Perez anticipating different challenges with new Red Bull

Frank Parker
Sergio Perez drives the Red Bull RB18. Spain. February 2022.

Sergio Perez drives the Red Bull RB18 during day two of three of testing in Spain. February 2022.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was happy with his new RB18’s performance throughout the first days of testing, but is expecting to have to deal with new challenges as the season kicks off.

The Mexican has had a solid shakedown at Barcelona completing a total of 152 laps over the three days. The Red Bull driver also found himself in third place, behind the two Mercedes cars, and dipped his toe into wet weather testing by trying out the new 18-inch Pirelli intermediate tyres.

Red Bull raised eyebrows when they launched their aggressive new car with dramatic undercut sidepods and Perez believes that Red Bull have a good baseline to work from, but has urged his team to gather momentum.

“I think we got a good baseline,” explained Perez, as quoted by F1.com. “I definitely think we have a good potential.

“It’s obviously very early days. I really hope that we are able to make a good step come Bahrain, and yes, [I hope we will] just keep progressing from all the information that we gathered from here.”

Red Bull missed out on the Constructors’ Championship to Mercedes last season, but their driver Max Verstappen was crowed Drivers’ Champion.

When asked whether the team can take a step towards Championship glory, Perez explained that development through the year will be vital. The Mexican also anticipates new challenges with an expectation of the cars changing dynamics from qualifying to race day.

“I think it’s a progression throughout the year; it’s important just to keep making steps, keep making progress, and keep learning from my driving, the way I’m adapting the car and the team – what’s the best way to maximise it?” Said the 32-year-old.

“Because, I think it’s going to be quite a different challenge from qualifying to race day. You have seen these cars [porpoising] so I think it’s going to be a challenge to maximise the whole weekend.”

Team-mate and reigning World Champion Verstappen ended the third day in fourth place, just behind Perez. Despite being two-tenths behind Perez, Verstappen is very happy with his new Red Bull.

 

“I really enjoy driving the car,” said Verstappen. “It has a nice stable balance and I think they look cool as well, so that’s always nice to jump into.

“Of course, quite a few red flags so we could not complete our whole programme, but everything was working well, the car felt good, [and I] just continued from what I did on Day 1. I think [that was] the most important objective here for us.”

 

Verstappen not paying attention to times until Bahrain

Max Verstappen is choosing to ignore rumours of a competitive pecking order after Barcelona, preferring to wait until qualifying in Bahrain.