Ahead of the 2023 Formula 1 season, Pirelli has made changes to its tyres, focusing on making the fronts stronger to tackle the understeer that was prevalent throughout last year. However, after the first proper test with the new tyres, world champion Max Verstappen commented that the new tyres didn’t feel any different in terms of the fronts, but rather, it was the rears that felt weaker. While Sergio Perez agreed with Verstappen’s assessment, he noted that the shift of balance could prove to be a positive factor in managing tyres over a race stint.
With the nature of last year’s rubber, Perez, known for his tyre management skills, admits that he was rarely able to display his talents. However, he believes this year’s tyre change might play more to his strengths. In terms of the rears needing more management, he remarks that it could help everyone have something more manageable to work on, and therefore, Pirelli has gone in the right direction.
Perez is optimistic about the progress that Red Bull has made on its 2023 car; he feels the RB19 suits his style, and they have a better understanding of the car. One of the main areas of progress is the car’s consistency through a variety of corners. “I think just in general, we have improved quite a bit the car,” he said. “The main thing is a balance of it. We made it a little bit more together through all speed ranges, which is very positive.”