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Formula 1

Should Red Bull put Verstappen in Perez’s car to benchmark it?

by Josh Suttill
2 min read

The Race Members Club

After every Formula 1 grand prix, our journalists answer questions from The Race Members’ Club in The Race F1 Podcast.

For the Canadian GP episode, Javier Gutierrez from Los Angeles had an intriguing suggestion that he thought might quantify why Sergio Perez is struggling to match Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen so much again.

“I’ve been a Max Verstappen fan since his first race at Toro Rosso,” wrote Javier. “With all the problems that Sergio Perez is having, can Max jump in his car and see what speed is really in it – say in an FP1?

“And is there a rule or any reason that would keep Max from jumping into the sister AlphaTauri car to see what speed is in those to help them get closer to the front?”

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying Day Monte Carlo, Monaco

Here’s Mark Hughes’ answer:

“I love those questions, Javier. As a fan it’s the sort of thing that you’d love to see – let’s benchmark this car and benchmark this driver – and it would answer so many questions that we have.

“But from the perspective of the team, it’s not something that they’re going to want to do.

“There’s no real reason to suppose that there’s any material difference between Verstappen’s car and Perez’s. To have Max confirm that would really just probably compound Perez’s misery and that wouldn’t be helpful to anyone in the team.

“Similarly while they would get a definitive benchmark if they put Max in an AlphaTauri, it wouldn’t really help them – it would put a pressure and an imperative on the existing drivers that’s probably not going to be helpful. So it’s not something that’s going to happen.

“I don’t think there’s any specific regulation to prevent it, though.”

Edd Straw: “You can change drivers in FP1, so they could do it if they wanted to.”

Mark Hughes: “I’m sure it’s possible and feasible, and we’d love to see it just to satisfy our own curiosity.

“But in terms of the desirability of it from the team’s viewpoint, I don’t think it’s something that we’re going to see.”

For your chance to have your questions answered by our journalists on The Race F1 Podcasts, to get an ad-free version of The Race, early access to content include every episode of Bring Back V10s, suggest features you’d like us to write and other benefits, click here to join The Race Members’ Club.

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