“We have Perez within firing range” – Helmut Marko also elaborated on the difference between the drivers, and where Sergio Perez loses out to Max Verstappen.
Helmut Marko is clearly happy with the pairing of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, highlighting their strengths on the track. Verstappen is the old cog in the team and is winning more often than the recruit Perez. Marko believes this is down to the Dutchman handling the car better than the Mexican in windy conditions.
“With Max and Sergio, for example, the more extreme it gets, the better the car is on an aerodynamic level. At the same time, this also means that the car is more susceptible to the wind. During the first race in Austria, for example, there were a lot of gusts of wind, especially in Turn 7.
“Max can handle that, but Perez loses seconds. That’s also the difference between Hamilton and Bottas. The car becomes too ‘light’ to drive. Verstappen’s performance costs us a lot of money, but it’s worth it.”
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Sergio Perez is crucial to Red Bull strategy
Sergio Perez’s predecessor Alex Albon was often seen struggling in the midfield during races, which gave Mercedes a crucial advantage when it came to team strategy, especially with pit stops. But with Sergio Perez battling hard with Mercedes’ Bottas, Marko believes this has left Mercedes with no little room for strategic advantage.
“It’s hard to tell if that [Red Bull dominating rest of season] will be the case. However, we have always had a good car during the first nine races, except in Barcelona.
“Mercedes did strategically well there, because the tyre wear was higher than expected for us. Now we have Perez within firing range, which means if Mercedes want to make a second pit stop, they can’t always do that. We saw that in France.”