Perez playing catch-up in the simulator

2013 F1 season

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Sergio Perez admits he has a lot of work to do building up his experience of working with a simulator.

Perez didn’t have regular access to a driver-in-the-loop simulator at Sauber and has been hard at work getting used to McLaren’s since arriving at the team early this month:

Jenson Button, Sergio Perez, McLaren, 2013“Well so far I’ve done 15 to 20 days in the simulator,” said Perez at the launch of the MP4-28 today. “Obviously I am not very used to the simulator, it’s the first time I ever have worked so much with a simulator.”

“And it’s been good, I’m really getting used to the car to feel, because the feeling is quite different. It’s not so easy to feel the car through the simulator.

“But I think I have done good improvements in terms of understanding the simulator, understanding the changes and with that I’m very happy because the most important thing for me right now is to understand the car, to understand what tools I have to solve the issues that I have when we get into testing and racing.”

His driving style has been compared to that of new team mate Jenson Button, but Perez said he isn’t sure if they are that similar:

“Throughout the year in Formula One you are always trying to up yourself. You start practice with certain fuel loads, then we go to qualifying with very low fuel, then you go to the race with high fuel So you are always trying to adapt yourself, trying to change your driving style, try to change the set-up of the car to suit your style. So this is something I have to work a lot on to try to manage my style well.

“People always say that I have very similar style to Jenson but I don’t know his style and I don’t even my style so it’s always very difficult to know which style you have as a Formula One driver because you are always changing your style through the races, through practice, through qualifying. So it will be a very interesting year.”

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Perez playing catch-up in the simulator”

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    31st January 2013, 18:24

    Whatever his style is, it’s a good one while it can bring points home. I would say the comparison comes in tyre management. Both of them have a quite conservative approach at the beginning of the race, then it sometimes pays the bet.

    1. The so called tyre management can you throw out the window, it’s getting old now

  2. It does make you wonder if simulators are a colossal waste of money.

    Perez didn’t do badly without one, let’s see how Gutierrez gets on. Sauber seem to rely on training the drivers with enough engineering know-how to give useful feedback on the car. But there were races last year, near the end particularly, when they looked a bit lost.

    1. @bullfrog I think the effort Ferrari are now putting into theirs and Lotus getting a new driver-in-the-loop simulator last year is a good sign they’re not a waste of money. Given the testing ban it makes a lot of sense.

      1. Sorry but what’s a ‘driver in the loop’ simulator, by comparison to a regular one?

        1. Drop Valencia!
          31st January 2013, 22:29

          At a guess I would say a regular “simulator” does not use driver inputs but computer generated inputs, useful for fine tuning suspension, gearing, drag/downforce ratios, useless for drivers to practice in. Driver inputs are different every lap, somewhat masking setup changes, computer inputs are the same every lap so will not mask the tiny difference a 1% stiffer front left spring might make.

      2. But does it save any money ?

        1. No, it allows teams to spend money saved from the testing ban.

  3. Perez it is good that you can adapt your style, because Button sure can’t!

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