‘Red Bull not deliberately making the car less to Perez’s liking’

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez sitting in his car on the grid. Austria July 2022

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez sitting in his car on the grid. Austria July 2022

Fighting Ferrari for both titles, Paul Monaghan says it would be “foolish” to design a car that only suits one of their drivers.

Failing to win any of the four races since his Monaco Grand Prix triumph, and also out-qualified by Max Verstappen in three of those four, Sergio Perez says Red Bull’s development path is “going away from me in terms of how comfortable I was.

“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.”

With Verstappen taking three podiums, two of which were race wins, in the last four races and Perez two podiums and two DNFs, the Mexican driver has fallen to third in the standings where he trails his team-mate by 57 points.

Red Bull’s results coupled with back-to-back wins for Ferrari have seen the Scuderia close the gap to 56 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

And with Red Bull wanting the double this season, Monaghan, the team’s chief engineer, says it would be “foolish” to have the car only suit one of their two drivers.

Max Verstappen pours champagne on Sergio Perez. Monaco, May 2022.

“I’m not aware that we have made a deliberate step to make the car less to his liking,” he said as per Motorsport.com when told of Perez’s comments.

“It’s not easy to make cars go faster, shall we say. And within a fairly constricted set of technical regulations and freedoms, if you find a way to put a bit of pace on, you will often take it if it’s within your financial limitations to apply it.

“So you then go through a process of your research tools, realisation at full size and then evaluation at full size. And if it looks like we put some pace on the car, typically, we will keep it on the basis of all your tools saying your car will be faster.

“Now, it may be that in deploying the tools it’s been easier for Max to adopt them. Maybe his set-up has suited a bit more than Checo. But it’s not as if the car is fixed in terms of its parameters, and that Checo can’t then revise the set-up to say it’s to his liking again.

“And it would be foolish of us to not then try and give Checo a method to get more out of it. We’re in the race with both titles. And we need both cars ideally ahead of the Ferraris and the Mercedes, so we will do everything we can to put the two of them there.”

It has been reported that Red Bull’s upgrades have given the RB18 a sharper front end, a trait which suits Verstappen more than it does his team-mate.

“Has the direction taken something that might be preferential to Max?,” Monaghan said. “No not really.

“It’s quite difficult to put pace on it. And if we find a method of doing it, we will take it.

“And then within the race engineer suite of tools, and the things we can change, of course, we will look to revise the set-up, everybody would.

“It should be within our capabilities to find something which is maybe a little bit more to his liking. And the balance between drivers through a season will always ebb and flow.”

The Brit says the team is working with both drivers to get the best results possible.

Max isn’t one to rest on his laurels, and neither is Checo, and neither are we,” he said. “So our race is within our team.

“But they’ve got to remember that they both drive in the same team, and then our race is against our neighbours, [Ferrari and Mercedes] who are both quite happy to see us behind them.

“So our fight is on many fronts. But one of them I wouldn’t regard as a contest, it’s more our challenge. And that’s both our drivers most and we’ll support them as best we can.”


The evolution of Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen played the championship game in taking home a safe second place in Austria.