Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has acknowledged that the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix will present a formidable challenge for his team, with Ferrari expected to provide stiff competition.
Despite Red Bull's flawless start to the 2023 season, winning all five Grands Prix (including one sprint win), Perez anticipates a fierce battle from Ferrari, Mercedes, and Aston Martin.
One of the key factors behind Red Bull's dominance has been the RB19's anti-dive front suspension, allowing Perez and teammate Max Verstappen to maintain consistent aerodynamic load through corners. However, this setup compromises the feel and heat generation of the front tires, which could prove problematic at Monaco's tight circuit.
Additionally, Ferrari's SF-23 machine has shown remarkable prowess in slow corners, potentially making it the best car on the grid for this particular track. The Aston Martin AMR23 also poses a significant challenge, matching the Red Bull's performance through corners.
Adding to the uncertainty is the unveiling of Mercedes' extensive upgrade package for the W14, making their performance difficult to predict.
Perez, speaking to media outlets, admitted the team's concerns about Monaco: "We know this is not our strongest circuit; we still struggle a bit to showcase our strengths. But it's Monaco, and anything can happen."
The Mexican driver emphasized the importance of tire warm-up during qualifying, as it is a crucial aspect of racing at this iconic street circuit.
Acknowledging the strength of Ferrari and Mercedes, Perez said, "I do expect Fernando [Alonso] and the Ferraris to be quite strong, as they were in Baku. Over one lap around this place, they will be strong. Monaco is one of those circuits where any mistake can end your race."
Despite the potential for a less thrilling Sunday race, Perez expressed excitement about the qualifying session, where every move counts: "At any point, you can make a mistake and finish your race. I think we will all enjoy Saturday when we have to qualify and know that everything counts."
With Monaco's unforgiving nature and formidable competition from Ferrari and others, Red Bull faces a challenging weekend as they strive to extend their winning streak.
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