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Perez eighteen months at Red Bull: figures compared with predecessors

Perez eighteen months at Red Bull: figures compared with predecessors

7 August - 20:26
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GPblog.com

Sergio Perez dreamed a few race weekends ago of a huge championship battle with teammate Max Verstappen, but at the summer break, the conclusion can be drawn that the Mexican is not ready (yet). Nevertheless, the driver is developing well. How does Perez's performance compare to his predecessors?

At the start of the season, Perez was the king of Red Bull. The new Formula 1 regulations were quite beneficial to the driver's qualities. Whereas last season it was Verstappen who immediately felt comfortable in his car, in 2022 the situation was reversed.

Perez performed so well in that period that he managed to stay close to the reigning world champion. At the time, he repeatedly said that he wanted to compete for the world title and challenge his teammate.

However, Perez says he is feeling increasingly worse about the RB18. In recent months the Austrians have been working on the floor and aerodynamics, among other things, which he says is harming his performance. It would cause him to underperform this season, although some experts question that.

Perez's results in a row

Verstappen's team-mate can be reasonably satisfied for the time being, however. The last Grand Prix in Hungary was his lowest ranking: he finished fifth. Apart from his crashes in Bahrain, Canada and Austria, the Mexican has been consistently in the top four this year.

Since joining Red Bull, the driver has had two wins, five second-place finishes and four third-place finishes. Strikingly, Perez did not achieve a single second-place finish last calendar year, while he has yet to finish third this season.

However, Perez is still clearly the second-placed driver behind Verstappen. He has only managed to finish ahead of Verstappen twice this season, with the Dutchman once again showing his qualities to Perez. A battle between the two seems unlikely.

Is criticism of Perez justified?

After the departure of Daniel Ricciardo, which took place at the end of 2018, Pierre Gasly and later Alexander Albon took his place. Where the Frenchman failed to get a podium finish to his name, Albon got no further than two third-place finishes.

So in terms of podium finishes, Perez is clearly doing better, but what is also certain is that Red Bull now has a better performing car than in 2019 and 2020. That's why it's good to look at the difference between Verstappen and his (former) teammates.

When Gasly had to leave Red Bull at the halfway point of 2019, he was on a points tally of 63, while Verstappen had 181 points to his name. Both drivers were therefore 118 points apart. In 2020, Albon fell 109 points short of the Dutch driver, doing a fraction better than Gasly.

Last season Perez found it almost impossible to keep up with Verstappen. He could not prevent the difference between them from increasing to 205.5 points. This year, however, the gap is 'only' 85 points, which shows that Perez has made a clear development.

Perez to settle for second driver role

At the halfway point of the season, Perez is third in the world championship and just five points behind Charles Leclerc, so he is still in contention for the position behind Verstappen. However, there doesn't seem to be much more in it for him this year.

With Perez, Red Bull has a hard-working driver with the necessary experience, as the above figures show. At the same time, the gap to Verstappen in both the races and the standings is still immense. Red Bull, however, seems to see through this and wants to focus on the strong performing team. Perez with his character fits perfectly in the team, but only in the place behind Verstappen.

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