Red Bull explains: That’s why Verstappen is beating Perez to the punch
At the start of the season, Sergio Perez was up against Max Verstappen. In the meantime, the Formula 1 champion is in other spheres. Technical director Pierre Wache explains why. Choose which player you will cheer for and use the betting site in Kenya to get your winnings.
The last five Formula 1 races speak a clear language in the team-internal ‘duel’ at Red Bull: While Max Verstappen won all five Grand Prix, Sergio Perez was only able to climb the podium in second place at Spa. Bad luck is not an explanation either, because Verstappen, like Perez, had to start from poor grid positions several times due to penalties.
Now, with a view to the previous season, one could interject: Is everything normal? In 2021, the world champion scored more than twice as many points as the Mexican. This ratio also stands in the last five races: 127 points for Verstappen, 59 for Perez. However, the start of this year’s season speaks against this, because ‘Checo’ knew how to convince. In addition to his first pole position in Saudi Arabia, he also managed to win the prestigious race in Monaco.
After his triumph in the Principality, the points table looked much friendlier for the Mexican, as he held a gap of just 15 points to teammate Verstappen. In the nine races since the Monaco Grand Prix, that gap has grown to a whopping 125 points. Verstappen has taken seven wins and one-second place in this period. Perez, on the other hand, has just three podium finishes to his name. So has Verstappen become significantly faster or Perez so much slower?
Wache: Balance shift toward Verstappen
Red Bull’s technical director, Pierre Wache, sees a problem for the Mexican and tries to explain: “It’s several factors, but the main one is the balance of the car and the confidence in the car, compared to the beginning of the year when the car was a bit more balanced for him [Perez, ed.] and a bit less for Max.” Verstappen wanted a grippier front axle at the time, while Perez was obviously comfortable with the understeering RB18.
Wache admits the team was developing the car towards a different balance: “In the development program we put into the car during the season, maybe part of it was to get away from that a little bit. After that, it was quite difficult to find the right set-up for him to be confident enough to beat Max or fight with him.”