It was announced this morning that Sergio Perez would replace Alex Albon at Red Bull Racing for 2021, with an initial one year contract being signed.
For many, this is the news they have been waiting for – with Alex underperforming throughout the 2020 season and failing to meet Red Bull’s expectations. In an anticipated turn of events, for the first time since 2007 when Mark Webber joined the team – they are hiring a driver from outside of their own development programme. Does this mean that experience will be the answer to Red Bulls problems?
Perez has demonstrated throughout his career that he is an extremely reliable and consistent midfield driver, and possibly one of the most underrated. Throughout the 2020 Season in particular, his incredibly impressive portfolio of results prove why he deserves the seat for next year. Even without his maiden win at the Sakhir Grand Prix, the Mexican driver has racked up 125 points and finished fourth in the Drivers Championship, despite missing two races due to testing positive for Covid-19.
It’s no secret that Red Bull desire a second driver to push Max Verstappen to his limits and to strengthen their chances against the dominant Mercedes. Personally, we think if any driver is going to succeed in meeting these goals, it’s Checo. His superb race craft and ability to make the most out of opportunities – such as his miraculous recovery drive which took him from last and facing the wrong way, to a hugely admired victory under the lights at Bahrain are just some of the motives for the signing. Sergio’s ten seasons in Formula One should provide the experience he needs to manage Red Bulls pressure cooker environment, whilst still achieving much needed results.
Qualifying for Sergio isn’t always smooth sailing, however on a Sunday he pulls it all together and his ability to extract the maximum he needs from the car and his tyres is remarkable. Is this exactly what Red Bull have been missing?
Only time will tell if Sergio Perez is what Red Bull need to fight their way to the top, however we are confident that the team have made the right decision. We wish Checo all the luck in the world, and look forward to seeing what he brings in 2021.