Perez offers insight into Verstappen speed
By Mat Coch
Tuesday 28th February, 2023 - 11:54pm
Sergio Perez has offered an insight into why Max Verstappen has typically extracted more performance from his Red Bull F1 car.
Perez and Verstappen this year embark on their third year together at Red Bull with the latter winning the drivers’ championship for the last two seasons and won a record 15 races in 2022.
Perez meanwhile finished third in the championship, narrowly missing out on second, and claimed two race wins.
“Being Max’s team-mate it’s quite a challenge,” the Mexican confessed.
“He’s just very complete, hardly makes mistakes and I think that’s one of his strengths, that he’s able to be at the limit for a very long time during a weekend.
“I think that’s one of the biggest strengths.”
Verstappen versus Perez
There is no doubt Verstappen and Perez have different driving styles, with the latter boasting a formidable reputation when it comes to tyre management.
In the early part of the 2022 season, he even looked more comfortable in the RB18 before updates rejuvenated Verstappen and saw him run clear of his rivals.
The suggestion was those developments were more aligned with Verstappen’s style, introducing more oversteer versus the understeer set-up thought to favour Perez.
However, that is not the case according to the 33-year-old.
“I say that, definitely, there are very few drivers that like understeer, I think there is not many drivers that like it,” Perez explained.
“From my point of view, I just like to think Max is able to cope with a less stable rear than I’m able to cope [with].
“At the end of the day, we both want a good front end, it’s just a question of how stable the rear end can be and certainly Max has been able to cope with a looser rear end.”
Perez set the fastest time of pre-season testing in Bahrain last week with a lap on Saturday evening as conditions cooled.
He was comfortably clear of the chasing pack, reinforcing suggestions Red Bull, and specifically, Verstappen, are the ones the beat when the season starts.
The opening round of the 2023 world championship, the Bahrain Grand Prix, begins on Friday with Free Practice 1 at 14:30 local time (22:30 AEDT).
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