In the exhilarating world of Formula 1, where the margins of victory can be measured in milliseconds, the intricacies of a car’s design and setup can make all the difference. For the 2022 season, Red Bull’s Chief Engineer, Paul Monaghan, has provided valuable insights into the subtle but crucial differences between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s RB19 F1 cars, shedding light on how they impact the drivers’ performances.
While Verstappen has been in scintillating form, winning an astonishing 12 out of 14 races this season, including a remarkable streak of ten consecutive Grand Prix victories, Perez has faced his share of challenges, particularly before the summer break. However, it’s important to note that the disparity in performance between the two drivers cannot be attributed to variations in their respective cars, as both are piloting RB19 models.
Red Bull had faced speculations earlier, suggesting that the RB19 was tailored exclusively to suit Verstappen’s driving style and preferences. Monaghan, in his candid revelation, dispelled these notions by acknowledging that the differences between Verstappen and Perez’s cars are significantly less pronounced in 2022 compared to the previous season.
Intriguingly, Monaghan attributed these minor differences to the unique preferences of the drivers themselves. It appears that while the RB19 chassis remains consistent, the drivers fine-tune various settings and configurations to align the car with their individual driving styles.
The 2021 season witnessed more substantial disparities between the two cars, making it clear that Red Bull has been diligent in addressing these discrepancies for the current campaign. Monaghan’s revelation reinforces the notion that the team’s commitment to equalizing car performance for both drivers has paid off.
When questioned about the possibility of Verstappen and Perez requiring vastly different car setups, Monaghan, in his characteristic pragmatic approach, responded, “There is nothing unusual about the minor differences.” His statement underscores the team’s philosophy of focusing on each race individually, rather than relying on past achievements.
“Drivers in my experience always want subtle changes or subtle differences across the garage and that’s nothing unusual.
“[Sergio] is quite close to Max with this car in terms of his set-up preferences and his choices. It makes it a little bit easier going forward with this one.
“His approach to it is very similar to Max, the differences are so small and with this car I’d say it’s perhaps less than 2021 car.
“So no, in answer to your question, is it broadly different? No, they’re very close.”
As the Red Bull Racing team continues to shine in the 2022 season, with a remarkable tally of 15 wins so far, Monaghan’s insights into the RB19 cars and the approach to car setup offer a glimpse into the meticulous strategy that has propelled them to success.
“Because we’re in a competitive environment and you’re dealing with short-term problems of the P1 session, what do we do for P2, P3.
“How are we going to approach qualifying? What’s the weather like?
“It would be wrong of us to rest on what we’ve achieved so far. We want to keep going. And the only way to do that is to treat each race as an individual competition and we’ve got to push ourselves to get the most out of ourselves the car, the drivers, if we’re going to stay ahead.”