Red Bull “finding it harder” to unlock performance – Perez

Jaden Diaz

Red Bull claimed another victory at the Canadian GP, with Max Verstappen executing another excellent drive. However, the Austrian team were still outscored by McLaren and Mercedes in Montreal. Not only is the RB20 increasingly vulnerable to its rivals, but Sergio Perez is struggling to secure results.

This trend could continue in the foreseeable future. Of course, Red Bull are still in a strong position. The next tracks on the F1 calendar are more traditional – which should prevent the RB20 from encountering some of its weaknesses from recent events.

However, regardless of circuit layout, there are lingering concerns at Milton Keynes. Whilst they certainly have not lost the development war, Ferrari and McLaren are gaining ground.

Even Mercedes could be joining the party for the rest of 2024. This is something Sergio Perez anticipated when speaking to the media in Canada last Thursday.

The 34-year-old admitted to the obstacles currently facing Red Bull:

“It’s natural, you know, it’s the third year of the same regulations. It’s natural that teams are getting closer to us.

“We are finding it harder, as well, to find performance. But yeah, we know where our biggest chunk of performances is going to come from.”

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – JUNE 09: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 leads Pierre Gasly of France driving the (10) Alpine F1 A524 Renault on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 09, 2024 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202406090575 // Usage for editorial use only //


Of course, Red Bull are not standing still. Following the two packages introduced in Japan and then Imola, more updates will arrive to the RB20.

What makes things more challenging for Christian Horner’s team is the concept of diminishing returns. After spending so long at the front, continuing to innovate and unlock more performance is increasingly difficult.

This means that, for the first time since early 2022, Red Bull have very little margin for error. Recognising the team’s lack-lustre 2024 trajectory, Perez is optimistic the situation can improve:

I don’t think we have unlocked that much during the year compared to other teams.

“So hopefully once we are able to unlock some of that performance, we can be in better shape. Especially in certain types of circuits. 

“But yeah, the competition is super high and I think this weekend there are three or four teams that can potentially take the victory. So I think it’s great to have this competition.”