Sergio Perez believes there is little difference in the physical demands of the new 2017 Formula 1 cars compared to their predecessors.
The new generation of F1 cars was created in the hope that they would pose more of a physical challenge for the drivers, and make it much harder for teenagers such as Max Verstappen to jump into the sport and be competitive from their very first race.
While many drivers have expressed their delight in the increased physical challenge of the 2017 cars, Perez says the physicality of the cars has been “somewhat exaggerated.”
“I noticed almost no difference in the physical demands between the 2016 and 2017 cars,” the Force India driver told Spanish publication Marca.
There are reports that the VJM10 is 10kgs overweight, and drivers Perez and his team-mate Esteban Ocon have been advised to lose weight ahead of the season opener in Melbourne.
Despite this request, Perez’s personal trainer Xavi Martos has shown little concern. “Checo is one of the most natural drivers on the grid and will have no problem with his neck, even if he loses kilos.”
Haas’ Romain Grosjean also overestimated the physicality of the 2017 challengers but is still satisfied with the challenge they offer.
“I didn’t feel too bad,” said the Frenchman when asked how he felt after pre-season testing. “But let’s put it this way, if I’d been in the same condition as I was last year, I would have been destroyed.
“We pushed really hard in our training. We may actually have overdone it, but it’s not as bad as we thought it would be.
“The cars are going to be challenging and some of the races this year are going to be epic, especially where it’s warm with a high-speed track, it’ll be very hard on the body.
“I like the challenge and I like to think that we can always get more prepared and better trained. It felt good as we did the proper training. The cars are much harder to drive than last year.
“We had pushed the training hard [before testing] and that’ll be the case again before Australia, before China and the early part of the season. We’ll build more muscle and make sure all the areas are covered.”