Sergio Pérez believes that the reasons for slowing down Max Verstappen lie in the development of the Red Bull car.
Championship leader Max Verstappen scored a convincing victory in the previous race in Belgium where, despite starting from P13, he managed to lead a Red Bull one-two and beat teammate Sergio Perez by over 17 seconds. .
Pérez had started on the front row of the grid but, after a poor start, spent much of the race behind Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, before eventually claiming second place.
The Mexican driver was also beaten by Verstappen in qualifying by almost eight tenths of a second.
Reflecting on his weekend at the Belgian GP, Pérez believed that the differences between him and Verstappen were “amplified” by his discomfort with the car’s set-up.
“It was super, super fast last weekend. Very, very strong,” Pérez conceded to the media, including RacingNews365.com.
“I have been in the simulator this week trying to understand everything, and I hope I can have another team on my side.
“I think I just wasn’t comfortable with the car. I didn’t get the most out of the car, and Max did, and that’s probably why the gap was amplified. But that’s it.”
Pérez feels ‘less comfortable’ with the RB18
After some good performances at the beginning of the season, Pérez has suffered a drop in results in the second half of the year.
Earlier in the year, he secured his first F1 Pole Position at the Saudi Arabian GP, before taking a notable win at the Monaco GP.
Despite retiring in two of the last six races, he only managed two podium finishes in the other four, with Verstappen taking four wins and one other podium finish in that time.
With Verstappen winning the last three races, Pérez finished a distant fourth, fifth and second in those events.
When asked why he thought there had been a drop in performance in recent events, the Mexican believed that the handling of the car was becoming less natural for him.
“I think at first [of the season]I was more comfortable,” Pérez said.
“I felt like every time I got to a weekend in FP1, I was already happy with the balance and things were just coming naturally.
“As the season has gone on, I feel like it’s gotten more and more difficult.
“Every weekend, I have to go very deep into the analysis, and I’m not as comfortable with the car as I was before.”
Pérez was then asked if the development of the car had been tilted in Verstappen’s favour.
“It’s a little bit in that direction,” Pérez added.
“Obviously the car has developed and gone in a certain direction, but at the moment my main focus is making sure I can get in the car.”