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Why 'tyre whisperer' Perez has faced a new struggle in 2022

Sergio Perez feels that he has struggled with tyre management in 2022, despite previously being known for his skill in this area. Red Bull boss Christian Horner has shed light on the possible reasons for the issue.

Christian Horner has explained why tyre management may have proved more difficult in 2022 following Sergio Perez's comments that he has struggled with the issue during the season. Perez has often been referred to as a 'tyre whisperer' in the past thanks to his skills at preserving rubber in a race. However, the Mexican admitted after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that he hoped to improve on tyre management in 2023 after grappling with the problem throughout the campaign. This follows on from the introduction of larger 18-inch tyres in 2022.

Horner reflects on 'fine margins' of 2022 tyres

Following the race in Abu Dhabi – where Perez opted for a two-stop strategy, while Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen went with a one-stop – Horner reflected on the possible cause of Perez's tyre management issues. "I think what we've seen this year is that the margins are so fine," Horner told media, including RacingNews365.com . "[You can make changes such as] a tiny bit of ride height or a small amount of mechanical balance, and it'll have a dramatic effect on your tyre life."

Perez 'compromised' by tyre issues in Abu Dhabi

Perez lost out on second place to Charles Leclerc in the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with the Monegasque claiming the position in the race as well as the World Championship. Horner admits that Perez's struggles with his tyres during the opening stint affected the rest of his race. "I think that Checo has driven so many races where he's been fantastic on the tyres," the team boss said. "In this race, it was just the first stint that compromised him where the front right [tyre] started to grain, and grain quite heavily compared to both Charles and Max. "That then put him out of sync where we had to pit, and that was on a very compromised one-stop [strategy], so the two-stop was the more attacking race."

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