Dr Helmut Marko admits that Sergio Perez requires a “more docile” Formula 1 car compared to back-to-back world champion Max Verstappen.
It comes as Alex Albon, who lost his seat alongside Verstappen to Mexican Perez, alleged that Red Bull tunes its car in a “unique way” especially for the Dutchman.
“If you play Call of Duty, or a game like that, turn your sensitivity up to the highest it will go. That’s what it’s like to drive that car,” he told The Players’ Tribune.
In Bahrain last week, Perez confirmed: “Max can cope with a less stable rear end than I can.
“We both want a good front end. It’s just a question of how stable the rear end can be. And certainly Max has been able to cope with a looser rear end than me.”
Initially in 2022, Perez was much happier with Red Bull’s car handling.
“We had a car last year in which Checo did very well at the beginning,” Marko told Sky Deutschland.
“And then as it developed, Max was happier and happier. The difference is that Max loves a front end that really bites. Checo wants a more docile car.
“But it looks like we’ve found a solution,” Red Bull’s Marko added.
The team, however, may be very happy with Verstappen in a clear number 1 position, with Perez trailing a few tenths behind and willing to play a support role.
“There’s not a chance Checo will be replaced by Daniel Ricciardo,” former F1 team owner Eddie Jordan told OLBG.
“It’s already a perfect scenario for Red Bull, as it was for Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine. I’m sure Checo is the same.”
Former two-time champion Mika Hakkinen agrees that if Perez wants to try to win the title ahead of Verstappen, he will have to be a “bad boy” in 2023.
“What I mean is that he does what he is asked,” the Finn told Unibet. “He’s very submissive and will do whatever the team wants.”