Red Bull Racing has admitted that changing the setup of its 2022 Formula 1 to one more suited to Sergio Perez “would generally lose a bit of performance”.
Sergio Perez started the season strong, taking his first F1 pole position in Saudi Arabia and winning the Monaco F1 GP. Max Verstappen struggled especially on the street circuit.
However, Sergio Perez’s performance has slipped in recent months compared to team-mate Max Verstappen, with just two podium finishes in the last eight races.
Ahead of July’s Austrian Grand Prix, Sergio Perez said of the development of the Red Bull RB18: “It’s getting away from me in terms of comfort at the start.”
Since then, Sergio Perez and Red Bull Racing have worked to remedy the problem, but with limited success. After the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August, Sergio Perez said Red Bull was desperate to “make the car work a little differently” to extract its performance.
Sergio Perez’s problem is that he is unsure of the characteristics of a ‘sharp’ car suitable for Max Verstappen. Basically, these car characteristics give Verstappen access to increased pace to escape Perez, but the gap between the pair is much greater when the car tends to understeer early on.
Speaking about Sergio Perez’s setbacks, Red Bull Racing technical director Pierre Washet said: “There are several factors but the main one is clearly the balance of the car and the balance of the car is a bit better. for him and Max. Confidence in the car compared to the start of the season when it was a bit unbalanced.”
“After the development potential we put on the car over the season, the car has moved away from that.
“And then it’s very difficult to find a setup that suits him, and it’s very difficult to give him the confidence to beat or fight Max.”
Red Bull Racing has stressed that this does not mean teams will favor one driver’s preference over the other. Instead, it’s the result of the development path giving maximum performance, and Max Verstappen’s ability to co-exist with the incredible car has led others, including Sergio Perez, to find it too precarious. and lead to the current situation. are
Red Bull Racing are trying to make the package a bit more stable and harmless to make it work better for Sergio Perez, but Pierre Wasche admits there are performance trade-offs.
When asked if it would be possible to achieve the same lap times with different setups, or if performance sacrifices were unavoidable, Pierre Washet replied: “Theoretically when you try to develop a car for performance , it’s hard when you’re stuck in terms of configuration tools to rebalance the .”
“In this case, that means you have to drop the performance a bit to get the right balance, the balance that you want.”
“Normally you’ll drop the performance a bit to improve the balance. I don’t want to say much, but it’s going in that direction.”
Red Bull Racing’s evolutionary character is partly driven by aerodynamic changes, but also by a desire to beef up the front end, which tends to understeer in low-speed corners, thanks in part to regulations and Pirelli for 2022. Not just because of the size, but also because of the weight.
Max Verstappen has spoken in the past about the disadvantages of having an overweight car, but Red Bull Racing has reduced this over the season. The weight reduction improves the weight distribution inside the car and plays a role in dynamic characteristics
“Obviously the weight is an aspect, but it is part of the set-up of the car”, added Pierre Washet.
“At the start of the season there was no possibility of moving weights. It’s part of the setup.”
“I think it will be a bit trickier to set the car up once everything is in place and you find your performance somewhere.”
“It was in favor of Max. I think he can drive any car. Now we have to find a way to give Sergio a car so he can perform and compete.”
Category: F1 / red bull / Sergio Perez / Max Verstappen
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