Red Bull gets RB19 F1 car solution to suit both Verstappen and Perez

The Milton Keynes-based squad is coming off the back of a 2022 campaign where its RB18 had stages where one driver or the other was happier.

At the beginning of the season, when the car suffered from understeer due to being overweight, those characteristics favored Perez much more. But as the team reduced the mass of the car, that helped to improve his front turn-in, and that changed things firmly in Verstappen’s favour.

As drivers prefer different things from a car, there is some intuition as to whether certain handling characteristics of the RB19 would suit one of them better.

But Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko says there are indications from pre-season testing that his 2023 rival can run in a way that both Perez and Verstappen are happy with.

Speaking to Germany sky, Marko said: “We had a car last year that Checo did very well at first. And, after developing it, Max is more and more happy.

“The difference is that Max loves a strong, bouncy front end. Checo is a little different. He needs a more docile car.

“But it seems we have found a solution that allows both drivers to show their qualities.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pools

Speaking on the final day of the Bahrain test, Perez confirmed that his and Verstappen’s preferred direction for the RB19 was the same.

“I think we’re focusing on the same things,” he said. “We want the same things right now, it’s a good base.”

Driver styles

Although Verstappen has a reputation for being better at dealing with a nervous rear, it’s clear that Red Bull didn’t deliberately engineer cars in his direction.

Instead, he says the team has a long history of producing cars with a strong front end, and it’s something he’s learned to deal with.

“I don’t think it suits my driving style,” he said. “As a driver, you have to adapt to what you get, and that’s what I did when I started working with Red Bull.

“The car has always been like that, to be honest. It had a good front end, and I have never experienced a fast car with understeer in my life, in any category.

“I think if people ask me: what’s your driving style? I can’t tell you, because I always adapt to what I get in the best possible way. Sometimes it’s a little harder than others. But I think that’s the key: you have to adapt, every year and every track too.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Speaking about his driving choices in Bahrain last week, Perez said his issue was not that he preferred a lead car but more that Verstappen was better able to deal with the back end being more nervous. .

“I would say that very few drivers like understeering,” he said. “I don’t think there are many drivers who like him.

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“And so, from my point of view, Max can deal with a less stable back than I can deal with.

“At the end of the day, we both need a good start. It’s just a matter of how stable the rear end can be. And Max was definitely able to handle a looser rear end.”

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