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Is Perez closer to Verstappen in 2022?


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#1 Risil

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 15:03

Borrowing a post from Nemo1965 for a moment:
 

I find it quite interesting that Perez is AND much closer to Verstappen this year and, at the same time, Max just seems to treat his tires different (i.e: better) in 2022. Perhaps the sample is too small, but I was rather amazed how in Barcelona Verstappen just blitzed Perez on race-pace (and on tire-deg, I think), and now in Baku he really blitzed Perez (very definitely on tire-management). I would be very interested in an analysis by either Peter Windsor or Scott Mansell (Driver61, Youtube) that would compare their driving styles. I was amazed how Verstappen and Leclerc were basically pestering each other and Perez STILL could not create distance between him and the two. And in the rest of the race... oh boy. And Perez admitted himself Max did a better job in that regard today.

So... the cars this year are heavier... more understeering... less pointy... what does Perez do that makes him closer to Verstappen than last year but still gives him more tire-deg (as it seems now)?
 
Confused.... :stoned:

 

There's been a sort of general mood that Sergio Perez has upped his game in 2022 -- certainly he's been leading more races, and qualifying higher up the grid and more consistently than last year. In the races, Perez is normally on the podium unless something goes wrong, but a couple of recent races (Baku, Spain) have seen a pretty competitive Red Bull fight end with Verstappen blowing him away as the race develops.

 

We've all heard the system the Red Bull pitwall has when Max gets into his race rhythm and Sergio is in the way, but team orders alone don't explain why Max ends up 10-20 seconds down the road having hit the front.

 

What's Perez doing differently this year? How has Max retained his advantage? Does this say anything about how the championship fight with Ferrari (if they stop blowing up) will develop? Does it say anything about the Red Bull car concept for 2022? It's worth a thread I guess.



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#2 ARTGP

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 15:11

Based on the numbers, the qualifying gap is smaller than last season but the race gap hasn't improved all that much in my view. Checo's better qualifying is instantly uplifting the perception of his race performances even though relative to Max, it's not obvious that he improved.

 

Examples: Holds off Leclerc in Saudi stint 1. Holds off Leclerc in Imola race. Holds off Leclerc in Baku stint 1. He may not be the quickest, but his utility (holding off Leclerc) inflates the perception of how he is doing relative to Max in races. If you simply focus on Leclerc, you think he's doing better than he is. 

 

Is he more effective for RB on the balance? Absolutely. Is he closer to Max in qualy? Yes, and we can speculate why that may be. Is he closer in the races? I don't think so. 


Edited by ARTGP, 13 June 2022 - 15:13.


#3 SenorSjon

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 15:13

It seems Perez can 'turn on' the tires more easily for one lap, but overheats them over multiple laps. Also, some users brought up the RB at the end of 2021 was fast over a single lap, but couldn't cope with the Mercedes race pace.

 

So it seems (at least on Max side), they focus on the racing more.

 

But the trend from Spain and Baku was also there in Monaco. I wonder where Perez would have ended up if he didn't cause the red flag. At the end of the race, he was the only one not to have tires left, with Sainz, Verstappen and Leclerc in hot pursuit. 

 

It is often said the SC ruined Perez race in SA, but it seems he couldn't put a dent into Sainz defending while Verstappen passed Leclerc way up the road.

 

To examine this further, you should look at the end of race gap without SC's or FL stops.


Edited by SenorSjon, 13 June 2022 - 15:14.


#4 SophieB

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 15:35

I’m not so sure he’s upped his game. I think Perez is an excellent driver who seems to have a few absolutely excellent races every year where he looks like he is up there with the best of them and also a few absolute terrible races where I used to think ‘ah, that’s why he’s not.’ I see this season as part of his general pattern. He is an  absolutely perfect choice as second driver.



#5 Lights

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 15:37

Bottas could also frequently trouble Hamilton in qualifying, but even if he started ahead you just knew 9 out of 10 times that in the race Hamilton would find his way past one way or another.

Sure, sometimes the team might intervene, but as long as the track and car allows it then racecraft, raw racepace and tire management is usually sufficient for the clearly stronger driver to prevail.

 

Why we see a similar dynamic lately at Red Bull likely has something to do with setup and/or approach and driving preferences these drivers have right now.

Because we can all agree that this is not the approach Perez has used in the past when he was known for being average in qualifying but a true tire whisperer in races.

 

Verstappen is, Hamilton-esque, looking at the long game. Not being on pole isn't the end of the world. In his situation this approach optimizes his chances for the title.

While Perez, Bottas-esque, is looking to disrupt. He has to force the issue, because if he copies everything Verstappen does, he'll always be a bit behind at every step.

 

Is Perez closer to Verstappen? Yes, absolutely. Because last year his base speed was so far off that no change in approach would have mattered.

He's clearly far more confident and consistent with this years car and hasn't had any shocking weekends yet, whereas last year he had plenty (Imola, Spa, Zandvoort, Silverstone..)


Edited by Lights, 13 June 2022 - 15:55.


#6 cpbell

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 15:44

Horner on the C4 highlights said the team is going to investigate whether Perez is focusing too much on one-lap speed in practice to the detriment of a race set-up that allows him to preserve the tyres.



#7 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 15:54

Look at average start position, average end position, % of team points he brought home, number of times he's been on the same piece of tarmac with Max.

Every objective measure shows he's not only closer, but much closer.

 

He had a ton of graining in Monaco on the fronts and he coocked his rears yesterday. But other than that he's been there



#8 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 15:58

Weird thing though - Checo's main strength has always been tyre management and race pace, but this year it's completely the opposite. 



#9 noikeee

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 16:06

The timing clock says yes. He's been much much closer at least in qualy.


Edited by noikeee, 13 June 2022 - 16:06.


#10 Scaboo22

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 16:14

Qualifying gap is smaller because Verstappen doesn't have that 1 lap confidence in this car yet that he had with the previous generation. So he leaves a few tenths on the table and focuses more on race pace where his issues with the car don't hamper him as much (doesn't have to push to the limit). So what happens is Verstappen gets his edge back on Sundays and probably plays it a bit safer on Saturdays until an upgrade comes that makes the car maybe more to his liking (more pointy). If this doesn't happen, eventually he'll just get accustomed with the car enough to push it on Saturdays as much as he likes but right now it feels unnecessary to do so considering his race pace is great, and clearly better than Perez's.

I've yet to see a race where Perez has better race pace than Max so really there is no point in him forcing too much on Saturdays. Perez is indeed closer and appears capable of mixing it up with Leclerc on some venues, which is great news for RBR. 

So to answer the question, Perez is closer in quali, and is doing a much better job than last year in staying near the front, so a clear step forward from him which cannot be denied, but still not enough to realistically fight Verstappen on Sundays.



#11 TheFish

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 16:20

I think they have been closer together on more occasions already this year than the entire 2021 season. Whether that's the midfield journeyman stepping up or Max not being comfortable enough yet with the new car... I have to think it's the latter. Perez has show very little in his F1 career that makes me think he's a great qualifier and yet he's just outqualified Max twice in a row. Also weirdly, his tyre management has been pretty awful.



#12 Disgrace

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 16:55

Yeah, he has definitely improved. Bottas was reduced to little more than a meme last year and still beat Perez, sealing the WCC for Mercedes. He's unlikely to be lower than P3 this year.



#13 AlexPrime

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 17:23

Yes, sure. But I think it is not enough to say that he is now equal.



#14 Astandahl

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 17:25

In qualifying yes.



#15 Clrnc

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 17:42

Weird thing though - Checo's main strength has always been tyre management and race pace, but this year it's completely the opposite. 

It's very weird. He has never been a strong qualifier too, always been beaten by teammates but he could beat Max this year and come very very close others. 

 

He is definitely closer, but then again he has always been close to every teammate he has raced (except last year where people kept forgetting he had no adaptation to that difficult car). There's still a relative gap to Max in race because Max is alien but he is a very good driver on his day, certainly much better than Bottas. 



#16 Taxi

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 17:48

Much better quali performances because Max does not have the confidence he needs to  take it to the absolute limit. In races though Max is still better. Overall the new car favoured Sergio and he his closer and capable of fighting for the title. 



#17 Ivanhoe

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 17:50



Much better quali performances because Max does not have the confidence he needs to  take it to the absolute limit. In races though Max is still better. Overall the new car favoured Sergio and he his closer and capable of fighting for the title. 

He’ll need quite some issues and bad luck on the other side of the garage for that to happen. Just don’t see it.



#18 PlatenGlass

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 18:05

I always wondered if Perez being the great tyre whisperer was largely a myth. I remember the Sauber of about a decade ago was really good on its tyres and this then got attributed to Perez and the reputation then just stuck.

#19 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 18:38

Much better quali performances because Max does not have the confidence he needs to take it to the absolute limit. In races though Max is still better. Overall the new car favoured Sergio and he his closer and capable of fighting for the title.


Was he given the same benefit of doubt last year that the car was massively favoring Max?

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#20 Celloman

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 19:04

I always wondered if Perez being the great tyre whisperer was largely a myth. I remember the Sauber of about a decade ago was really good on its tyres and this then got attributed to Perez and the reputation then just stuck.

Not a myth. Perez was always excellent, especially with the rear tires. Button speaks about this in a beyond the grid F1 podcast. Apparently not even Perez or McLaren understood exactly how he did it, but it's one factor that allowed him to be on podiums on rear-limited tracks like Bahrain and Baku so many times with average cars. Peter Windsor also speaks about this in his podcast.

 

This is really the first year his race pace is worse than quali pace. Windsor speculated he might simply load these new spec tires too much, while still actually avoiding any wheelspin, which he was always good at.



#21 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 19:41

Much better quali performances because Max does not have the confidence he needs to  take it to the absolute limit. In races though Max is still better. Overall the new car favoured Sergio and he his closer and capable of fighting for the title. 

 

Capable in the sense that Eddie Irvine was capable of fighting for the title.



#22 baku

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 20:19

People who followed Max during his karting years must know that Max greatest strength has never been his ultimate qualifying pace. Dont get me wrong, he is still able to outqualify anyone when he is on it, but his real superpower is super consistent race pace. And consistency is always good for tires. Ricciardo and sainz could keep up with him in qually sometimes, but both got blown away during races.
Perez may have half a tenth on Max on his best qually day on his favourite circuits, but the way he drives is impossible to do lap after lap, Max can keep it up, lap after lap after lap.
Good thing Perez is back on his feet after the race in Baku

Edited by baku, 13 June 2022 - 20:22.


#23 Celloman

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 20:28

People who followed Max during his karting years must know that Max greatest strength has never been his ultimate qualifying pace. Dont get me wrong, he is still able to outqualify anyone when he is on it, but his real superpower is super consistent race pace. And consistency is always good for tires. Ricciardo and sainz could keep up with him in qually sometimes, but both got blown away during races.
Perez may have half a tenth on Max on his best day and favourite circuits, but the way he drives is impossible to do lap after lap, Max can keep it up, lap after lap after lap.
Good thing Perez is back on his feet after the race in Baku

Max had massive gaps to his team-mates in qualifying as well though, ever since second half of 2017. 2017: -0.3 to Ricciardo on average, 2018: -0.4, 2019: -0.7 to Gasly/Albon, 2020: -0.6 to Albon, 2021: -0.5 to Perez. I don't think any other driver on the current grid has beaten his team-mates over five years with such a margin.



#24 PlatenGlass

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 20:32

Not a myth. Perez was always excellent, especially with the rear tires. Button speaks about this in a beyond the grid F1 podcast. Apparently not even Perez or McLaren understood exactly how he did it, but it's one factor that allowed him to be on podiums on rear-limited tracks like Bahrain and Baku so many times with average cars. Peter Windsor also speaks about this in his podcast.

This is really the first year his race pace is worse than quali pace. Windsor speculated he might simply load these new spec tires too much, while still actually avoiding any wheelspin, which he was always good at.

Fair enough then. It's not something I've analysed.

#25 baku

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 20:36

Max had massive gaps to his team-mates in qualifying as well though, ever since second half of 2017. 2017: -0.3 to Ricciardo on average, 2018: -0.4, 2019: -0.7 to Gasly/Albon, 2020: -0.6 to Albon, 2021: -0.5 to Perez. I don't think any other driver on the current grid has beaten his team-mates over five years with such a margin.


sure, he is still top 3 qualifier and im pretty sure Perez will not be able to outqualify him more then 6 times this season. But his racepace is what makes him the best driver on the grid(imho)

#26 ThrottleBlib

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 21:07

Yes. 

He is as close as a good number 2 should be. 

Just like Valtteri: Close or even ahead in Q, but missing something  (maybe a lot..) in the race. 

The tyre-whisperer went from endurance to sprint, and I'm pretty sure it was to prove himself, but it has also improved the team! (Catch-33).



#27 RPM40

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 21:19

The gap between them is close, but its unclear if that is due to Perez improving or Verstappen regressing from his form last year. I would probably place a bet on the later, I don't see Perez suddenly becoming a top qualifier when for his entire career he's been lacking in that area. 



#28 Nemo1965

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 21:23

I have to say that Verstappen is the second driver in my long following of racing drivers who baffles me. After some analysis, I get why Clark was so good… Stewart… Schumacher… Senna… But if I watch Verstappen, the same with Prost, I just can’t see it. It seems that he does not brake as late as others… it seems that he releases the brakes earlier than others… Peter Windsor and Scott Mansell state that he is able better than others to ‘flatten’ the car at the critical time… but how does he get the car turned then?

My impression is that Windsor was on to something: Perez is able to get the tire temps of the rears higher than Max at the moment… but without sliding the rear (which Leclerc is wont to do). Verstappen seems to balance his car and hence tires more even… but why would he not break that style for qualifying? And how does Perez load the rears heavier without sliding? Less rear wing? Very intriguing.

Edited by Nemo1965, 13 June 2022 - 21:24.


#29 Risil

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 21:28

Yes. 

He is as close as a good number 2 should be. 

Just like Valtteri: Close or even ahead in Q, but missing something  (maybe a lot..) in the race. 

The tyre-whisperer went from endurance to sprint, and I'm pretty sure it was to prove himself, but it has also improved the team! (Catch-33).

 

I think Perez is way more useful to Red Bull and Verstappen qualifying well and racing the Ferraris in the first stint, than qualifying deeper in the field and racing his way up. Don't know how much these things can be planned and if Sergio really sat down one day and decided to develop his qualifying setup at the expense of his race pace, but right now it's working.



#30 ThrottleBlib

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 21:37

I have to say that Verstappen is the second driver in my long following of racing drivers who baffles me. After some analysis, I get why Clark was so good… Stewart… Schumacher… Senna… But if I watch Verstappen, the same with Prost, I just can’t see it. It seems that he does not brake as late as others… it seems that he releases the brakes earlier than others… Peter Windsor and Scott Mansell state that he is able better than others to ‘flatten’ the car at the critical time… but how does he get the car turned then?, or 

My impression is that Windsor was on to something: Perez is able to get the tire temps of the rears higher than Max at the moment… but without sliding the rear (which Leclerc is wont to do). Verstappen seems to balance his car and hence tires more even… but why would he not break that style for qualifying? And how does Perez load the rears heavier without sliding? Less rear wing? Very intriguing.

Jan Lammers had (Yesterday) some ideas why: 

Paraphrasing!  "The stiffening of the floor to reduce porpoising has impact on the turn-in (Rotation) especially in slow corners." 

I would as a casual sim-driver call it understeer. 

He thinks that in med-high speed corners circuits (like Silverstone) the difference would flip.  

I thought this was interesting and refreshing to listen to... though some might think he should just shut up, like Jos should..



#31 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 21:39

And how does Perez load the rears heavier without sliding? Less rear wing? Very intriguing.

he is known to have a very good throttle application (like built in TC) - basically getting great traction just bellow wheel spin.

That is what helped him a lot. 

re: Max- I think he keeps a constant load - less weight moving around means tyres are probably closer to ideally loaded, aero works predictably etc..



#32 Paa

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 21:47

he is known to have a very good throttle application (like built in TC) - basically getting great traction just bellow wheel spin.

That is what helped him a lot. 

re: Max- I think he keeps a constant load - less weight moving around means tyres are probably closer to ideally loaded, aero works predictably etc..

 

So Perez has the TC while Max has a built in ESP?

 

Ohh boy, if these two could have a child. :D



#33 jonpollak

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 22:17

I’m not so sure he’s upped his game. I think Perez is an excellent driver who seems to have a few absolutely excellent races every year where he looks like he is up there with the best of them and also a few absolute terrible races where I used to think ‘ah, that’s why he’s not.’ I see this season as part of his general pattern. He is an absolutely perfect choice as second driver.


Agreed.
And it tortures me, as a fan of Sergio, that the race on Sunday was a legit example of just how much faster Max is. I’m 99% sure that no ‘call’ came to Checo to slow up and let Max through.

He was just plain quicker.

Signed,
Tortured Checo Fan.

#34 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 13 June 2022 - 22:29

Agreed.
And it tortures me, as a fan of Sergio, that the race on Sunday was a legit example of just how much faster Max is. I’m 99% sure that no ‘call’ came to Checo to slow up and let Max through.

He was just plain quicker.

Signed,
Tortured Checo Fan.

it was a clear cut example of Checo destroying his rears. Not a dramatic thing, no crash, just he was not the better driver (clearly) yesterday.

The ending gap is though not very relevant - as they were given target lap times. we can assume their pace on hards would have been similarly different, but the end 19sec gap is the result of a "fake" race between them.

Once Charles was out it was the clear, logical thing to do.

I am happy they gave both drivers the chance to go for a FL - and Checo came on top



#35 shure

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 03:15

This year’s RB seems much easier to drive than previous years’ cars. I’m sure Horner mentioned in an interview recently that it has allowed Checo to drive normally, but Max’s ability to drive around problems is now less of a factor. The previous gaps were often down to Max seemingly ignoring car deficiencies, but now the car is easier to drive there is less scope to make that difference. So fundamentally I think it’s down to how the car is behaving for both

#36 Rediscoveryx

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 03:23

So Perez has the TC while Max has a built in ESP?

Ohh boy, if these two could have a child. :D


Does either one have a sister?

#37 HP

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 05:29

IMO Checo was always thereabout. That he flew under the radar IMO had to do with his rookie year and subsequent years in midfield teams.

 

He was taking risks more risks than his teammate was comfortable with, so he didn't gel well with Button at McLaren. Even more important, the promised sponsorship money from Carlos Slim apparently didn't found his way to McLaren..

 

With the midfield teams he had many, not so obvious, very good races and provided a substantial amount of sponsorship money.

 

I was happy that he got a second chance with a front team. Interestingly, his qualifying has improved.  I wonder if some of his late exploits have to do with the fact that for the first time in his career, he is not associated with a team, whose main interest was his sponsorship money.

 

This year’s RB seems much easier to drive than previous years’ cars. I’m sure Horner mentioned in an interview recently that it has allowed Checo to drive normally, but Max’s ability to drive around problems is now less of a factor. The previous gaps were often down to Max seemingly ignoring car deficiencies, but now the car is easier to drive there is less scope to make that difference. So fundamentally I think it’s down to how the car is behaving for both

Probably related to the back of the car. That is exactly what Horner was alluding to, that Checo's setup was too much geared towards qualifying.  In the past it was Checo that was able to nurse his tyres better. The current RBR tends to understeer, and it suits Checo better. So he is able to quickly bring the tyres into working window, Great for qualy. In the race however that means he is using up his tires faster than Max. So Checo needs now to work and balance out these 2 priorities. Finding the best compromise between qualy and race times.



#38 CoolBreeze

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 06:38

Definitely closer. There's also a video on youtube under The Race channel (believe the commentator was Edd Straw) who justified how Perez upped his game. 

 

Main question is, will be be allowed to challenge Max/?



#39 Jbleroi

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 07:20

Definitely closer. There's also a video on youtube under The Race channel (believe the commentator was Edd Straw) who justified how Perez upped his game. 

 

Main question is, will be be allowed to challenge Max/?

 

 

In order to be allowed to challenge max he first needs to be in a position to properly challenge him 



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#40 Nemo1965

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 07:29

Definitely closer. There's also a video on youtube under The Race channel (believe the commentator was Edd Straw) who justified how Perez upped his game. 

 

Main question is, will be be allowed to challenge Max/?

 

If Red Bull think he is just as viable chance to win the WC, yes of course. But I think that the team is sensible to give Max his best chance to win the championship, just because the empirics show he has a much better chance... especially if Ferrari stop messing up or Mercedes comes back to the fore. 

 

Regarding the driving styles... there are some very good remarks here and I think there is consensus about the fact: the 2022 cars suit Perez more than that of the 2021 season. I also think we can have consensus about the rear of the car being the key. So why does Max not adapt his style for qualifying and then does his godly thing on Sunday? I think he can't. Or won't. Here's another thought: I heard that the sidewalls of the current tires are much stiffer than those of last year. If that is true, Max has lost a little advantage he had over Perez (and most other drivers).

 

My very green thesis about the driving style of Max is this: as Scott Mansell and Peter Windsor say: he is incredible able to 'flatten' the car at the right moment (this 'stable platform'-theory has been around for a while, BTW, which mantra was obliterated by Schumacher, but that is another story). What I also think he is able to do is: brake partially and hence balancing the brakes between front and rear so that the wheels rotate EXACTLY at the same speed. Hence: he has the weight transfer done WAY before he goes to the apex. Hence: he can use a pointy car to get to and around the apex.

 

The first time I saw him overtake cars in F1 I just could not believe what I was seeing. Take the hairpin at Shanghai (2016, I believe) and a typical Max-overtake. He pulls out of behind the car in front. Both start braking. At one moment, both cars seem to be slowing down at the same speed, until, apparently, both have all their braking done. But then Verstappen seems to release ANOTHER part of his braking and just glides past the other driver, in a total straight line... still makes the apex, though in a 'too shallow' line... and then very quickly around the apex. 

 

So: the stiffer sidewalls of the current Pirelli-tires need more work to warm up sufficiently and they need more sideways momentum to warm up. Verstappen 'style' seems to be to 'get straight quick' while Perez' style seems: get on the throttle quick but smooth (subtle difference). Hence he warms up the tires quicker. If I am right (shoot!) then Red Bull knows this, Max knows this... but I wonder if Max is indeed not playing the long game this year. He is WAY less prone to take risks now. His demeanour after being beaten in Monaco total and in Baku in qualifying is almost Unverstappen-like calm. 

 

EDIT: The first time I saw Max overtakes in F1 was in 2016, not 2017!


Edited by Nemo1965, 14 June 2022 - 14:51.


#41 Taxi

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 07:46

Capable in the sense that Eddie Irvine was capable of fighting for the title.

 

And he did. Took it to the wire with an ace like Mika. 

 

Sergio is in the same ball park as Webber, Coulthard, Rubens, Massa. 



#42 jacdaniel

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 07:56

Sergio is closer for sure.

But that's mainly because he was so far away last year.

#43 Ramon69

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 10:18

He is closer, but not a threat for Max! I think that Monaco win really flattered Checo. Still, deserves credit for being much stronger this year!  :up:



#44 Sterzo

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 10:33

This year’s RB seems much easier to drive than previous years’ cars. I’m sure Horner mentioned in an interview recently that it has allowed Checo to drive normally, but Max’s ability to drive around problems is now less of a factor. The previous gaps were often down to Max seemingly ignoring car deficiencies, but now the car is easier to drive there is less scope to make that difference. So fundamentally I think it’s down to how the car is behaving for both

I'm sure that's it. Many years ago, Stewart said the fastest cars were a bitch to drive. That makes sense, as there's a trade off between maximum grip and progressive breakaway. The only way to make loss of grip progressive is to begin that loss earlier. The top drivers can cope with the "bitch" cars in a way their team-mates can't. Think: Schumacher at Benetton, or Verstappen when the Red Bull was seen as difficult. It's sometimes suggested a car is designed to suit driver X, but that's probably nonsense. It's more likely to be a matter of how tricky the car is.



#45 Sam1

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 10:46

Borrowing a post from Nemo1965 for a moment:


There's been a sort of general mood that Sergio Perez has upped his game in 2022 -- certainly he's been leading more races, and qualifying higher up the grid and more consistently than last year. In the races, Perez is normally on the podium unless something goes wrong, but a couple of recent races (Baku, Spain) have seen a pretty competitive Red Bull fight end with Verstappen blowing him away as the race develops.

We've all heard the system the Red Bull pitwall has when Max gets into his race rhythm and Sergio is in the way, but team orders alone don't explain why Max ends up 10-20 seconds down the road having hit the front.

What's Perez doing differently this year? How has Max retained his advantage? Does this say anything about how the championship fight with Ferrari (if they stop blowing up) will develop? Does it say anything about the Red Bull car concept for 2022? It's worth a thread I guess.

Because he knows he is a paid number 2 driver its also clear rb will choose max. His only chance is as you say up his game try try and try again and hope max blows a engine and closes the points gap then and only then he might get a chance

Edited by Sam1, 14 June 2022 - 10:46.


#46 Primo

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 11:09

For RBR, a good Q and first part of the race for Perez is probably more important than where he finish.



#47 zanquis

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 12:59

I think a lot of things helping Perez.
 

The 2021 RedBull had very sharp steer and a rear that could snap if you went over the edge. This suited Max prefered driving style to perfection. He could drive the RB on the edge where Perez was never comfortable with that part of the RB. He likes a predicable car where you can feel what will happen before it happens. The 2022 RedBull is exactly that. It suits Perez driving a lot better. But that doesn't count out Max cause we can see that Max can adjust it's driving a lot.From early testing reporters noted Max different driving style already.

Than comes the tracks, Perez has always been solid and strong on street tracks, but so has Max. But because Max isn't fully comfortable with the RB of this year it limits Max. 
Also here comes the driving style in play. in Baku it was very clear, Perez style of driving generates a small risk of brushing on the exit of the corner. But it is just that, "light brushes". Because of that Perez can take in more risks because he knows that such brushes while not favorable are not likely to result in massive damage due to the low angle of impact. So while it looks like a sudden surge of Perez I feel we can't dismiss the tracks. Every track where Perez has beaten Max in qualifying has been a street track, Jeddah, Monaco and Baku. The next and only true street track is Singapore.

Than comes the part of tire management. Perez has been hailed as a tire whisperer because most of his great successes have been from nursing the tires while keeping a decent speed. But on that subject I think Max is actually even beter. But often Max prefers the more aggressive approach to a race where he rather generates a big enough gap to allow himself to do an extra stop. It is usually faster but sometimes events can swing in a drivers favor that has taken it easy.

 

But we have seen it this year a few times where Max seems to be able to put pressure on a driver without straining his tires and when the other driver tires begin to go, he strikes. We seen it in his battles with Charles and we seen it in Baku. Max never actually stressed his tires to keep up. He took it easier in the twistier sections and then used the slipstream and DRS to maintain the gap. While looking fast he asked very little of his tires in comparison and maintained them in a very good window.

So yeah Sergio is closer but honestly I think these races will be as good as it gets for him. These where his best tracks. Best part for RedBull is now Ferrari can't ignore him in the tactics too much as he is now also a driver too beat that can steal away from Charles.



#48 Tony Mandara

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 13:02

Their personal relationship is none of my business!

Oh..

..That's not what you meant?..

 ;)

Edited by Tony Mandara, 14 June 2022 - 13:02.


#49 Laptom

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 19:12

If Red Bull think he is just as viable chance to win the WC, yes of course. But I think that the team is sensible to give Max his best chance to win the championship, just because the empirics show he has a much better chance... especially if Ferrari stop messing up or Mercedes comes back to the fore.

Regarding the driving styles... there are some very good remarks here and I think there is consensus about the fact: the 2022 cars suit Perez more than that of the 2021 season. I also think we can have consensus about the rear of the car being the key. So why does Max not adapt his style for qualifying and then does his godly thing on Sunday? I think he can't. Or won't. Here's another thought: I heard that the sidewalls of the current tires are much stiffer than those of last year. If that is true, Max has lost a little advantage he had over Perez (and most other drivers).

My very green thesis about the driving style of Max is this: as Scott Mansell and Peter Windsor say: he is incredible able to 'flatten' the car at the right moment (this 'stable platform'-theory has been around for a while, BTW, which mantra was obliterated by Schumacher, but that is another story). What I also think he is able to do is: brake partially and hence balancing the brakes between front and rear so that the wheels rotate EXACTLY at the same speed. Hence: he has the weight transfer done WAY before he goes to the apex. Hence: he can use a pointy car to get to and around the apex.

The first time I saw him overtake cars in F1 I just could not believe what I was seeing. Take the hairpin at Shanghai (2016, I believe) and a typical Max-overtake. He pulls out of behind the car in front. Both start braking. At one moment, both cars seem to be slowing down at the same speed, until, apparently, both have all their braking done. But then Verstappen seems to release ANOTHER part of his braking and just glides past the other driver, in a total straight line... still makes the apex, though in a 'too shallow' line... and then very quickly around the apex.

So: the stiffer sidewalls of the current Pirelli-tires need more work to warm up sufficiently and they need more sideways momentum to warm up. Verstappen 'style' seems to be to 'get straight quick' while Perez' style seems: get on the throttle quick but smooth (subtle difference). Hence he warms up the tires quicker. If I am right (shoot!) then Red Bull knows this, Max knows this... but I wonder if Max is indeed not playing the long game this year. He is WAY less prone to take risks now. His demeanour after being beaten in Monaco total and in Baku in qualifying is almost Unverstappen-like calm.

EDIT: The first time I saw Max overtakes in F1 was in 2016, not 2017!


When I look at Verstappen driving on the circuit (I can see it less on tv), is that it looks very square. I don't know how to explain it, but I do recognise your wording. The car is more and longer flatten at breaking, but also the car is very early straight after the apex. It looks very square if you look at the lines he drives compared to other drivers.

I think his style is indeed hampering the tyre warm-up and possible this phenomenon is enlarged by the 18" tyres.

#50 subh

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Posted 14 June 2022 - 22:05

Very interesting discussion.
 
Some people have mentioned Checo's qualifying performances throughout his career.  If we look at his strengths, there are other areas we can point to and qualifying is not at the top of the list - his race pace has frequently been a better asset than his qualifying pace.
 
Pairing him with Max, most people wouldn't expect Checo to have the edge in qualifying, and fair enough - especially with the characteristics of the 2021 Red Bull.  But I think Checo's qualifying performances through the years have been a bit undervalued.  If I remember rightly, he had the advantage over Kobayashi (2011-12) and Stroll (2019-20), and even I think was ahead more often than behind compared to Button, by the end of 2013.  He had the edge over Ocon in their first season as team-mates (2017).  Maybe not that surprising if experience is considered, and I think Ocon was closer in the later part of that year.  So that leaves the years paired with Hülkenberg (2014-16) and the 2018 season alongside Ocon.  I think that era is when people got the idea that he wasn't one of the best qualifiers, as overall he didn't come out on top.  But I think the lap times say something else - usually the margin between Checo and these two was just fractions.
 
If anyone has the figures to back up this perception, please add them in here.