Why Perez can thank Binotto for his seat at Red Bull

18-12-2020 15:55
F1 News
Why Perez can thank Binotto for his seat at Red Bull

Sergio Perez will be a Red Bull Racing driver in 2021. And besides Helmut Marko and Christian Horner, he can also thank someone special for this opportunity. Without Mattia Binotto, we might not have seen Perez on the grid at all in 2021.

Binotto the cause

Even before the 2020 season started, the silly season was turned upside down. Sebastian Vettel was kicked out by Ferrari after 2020 and the team had to look for a new driver. Binotto saw Carlos Sainz as the ideal replacement and Ferrari's problems were thus resolved.

Vettel, on the other hand, no longer had a seat and went looking for a new place on the Formula 1 grid. Lawrence Stroll, who put a lot of money into the career of his son and the Racing Point team, and Vettel had been close acquaintances for a long time. In addition, Stroll senior made sure that the name Racing Point disappears from Formula 1 and the name Aston Martin returns. Vettel saw his chance and wanted to link his name to the legendary car brand.

Choose between Stroll and Perez

The only problem Racing Point had at the time was that it already had two drivers under contract. Lance Stroll and Perez would "just" drive for the team in 2021, it was long suggested. However, this is not the case. One of the two had to leave the field for the arrival of four-time world champion Vettel. As "the son of" Stroll's place was never in danger and Perez had to look for a new seat in the top class of motorsport.

At that time, the seats of all teams in midfield were virtually occupied. Ferrari, McLaren and Renault were full. Mercedes had already confirmed Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton is still only a matter of time. Perez quickly said that a step back into the Formula 1 field was not an option for him and so there was only one place left.

Domino effect led to Perez contracting

That one place was of course at Red Bull Racing. Red Bull had problems with the second driver next to Max Verstappen for two years. Both Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon did not come close to Verstappen, while Perez seemed to be driving better and better. In the end, his skills were good enough and Christian Horner and Helmut Marko wanted the Mexican in the second Red Bull seat. A gigantic domino effect that started with Mattia Binotto who fired Vettel and ended with Perez as the new Red Bull driver.

This article was written and originally published by Bonne on the Dutch edition of GPblog.com.

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