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Sergio Perez of Red Bull Racing after the Formula 1 post-season test at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on November 28, 2023.

Perez better equipped to adapt to Red Bull’s RB20

The Mexican driver is under a lot of pressure this season after struggling last year compared to teamate Max Verstappen

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Sergio Perez believes he and Red Bull have discovered new understandings of the car, making the Mexican more confident to adapt to the team’s RB20 after a disappointing season last year.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, RB20
The 34-year-old will be looking to prove the doubters wrong this season (Image Credit: @RBR_Daily on X)

The Mexican driver had an extremely disappointing season in 2023. He was way off the pace of teammate Mex Verstappen, struggling to adapt to the RB19.

The 34-year-old was 290 points off Verstappen, also missing out on Q3 nine times throughout the season with a dominant car. Perez had issues with comfort whilst driving the RB19 as the season went further on.

Issues with the car’s upgrades

Perez was close to Verstappen at the start of the 2023 season, winning in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan. However, after the race in Baku, the Mexican failed to win anymore races.

The Red Bull driver had a golden opportunity in Miami, starting from pole and Verstappen starting in ninth. However, he was unable to convert his pole position into a win, losing out to his Dutch teammate.

Miami was a psychological blow for Perez. However, the upgrades brought to the Spanish Grand Prix was what affected his season the most. The upgrades made the mexican feel less comfortable with the RB19, being way off the pace. Since Barcelona, Perez continued the trend and struggled for the rest of the season.

“We had some issues as the car was developing,” the Mexican explained.

“And the way we were trying to improve those issues meant that we were just taking performance out of the car, and not necessarily going faster. Making it more comfortable is not necessarily faster.”

“Qatar, Japan, was the lowest point of the season, where we understood a lot of things.”

Red Bull, RB20, Sergio Perez
Red Bull have gone for a completely new concept this year (Image Credit: RBR_Daily on X)
More confident with RB20

Perez took to the simulator before the United States Grand Pri last year, helping him discover new findings of the car. The Mexican believes that it wil help him better cope with this year’s RB20:

“With the learning of last year, it’s very important that we learn what went wrong, learn from our mistakes.”

“I think we understood a lot of things. It’s my fourth year with Red Bull, and I do expect to be at my best for this year.

“[We worked] on understanding the difficult races, why they were so difficult, the directions we were taking with the car, how we were overcompensating things and not necessarily making the car better. I think all of that we managed to learn.”

Perez was impressed with the stats on the simulator, sayin that its low-speed cornering seems to be in a better place.

With a lot of pressure to perform this season, the 34-year-old vows to seek more consistency, wanting to maximise every opportunity given to him.

Feature Image Credit: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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