Perez expects drivers to struggle with new cars in testing

Sergio Perez believes drivers will struggle physically during pre-season testing - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Sergio Perez expects drivers to struggle with their fitness during the initial stages of pre-season testing as everyone comes to terms with the higher downforce 2017 machines.

The Sahara Force India F1 Team racer, who will have a new team-mate in Esteban Ocon in 2017 following Nico Hulkenberg‘s departure to the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, expects the neck muscles in particular to take a pounding as drivers adapt to increased cornering speeds caused by the increase in downforce that the 2017 regulations require.

However, Perez believes that it will not take the drivers long to get used to the situation, and expects few issues to continue into the season opening Australian Grand Prix in March.

“I’m sure that when we start testing everyone will be destroyed,” said Perez to Autosport. “After you stop and you have a couple of months out of the car, it’s very difficult to simulate the same force you get in a car on a machine or whatever where you train.

“So every time you jump in the car again you always suffer with the neck. Now that the car’s a bit quicker, I expect everyone in February complaining about the neck – but it’ll be fine by Melbourne. I will need a bit more muscle and a bit more of everything.”