Red Bull hopeful of replicating Spa pace at Italian GP

Sergio Perez says Red Bull hopes to be as strong in Formula 1’s 2022 Italian Grand Prix as it was recently at Spa when running a similar low-downforce set-up.

Red Bull hopeful of replicating Spa pace at Italian GP

Red Bull ended up with a 1-2 result at Spa, with Max Verstappen leading Perez home despite starting down in 14th on the grid (13th when considering the number of cars that took the start) as the team comprehensively outperformed its rivals.

Form at the Belgian venue is typically an indicator of how the weekend at Monza will turn out for most teams, as low-drag aerodynamic packages are rewarded even further at the Italian track because it features fewer sweeping corners.

Red Bull has also had the edge on title rival Ferrari at all the other low-downforce-requiring circuits that F1 has visited so far in 2022, with the RB18’s skinny rear wing package also combining well with its potent Honda engine.

When asked by Autosport to explain the car’s key strengths for the Monza weekend in the pre-event press conference, Perez replied: “We’ve got quite an efficient car.

“We’ve seen in Spa and hopefully again at Monza that we tend to like more the lower downforce wings.

“So, the car seems to perform better when we run with the smaller rear wing. Hopefully that can be a good thing again here.

“But it’s going to be very different conditions, so we’re also very curious to see how we’re able to cope in those different conditions.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Motorsport Images

While Perez also said he hopes that Red Bull “will have similar pace to what we showed in Spa”, he cautioned that the different corner characteristics at Monza as well as expected wet weather during Friday practice could impact his team’s chances of repeating its Belgian domination.

“This track is a little bit different to Belgium,” he said. “Certainly, the weather will be.

“It will be interesting to see how we are able to perform.

“For example, Mercedes was very strong last weekend [in the Dutch GP] – especially with the tyre deg. So, it will be an interesting one this Sunday.”

Speaking alongside Perez in the Monza press conference was Lewis Hamilton, whose Mercedes squad struggled badly at Spa – where all teams were forced to raise their rideheights to navigate the Eau Rouge hill compression, which Red Bull was able to do without shedding downforce as much as its rivals, a key factor in its domination.

In response to a question on whether he expects the W13 to perform better at Monza than it did at Spa, Hamilton said: “I don’t think it can be worse!

“That’s a positive way of looking at it. It can’t be worse than Spa I don’t think. No, I think it will be a lot better here.”

Hamilton arrives in Italy knowing he will take a grid penalty for running a fourth engine of the 2022 campaign, after his third – fitted brand new at Spa – was damaged in his lap one crash there with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso.

Mercedes is still attempting to repair that power unit so Hamilton can possibly reuse it again later in the season, but its initial investigations are understood to have not revealed positive results so far.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13 crash with Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13 crash with Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522

But with the Monza layout offering overtaking opportunities, Mercedes has opted to make a change even though it will mean Hamilton will start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid.

That challenge follows Hamilton’s strong showing last weekend at Zandvoort, where a late-race safety car thwarted Mercedes’ ambitious one-stop strategy to try and get into the lead fight with Verstappen.

Read Also:

Hamilton said he was arriving at Monza feeling “as good as I can feel” despite the engine situation and the disappointment of how his Dutch GP turned out, with his lead at the late restart becoming fourth by the flag.

“You’ll always feel better if you came off a win,” he added. “But, no, still we’ve been making so much progress as a team – we’ve closed the gap more.

“[Or] at least we’re closing the gap more and more, weekend after weekend.

“Of course, we don’t know how the car is going to be here this weekend – whether or not it will be as good as it was in the last race, we’ll find out.

“My third engine that I had [that was] brand new in Spa is still being worked on, so I can’t use it right now and I have to take a fourth.

“That’s my doing and we’re still hopeful we can use that later on. So, I’ve got to try and recover the best I can from the back.”

shares
comments

Related video

What's next for Porsche and Red Bull after collapsed F1 deal
Previous article

What's next for Porsche and Red Bull after collapsed F1 deal

Next article

Fifth F1 reprimand cements Tsunoda 10-place Italian GP grid penalty

Fifth F1 reprimand cements Tsunoda 10-place Italian GP grid penalty
Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull Plus

Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull

The 2022 Formula 1 season was Mercedes' leanest for a decade, achieving just a solitary pole and grand prix win. Yet the team is confident it has got the tools it needs to cast that disappointment aside and return to the front of the field again next year

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Plus

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Plus

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022