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Sergio Perez: Verstappen faces a gap because of “development direction”

Sergio Perez thinks the Red Bull RB18’s path of development is to blame for his teammate Max Verstappen’s rising disadvantage.

Sergio-Perez-Verstappen-Dutch-GP

According to Sergio Perez, the Red Bull car’s ongoing development is to blame for Max Verstappen’s loss of speed.

Max Verstappen, who is currently leading the championship, won the most recent race in Belgium with ease. Despite beginning from position 13, he was able to guide a Red Bull one-two and defeat teammate Sergio Perez by more than 17 seconds.

After a bad beginning, Perez spent most of the race trailing behind Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz before taking 2nd spot. Perez had lined up on the front row of the grid.

Verstappen also finished nearly eight tenths of a second faster in qualifying than the Mexican racer.

Perez felt that his dissatisfaction with the setup of the car during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend “amplified” the distinctions between himself and Verstappen.

“He was super, super fast that last weekend. Really, really strong,” Perez conceded to media.

“I’ve been on the sim this week trying to understand everything, and hopefully I’m able to get another gear on my side.

“I think I was just not comfortable with the car. I didn’t get the maximum out of the car, and Max did, and probably that’s why the difference was was amplified. But that’s it.”

With the RB18, Perez feels “less comfortable”

Perez has experienced a decrease in outcomes in the second part of the season after a few impressive starts to the campaign.

He won the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix earlier this year and then went on to win the incredible Monaco Grand Prix.

Verstappen has won four races and earned one podium throughout that span, while he has only achieved two podium places despite retiring in two of the last six races.

Perez has placed a distant fourth, fifth, and second in the last three races, which Verstappen has won.

The Mexican replied that he felt the driving of the car was getting more strange to him, which was why he thought there had been a performance decline in latest events.

“I think in the beginning [of the season], I was more comfortable,” commented Perez.

“I would feel like every time I came to a weekend in FP1 I was already easily happy with the balance, and things were coming naturally.

“As the season progressed, I feel like it has become harder and harder.

“Every weekend, I have to really go deep into the analysis, and I’m not as comfortable as I was with the car.”

Perez was then asked if the development of the car has swung in favour of Verstappen.

“It’s a little bit in that direction,” added Perez.

“Obviously the car has developed and has gone in a certain direction, but right now my main focus is to make sure I’m able to get on top of the car.”

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Dutch GP, F1, F1 2022, FIA, Formula 1, Grand Prix, RB18, Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Sergio Perez

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