Sergio Perez now less 'comfortable' after RB18 upgrades
Initially adapting to the new RB18 quicker than his team-mate, Sergio Perez says the team’s recent upgrades have the development path “going away” from him.
Perez had a good start to this year’s championship, his best-ever in Formula 1, with his Red Bull team bosses conceding that the all-new RB18 played to his strengths more than it did Max Verstappen’s.
However, in the last two races, Canada and Silverstone, the Dutchman seems to be able to get more out of the car than his team-mate, on the pace from the very first lap in Friday’s practice.
Perez says that’s because he’s no longer completely comfortable with the car after Red Bull’s recent spate of upgrades.
“I haven’t been as comfortable with it [the development of the car] as I was in the beginning, let’s put it that way,” he said as per The Race.
“I think I’ve got some work to do to understand what’s going on and hopefully have a more straightforward weekend here in Austria.”
🗣 "Hopefully we can have a good weekend and really maximise the points available over a Sprint weekend at our home circuit."#AustrianGP | @SChecoPerez 🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/KYdl4H49U9
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) July 7, 2022
Perez, though, is facing a battle at Red Bull as their recent upgrades have given the RB18 a sharper front end, that’s more to Verstappen’s likening that it is Perez’s.
“Well, it’s just going away from me in terms of how comfortable I was in the beginning,” he added.
“But saying that, I’ve had only two races [of this] and last weekend I wasn’t up to it, I was feeling pretty bad, so I think this is the first weekend where I will see really.”
The Mexican driver will line up on the Red Bull Ring grid 34 points behind Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship.
Although he is P2 to his team-mate, Perez has bagged just one race victory compared to Verstappen’s six. Both drivers have two DNFs on the board.
Asked if his title bid was fading, Perez replied: “Having another couple of zeros, it will kill the championship for sure.
“But hopefully reliability issues are gone now and we’re able to finish races, that’s the most important [thing].”
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