Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2023

Marathon, week-long data dive sparked Perez’s uptick in form after Qatar GP

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by and

Sergio Perez says the recent improvement in his form was the result of a week-long deep dive into his car data with his engineers after the Qatar Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver secured second place in the championship this season last weekend in Las Vegas with his first podium finish in seven races. However he has scored less than half the points of his world champion Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen over the season as a whole.

Perez suffered a difficult middle phase of the championship, starting outside the top 10 on the grid seven times and making just four podium appearances between the sixth and 20th rounds of the championship.

After a particularly challenging weekend in Qatar, where he finished down in 10th, Perez visited at Red Bull’s Milton Keynes factory to explore in detail why he was struggling to unlock the same pace from his car as his team mate.

“I had a really deep one in Qatar where I went back to the factory for like a week,” said Perez in response to a question from RaceFans. “I went through it very much in detail with all the engineers.

“We understood a lot of things that we weren’t doing to compensate the weaknesses that we had and we were probably taking the wrong approach with the car and trying to compensate too much with car set-up and ultimately just getting lost weekend in, weekend out.”

Perez says he “needed the time” to work through his data with a fine-toothed comb to work out how he could prevent further inconsistencies in his performance.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“I needed that,” he said. “It’s very busy, we are very busy with all the commitments we have in racing, with the simulator and so on. But I felt at the time that I needed it.”

New podium, Yas Marina, 2023
Gallery: First pictures from the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
“It was just important to step back and really look at it in detail,” he continued. “I think, since then, our season has transformed completely.”

In the four rounds since then Perez has finished in the top four at each, except for his home race in Mexico where he suffered terminal damage at the first corner while fighting for the lead. Asked if he had adjusted his set-up approach or his driving style since analysing his data with his engineers, Perez said it had been “a bit of both.”

“Basically the downturn was a bit on what we were doing with the set-up in a few weekends,” he admitted.

Since Perez arrived at the Red Bull in 2021, Verstappen has won the championship every year. Perez said he had to give credit to Verstappen for the job he has done this season.

“I think how he’s been dealing with it has been really impressive,” Perez said. “I think he has done a tremendous job.

“He’s been really on another level. 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.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

9 comments on “Marathon, week-long data dive sparked Perez’s uptick in form after Qatar GP”

  1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    23rd November 2023, 16:29

    What uptick in form?

    1. @come-on-kubica
      Not wrong…

      You could add:
      If a ‘week-long data dive’ was behind the supposed uptick, Miami was round 5, Qatar was round 18.. What took you so long?

      1. Exactly this. Why wait months to, you know, do your job? Imagine someone having such poor results while being paid millions and their response is, ‘yeah, we’ll see about that in six months or so’. He hasn’t even taken 10 podiums… with that car. You’d think there would be some sense of urgency.

  2. Next week: Checo does a deep dive into data from the last lap of his races.

  3. What took you so long?

    Was literally my first thought. I’ve tended to like Checo over the years, but all of his excuses have been ridiculous this season.

    The only really valid one he’s had is that when the car is in a lot more middle of the road in terms of handling characteristics during the early season before it’s optimized for speed rather than docility, he does better.

  4. I thought he also ran a marathon in addition to the data dive.

    1. He’s the new Mark Weber in both his marathon running and his weak opposition to RBR’s # 1.

  5. You got out in Q2, Sainz penalty helped and so did safety car timings, you couldn’t hold on to P1 or P2 with fresher tyres.

Comments are closed.