Sergio Perez hopes that Red Bull will allow his car to be set up “slightly differently” to Max Verstappen’s in future Formula 1 races after the Belgian Grand Prix.
Perez started and finished second at Spa-Francorchamps, nearly 20s behind Verstappen who climbed from 14th on the grid to dominate for a ninth victory of the season, extending his points lead to 93 over the Mexican.
After a strong start to the season, including a pole position in Saudi Arabia and victory in Monaco, Perez has faded in recent races as the RB18 has ostensibly evolved to suit Verstappen’s super-sharp, on-the-nose style, moving away from Perez’s preferred action.
With the championship turning into a matter of ‘when, not if’ for Verstappen, Perez is hoping that this means the team will allow a bit more creative freedom on his side of the garage.
Perez keen to be different on set-up
Perez is currently on course for his best ever season in F1, and has a realistic shot at finishing runner-up in the championship.
2021, with one win and five total podiums and 190 points, was his previous best campaign, and with eight races still to go in ’22, he has one win, one pole, seven podiums and a tally of 191 points.
But he believes there is still more to unlock from his RB18.
“Certainly the car has become become quicker from the beginning of the season, but I’m not as comfortable as I was in the beginning,” Perez explained to media including RacingNews365.com after a sixth second place of the term.
“So it’s something that I need to work [on] on my side to make sure we are able to get the maximum out of the car, because sometimes things become more natural for you to get the most out of your car.
“And sometimes you have to work really hard and go very deep in the analysis to make sure you are able to extract the maximum. It seems that we are in that window at the moment.
“I really hope that from this weekend, we run the cars slightly different, so we are able to spot some differences that can bring some performance on our side.”