According to Paul Monaghan, Red Bull Racing’s chief engineer, the car setup preferences of Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez are not as far apart as it seems. The team previously emphasized that they do not consciously focus on Verstappen’s preferences when designing and adapting the car, and Monaghan now also indicates that the differences between the two drivers are not significantly large.
The difference in performance between Verstappen and Pérez was already extremely large this season. While the Dutchman took pole position and victories time and time again, Pérez regularly failed to reach Q3 on Saturdays. The two showed completely different performances, even though they have been driving the same car all season. Pérez’s dip in form now seems to be behind him, and the Mexican is back where he should be, but that has been different. For many, this was a reason to expect that the RB19 was designed to reinforce Verstappen’s qualities.
The differences are not nearly as big as they seem, according to Monaghan
The team previously emphasized that this is not the case, and the team’s chief engineer now tells RacingNews365 that the differences between the two gentlemen are not that extreme. According to Monaghan, the differences between Verstappen and Pérez are only normal. ‘My experience tells me that drivers always have small changes and differences among themselves, but there is nothing strange about that.’ According to the Brit, the differences between his drivers are not as great as it seems at first glance. ‘Sergio (Pérez, ed.) is still quite close to Max (Verstappen, ed.) in terms of his preferences about the setup and his choices in that respect. It makes it a little easier to take steps forward.’
Monaghan, for example, compares the differences of this season with those of 2021, and sees that the men are almost evenly matched this season. ‘His approach is very similar to Max’s, and the differences are so small this season that it is even less than with the 2021 car. So the answer to the question whether the differences are very big: no, they are actually quite close each other.’ The chief engineer does not dare to make general predictions yet, because he also prefers not to look too far ahead. “We race in a competitive environment, and you’re always dealing with short-term issues and how they get in the way of finishing one, two or three, for example.” There is no way for Red Bull to slow down, even with the results they have achieved so far. ‘It would be wrong if we stopped now, because we want to continue. The only way to do that is to approach all races as an individual competition, and then get the most out of ourselves and the car.’