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Formula 1 Abu Dhabi GP

Perez's season has "transformed completely" after post-Qatar F1 sim brainstorm

Sergio Perez thinks his 2023 Formula 1 season has "transformed completely" thanks to spending three days in the Red Bull simulator after reaching its lowest ebb in Qatar.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19
After keeping up with Max Verstappen in the early races Perez started struggling to adapt to the tweaked Red Bull RB19 from June's Spanish Grand Prix onwards, with the Mexican admitting to getting "lost" on how he has to set up the car to extract its optimal performance.
During his travails, he frequently struggled to qualify in the top 10 and fell down what he called a "really deep" hole in Qatar, where he finished 80 seconds down on his dominant team-mate.
It prompted a three-day brainstorming session in the Milton Keynes simulator to find a set-up breakthrough, which yielded some set-up wins that helped Perez return to the podium in last week's Las Vegas Grand Prix.
"I had a really deep [hole] in Qatar, where I went back to the factory for a week and went through in very much detail with all the engineers and we understood a lot of things that we were doing to compensate the weaknesses that we had," Perez explained.
"We were probably taking the wrong approach with the car, trying to compensate them too much with car set-up.
"I felt at that time that I needed it. We were just getting lost weekend in, weekend out, so it was just important to step back and really look in detail. And I think since then our season has transformed completely.
"It was about how I can make better use of the car through the weekend, through different circuits.
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

"I made a lot of progress together with my engineers in understanding how to maximise the performance of the car."
Even if he and Verstappen require different characteristics from the car, Perez said there was "no harm" in looking into what the Dutchman was doing to be as devastatingly competitive in the RB19 as he is.
"Yeah definitely, there are things that you learn from him," he said.
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"Obviously, I have the best reference out there, because he was the one who was so competitive. So, I think there is no harm in looking at what he's doing, how he's doing it and try to learn and improve, see what works for you that he's doing differently to you.
"I've always had a very open approach and I think it's something that works well.
"He's been really on another level. And I think it's great to see obviously, we'd all like to be in his position. But there's only one champion per year."

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