Sergio Perez reveals week-long sessions with engineers in final 2023 F1 races

Sergio Perez managed to secure Red Bull their first ever 1-2 in the F1 drivers' championship

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Sergio Perez believes week-long sessions with his engineers at Red Bull‘s factory in Milton Keynes was crucial in re-finding his form during the second half of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

After finishing second in May’s Miami Grand Prix, Perez suffered a barren run of form, finishing on the podium once in the next five races, enduring five consecutive Q3 absences.

Although he did manage to find his form with three more podiums to cap off the European leg of the championship on a high, Perez only picked up five points from the following three rounds.

Following a dismal Qatar GP, where Perez finished tenth, the Mexican spent a week at the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes trying with his engineers to find the cause of his slump in form. 

Once F1 returned to action for the United States GP, Perez slowly re-found his form, finishing in the top five of all but one of the last four races, securing second place in the drivers’ championship.

“I had a really deep morning in Qatar, where I went back to the factory for a week and went through very much in detail with all the engineers,” explained Perez to the media. “We understood a lot of things that we weren’t doing to compensate for the weaknesses that we had.

“We were probably taking the wrong approach with the car, trying to compensate it too much with car setup and, ultimately, just getting lost weekend in, weekend out.

“I needed the time, it’s very busy with all the commitments we have in racing, with the simulator and so on. But I felt at that time that I needed we were just getting lost weekend in and weekend out.

“So it was just important to step back and get really looking in detail and I think since then, our season has transformed completely.”

Concern for the mechanics over potential burnout

The 2023 Abu Dhabi GP marked the end of a gruelling 22-race F1 calendar, which has seen the teams travel to 19 countries in eight months.

The final two races were gruelling for mechanics due to the little recovery time from last the Las Vegas GP, where all sessions were held late at night.

In 2024, Las Vegas will begin the final triple-header on November 23, with the Qatar and Abu Dhabi GP taking place on December 1 and 8 to complete the season. 

“More than other years,” explained Perez when asked about the burnout of the calendar. “I think this last part of the season has been super intense with the travelling backwards and forwards, the amount of races is definitely at the limit, not just for the drivers but also for all the mechanics out there. 

“I think it’s this schedule that really has to be more efficient, and you’re trying to look after everyone in this world a  lot more, and my main concern is on my mechanics.

“I think we just have to make sure that we keep delivering on we just don’t make a lot of races for the sake of doing them. I think quality level is still very important in the sport to ensure we keep this upward route.

“It’s something that we were going to raise it up to try and see what can be done probably now it’s late for next year but for the year after to really try to maximise it.

“I remember seeing people so exhausted in the last race, and so I think it’s something that we got to be taking very seriously because it’s important for the sport for the drivers to obviously keep having these long careers that we’ve seen in from the staff from the mechanics. We want them to have very long careers as well. So I think it’s it’s something we got to consider.”

Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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