Sergio Perez has joined the list of drivers who have spoken out about the issues that the new 2022 cars will present, owing to their radically different construction.
The new Formula 1 cars will look different due to wholesale regulation changes, but the change in aerodynamic construction, along with new tyres and a raft of technical adjustments, will necessitate a different approach behind the wheel – although Valtteri Bottas disagrees and believes there is little difference between the cars.
Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc have also mentioned the necessity to change their driving style for next season, and Perez alluded to the new machinery’s added weight as one key difference.
The cars’ minimum weight will be 795kg, which is 43 kilos more than in 2021. The minimum weight was set at 775 kilograms, however the FIA recently increased it by 20 kilograms. This corresponds to a 5.7 percent weight increase, which may not seem like much, but the Red Bull guy feels it will be a substantial shift for the drivers.
“Yes. I’ve driven the car and I think it’s going to be very different, of course,” Perez told reporters in an interview at the end of the season.
“The cars are a lot heavier than where they are now, so definitely…. yes…. takes a lot.”
Following his switch to Red Bull for the 2021 season, Perez admitted that he needed time to adjust to his new car after being chosen over Alex Albon after Racing Point dropped him.
The 31-year-old typically trailed Max Verstappen in qualifying, but made up for it in races with excellent recovery drives to help his team win – most notably by picking up the pieces after Verstappen’s crash in Baku to claim his maiden win with the team.
He admitted that if he wants to be more competitive in 2022, he’ll have to up his game, but given the short amount of time he had to prepare for the new season, he believes it wasn’t enough for him to hit the ground running with Red Bull.
“It will sound weird, but I lacked time,” said Perez.
“The limited amount of testing, the limited amount of practice in the car because every circuit is different.
“It was just such a different car that I went to that it probably made it a bit harder, but I think I’m not alone here. We saw other very good drivers struggle to get on top of their cars.”