Sergio Perez claims Red Bull upgrade led to his struggles

Sergio Perez claims Red Bull upgrade led to his struggles

Sergio Perez admitted he had struggles adjusting to Red Bull’s RB19 upgrade which was debuted at the Spanish GP, as it allowed Max Verstappen to extend the championship lead.

Verstappen and Perez each claimed two victories in the first four races, and it soon became clear that Red Bull would be incredibly hard to pin down. This gave the Red Bull drivers the impression that they may mount a battle for the drivers championship this season.

However, things started to go wrong for Perez from the Monaco GP. After crashing out of Q1, he went on to miss Q3s and had a run of only one podium result in five races.

Verstappen maintains a sizable lead over Perez at the very top in the Drivers’ Championship with a lead of 145 points after reeling off 10 consecutive victories. The Mexican driver has now made some progress at slowing the Dutchman’s lead, but Verstappen still has a significant advantage in qualifying and race pace.

When asked by Auto Motor und Sport why his Red Bull career seemed to have a pattern of exceptional season starts followed by slumps, Perez responded: “Most of the time it was because the car suited me at the beginning of the season. Everything came about naturally.

“Then came the moment when I had to think more about how to drive the car to be fast.

“That set me back. This year Barcelona was the turning point.

“I couldn’t explain the accident [in Monaco]. And then when I came to Barcelona a few days later, I felt like I was driving a different car.”

Perez elaborated on that sentiment by claiming that the RB19 upgrade in Barcelona threw him off course, while he admits responsibility for not adapting sufficiently fast.

“There was an upgrade on the car,” the Mexican driver added. “But it would be too easy to just blame it on that.

“The engineers themselves struggle to explain how this or that modification to the aerodynamics changed this or that driving characteristic, that one of the drivers might struggle with [more] than the other.

“They bring in upgrades to make the car faster. It did get faster. It’s just that I found it harder to drive the car.

“That has happened to other drivers as well. Because a certain characteristic doesn’t suit your driving style, then you have to adapt.

“I didn’t manage to do that as quickly as I should have.”

Perez’s new objective is to improve on his current Drivers’ Championship P2 position to a final F1 2023 finishing position, which would give Red Bull a first-ever one-two finish in the drivers championship standings.

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