Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

Verstappen and Perez to use different floor designs “for the next few events”

2022 Dutch Grand Prix

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Red Bull will continue to use different floor specifications on their drivers’ cars at this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix, Sergio Perez has confirmed.

While Max Verstappen continues to use the team’s current floor design, Red Bull reverted to an older specification floor on Perez’s car.

“We just have different floors for now,” said Perez, who confirmed the decision to compare the two designs was prompted by the team. “It’s going to be, we’re going to have this floor for the next few events, and we will try to get a better read.”

The floor on Perez’s car has a cut in the section in front of the rear wheels. The design hasn’t been seen since the British Grand Prix in July.

Verstappen dominated last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, leading Perez home despite starting 14th, 12 places behind his team mate.

“He was super fast last weekend, really strong,” Perez admitted. “I’ve been on the sim this week trying to understand everything and hopefully I am able to get another gear on my side.”

However Perez does not feel his deficit to Verstappen was large enough to cause concern. “I finished, what, 17 seconds behind and Max started P something?

“I think if you have a bad weekend and your team mate has a good weekend normally that sort of gap, we’ve seen it with other team mates.”

Perez has said several times across recent races that he has found the Red Bull trickier to drive as the team have developed the car over the course of the year.

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“I think in the beginning I was more comfortable,” he said. “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 natural.

“As the season progressed I felt like it has become harder and harder, every weekend I have to really to dig deep into the analysis and I’m not as comfortable I was with the car before.”

Vertsappen is known to prefer a car with a looser rear end and responsive turn-in. Perez said the car has gone “a little bit in that direction” since the season began.

“The car has developed and has gone into a certain direction. But right now my main focus is to make sure I am able to get on top of the car.”

Verstappen feels the changes Red Bull have made to the RB18 have made it more competitive, leading to their most dominant performance of the season so far at Spa-Francorchamps, a venue which played to the car’s strengths.

“I think we just always kept on trying to work and improve the balance and the feeling of what I feel in the car,” he said. “I think overall it’s quite an efficient car. All season long we’ve been quite quick on the straight. So some tracks of course it works better than others.

“But I said before, I think Spa is maybe one of the best tracks for that car. And with all the updates over the year so far, I think we’ve got it in a better window. It felt really enjoyable to drive in and in Spa specifically. We’ll see again of course now in the upcoming races how it’s going to go.”

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Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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12 comments on “Verstappen and Perez to use different floor designs “for the next few events””

  1. Will be interesting to see how it influences Perez’ driving and success. Good that the team is open to do this, afterall we have seen that Perez can be a lot closer to Verstappen’s speed when he feels really good in the car.

    1. Will be very interesting to see how this plays out.
      I wonder if the team is using different floor designs (which it appears they are doing) to change the center of pressure (or neg-pressure) and the aero balance.? Max likes a strong front and Perez seems to prefer a more planted rear.
      From comments Perez has made, this just might be the ticket to a better ride. Hope so.
      Will be interesting to see if anyone at McLaren is watching.

      1. Will be interesting to see if anyone at McLaren is watching.

        @rekibsn unlikely; McLaren plan on solving their problem by replacing the module between the steering wheel and the seat.

        1. That might be the more expensive solutions, but it falls outside the budget cap.

    2. @bascb

      Perez just seems good in a car that’s easy to drive. For extracting peak performance out of the machinery, the car isn’t always easy to drive though, and that’s when you see the lower tier drivers – Perez, Albon, Gasly really struggle. I think the gulf in class between Max and Sergio at Spa was the biggest we’ve seen since Sergio joined Red Bull. He was nearly a second a lap faster than Sergio all race.

      1. Indeed, when the car is unstable the drivers that are at the very top are most often the ones who find a way to use the cars characteristics while those who are good, but not the absolute top often struggle to get close to them.

  2. Engineers spent a lot of time and money bolting speed on the car and Pérez said, no thanks. That’s awkward.

    1. They weren’t ‘bolting speed’ onto Perez’s car, @dmw – it has made him relatively slower.
      Perez’ comfort, confidence and performance has simply been transferred to Verstappen’s side of the garage.

      1. That is nonsense as the team always want a faster car and that is the development during the season. If Perez suddenly is next to Max you know Perez is just a drivers who can’t adjust.

      2. Have to agree with @macleod . Engineers aren’t sitting in rooms thinking about how can we make this car easier to drive for every driver.. they’re thinking of pushing lap time performance to the maximum. You need a driver who can adapt and extract that performance, not sit around asking for a slower car that’s easy to drive. I guess that’s the big difference between a #1 driver and a #2 driver.

    2. I would think that Red Bull have enough data to be able to tell whether the advantage of having Perez being able to get the most out of his car, even when that car has less potential speed than Max’ car has is worth it when Perez showed he wasn’t able to extract that extra speed anyway @dmw, @macleod, @todfod.

      Off course they only do this when 1. it doesn’t take away from their development since they already have these parts and 2. it could well be that as they develop the car further there will come a moment where Perez will get the latest spec, faster car (floor) as well and will be driving that because the difference in speed from the new bits is just too big a gain not to do it, despite he not being able to get the most out of it.

  3. So… if I develop a car which is really quick and Max can’t extract the performance out of it but Perez can, since Max is my #1 driver do I redevelop my car to suit Max or do I tell Max to work harder at extracting the performance out of the car?

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