Perez driving style the root of his problems

Red Bull Racing’s driver has claimed the pole position in Barcelona for the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix. Bizarrely the team’s last pole at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona was with Mark Webber back in 2011.

Yet once again his team mate Sergio Perez made a mistake forcing a trip through the gravel on his second run in Q2. The Red Bull driver could not clean up the tyres in time for one last run and starts the Grand Prix in P11.



Perez tries modifying driving style

Perez claimed he hasn’t felt at one with the car all weekend and suggested his driving style may be part of the problem given the clearly dominant car in the hands of his team mate.

“It hasn’t been a straightforward weekend; the conditions were quite tricky, and I wasn’t that comfortable in qualifying,” he revealed.

“I’ve been trying to modify my driving style quite a bit this weekend and as soon as we had some variable conditions it put us on the back foot, and I just couldn’t get the full potential out of the car.



Tyres too hot for Perez

Yet it was the damp in the middle of turn 5 which had caught a number of cars out in Q1 that did for Perez.

“Going into turn 5, the track was a little bit damp and I just lost the rear and went into the gravel, so we ended up losing a bit of time which was very costly for us.

“That incident meant that the tyres were too hot on my final lap and it was hard to come back from.”

So what is it about Sergio’s driving style that is causing him such difficulties. 

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Sergio prefers a different kind of car to Max

The Mexican driver during his time at Force India and Racing Point developed the nickname ‘the tyre whisperer.’ He prefers a well balanced car where he can be precise in the inputs on the throttle and the brake.

This is why Perez is so good usually on street circuits where the requirement is not to over do it. Sergio doesn’t wring the neck out of the car but rather allows his feel to let the car do the work.

Oversteer and a snappy rear end are all the things Perez dislikes in a car but conversely this is how Verstappen prefers to drive.

The Dutch driver likes a pointy nose on the car so he can turn in precisely and he will cope will a little rear end instability as a compromise.



Why Perez is good on street circuits

Street circuits tend to have slower speed corners where acceleration is where the time is made up yet Verstappen excels particularly at tracks with higher speed turns where commitment is everything.

At the higher speed tracks like Barcelona Verstappen carries incredible speed through turns where other drivers dare not.

In practice two this weekend, Verstappen’s throttle was at 75% while Alonso in P2 only managed 50% through the final corner before the pit straight.

So it, must be Perez is trying to drive a little more like Max yet this kind of commitment and bravery from Perez is just leading to mistakes.

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A “lot of cars out of position”

Speaking following qualifying Checo told assembled reporters, “It is frustrating, but it’s not Monaco.”

“It’s a race where we can race and we can get a lot of points.

“There are a lot of cars out of position, so it can be an interesting race tomorrow.”



Horner claims tyres to blame

Yet Christian Horner thinks Perez will struggle making up places in the race and that the tyres were “a crucial factor” in his driver’s underperformance during qualifying.

“We checked all the aero loads after Q1, the support back at the factory were able to look at the analysis between the two cars, are they generating the same amount of downforce?” explained Horner.

“They were like for like, so we couldn’t see any part misbehaving. Obviously we will do a big inspection this evening, but I think it was just about getting the tyres into the window because we know Checo isn’t that far off.

“He just didn’t get the car working today.”

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Marko slams Perez

The team’s consultant Helmut Marko has been critical of Sergio in recent weeks describing his crash at turn one in Q1 in Monaco as “stupid.”

Marko believes the Mexican driver is getting ahead of himself talking about winning the title rather than focusing on the immediate job in hand.

“With Sergio, things have not been going well since Monte Carlo. He needs to concentrate more on racing, not on the title,” Marko told Sky Deutschland.

“The whole weekend it was already the case that he was three-to-five-tenths slower. Checo is getting a relatively hard wake-up call now, but I’m sure he’ll pick himself up again.”



Perez will lose ground in championship

Sergio Perez starts the Spanish Grand Prix 39 points behind his team mate and is almost certainly to see that gap grow.

Verstappen is already further ahead of the field before the seventh round of the season than he was this time last year.

READ MORE: Wolff “pissed off” with Verstappen

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