to do so. Checo is here because he has shown great capability and also has got a hunger to win.
"He's not intimidated by being here and being with Jenson so it is going to be really exciting.
"If one gets the upper hand (in the Championship) it's going to be easier for him and harder for the other. I predict that we have got to very quick, focused drivers. It won't be easy for either to get the upper hand."
Whitmarsh also believes McLaren has the ideal pair of drivers ahead of a season when Pirelli have promised a tyre compound that is effective through a greater range of temperatures and wears more easily.
"We are heading into a third year with Pirelli and they have contributed to exciting dilemmas for teams over the last few years," he said.
"In truth, they probably got a bit conservative at the end of the year, we understood the tyres more and one stop was possible.
"I think it's a good thing they have changed the compound and been a little bit more conservative in the compounds they elect for each race.
"It will be good for the sport and our team with two drivers with a reputation of being able to conserve their tyres. Jenson is excellent at understanding what he is going to those tyres."