'Perez will become the Bottas of Red Bull Racing'

21-12-2020 19:35 | Updated: 21-12-2020 20:58
by GPblog.com
F1 News
'Perez will become the Bottas of Red Bull Racing'

Alexander Albon was allowed to finish his season at Red Bull Racing, but it is clear that he was unable to convince Horner and Marko to put him back in the car next year. A decision that hurts Albon a lot, but Formula 1 can be tough. His place will now be taken by the more experienced Sergio Perez and Verstappen is happy with that, but if it really is a solution...

A formidable package

Because of the strong performance of Perez and his victory, the Mexican has put himself in the spotlight at Red Bull. But is that right? Mark Hughes has an interesting view on this in his column at Motorsport magazine. "Perez, with years of experience in his data banks, finally got to enjoy a really good car for the first time. In his tenth season", writes Hughes, then describing his solid season with finally: "All round, he is a formidable package."

It depends on the perspective

"But perception is all – and the perception of this year is that he has been brilliant. The reality is he’s the same formidable driver he’s always been – but in a much more competitive car, and with a team-mate in Lance Stroll, who lacks consistency at this still-early stage in his career. Perez was not night and day quicker than Stroll," Hughes writes, then went on to point out the minimal differences in qualifying time.

"Consider those perceptions. Valtteri Bottas’ stock is not high after yet another season of being soundly thrashed by Lewis Hamilton. He gets a lot of the fans’ frustration about the one-sided nature of recent seasons vented at him. But as a mental exercise, swap Bottas and Perez around in the season just gone, with Bottas leading Racing Point in the pink Mercedes, Perez in the works Mercedes alongside Hamilton. Bottas’ stock would be sky-high. Perez’s would be sagging."

In conclusion, Hughes writes: "Will he do the job that Red Bull was seeking from Albon of being strong support on race day? Absolutely. In that sense, he will be Red Bull’s Bottas. Will he provide any noticeable in-team competition for Verstappen over the season? I’d be amazed if that were the case."

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