Sergio Perez is riding on a high tide. He had the best season of his illustrious F1 career in 2020 which culminated in a maiden race win in Sakhir. Though Racing Point tainted it at the start by tearing his 3-year contract, he is now landing back on his feet with Red Bull.
Sergio Perez did not become a serious contender until the 2nd half of the 2020 F1 season
Red Bull is not a team that likes to have drivers outside of its own talent pool. And this time too, Horner wished to give Alex Albon the entire season in the car to find his feet. So, they waited until the end of 2020 to evaluate all the data. The conclusion of which was that Perez performed better between the two.
“Looking at the delta between our two drivers and given Sergio’s strong performances, particularly in the second half of the year, we made the decision that Sergio had earned the 2021 seat,” – said Horner.
Horner hopes to ‘take the fight to Mercedes’
With this, the Team Principal hopes that they can consistently butt heads with the dominant Mercedes next season. Aside from Max, the second car has not consistently performed to their expectations since Ricciardo left in 2018.
So, with Perez, they wish to put that right. The Mexican is now a veteran of 10 seasons with almost 200 races under his best. Though qualifying isn’t his greatest asset, he comes alive in the race with his supreme tire management skills. This leaver Horner optimistic for next season –
“We need to field the strongest team possible in order to take the fight to Mercedes. Sergio’s experience will be crucial next season and we look forward to welcoming him to the Team.”
However, it will take more than a driver change for Red Bull to truly knock Mercedes off their perch. Their engine is still class-leading and driver Lewis Hamilton, the possible ‘GOAT’. They will need to come out all guns blazing in 2021. And maybe deflecting from their rigid driver recruitment program is a start.