Who should succeed Perez at Red Bull if performance disappoints?

Who should succeed Perez at Red Bull if performance disappoints?

24-08-2021 08:00 Last update: 08:44

Sergio Perez has had an uneven first half of the season at Red Bull Racing, and that raises questions about his possible successor. Of course, the Mexican will have another six months to prove himself, but we asked the editors of the Dutch and International editions of GPblog for their opinion: Who should succeed Perez in 2022 if Checo is deemed unfit by Red Bull in the second half of the season?

Bonne Veenstra - Editor GPblog NL: Pierre Gasly

Gasly has already had his first chance at Red Bull Racing, but it clearly came too soon. The Frenchman had to leave after half a season and was transferred back to Toro Rosso (now AlphaTauri). There, Gasly flourished. He took three podiums with a victory at Monza as a highlight. The 25-year-old driver is performing at a consistently high level and is showing at AlphaTauri that he deserves a second chance.

Aryaan Jena - Editor GPblog UK: Fernando Alonso

Red Bull have limited options in their own pool. Their strongest talents, Juri Vips and Liam Lawson would benefit from another year in F2. Alex Albon is not an option, considering his disappointing performance last year. Tsunoda still lacks experience. Although Pierre Gasly is performing well at AlphaTauri, there are still question marks as to how well he can perform alongside a driver of Verstappen's calibre.

That's why Red Bull should sign Alonso should Perez underdeliver. The Red Bull RB16B has developed a reputation for being difficult to drive, but Alonso has demonstrated throughout his career a remarkable ability to adapt and wring the most out of any car. Alonso excels in many areas, from his starts to his racecraft and race pace. The Spaniard's performances as of late prove that he still has the skill, even after a two-year sabbatical. Combined with Verstappen, Red Bull will have a lethal duo.

Bram Huisers - Editor GPblog NL: Valtteri Bottas

Max Verstappen's best teammate at Red Bull Racing to date is still Daniel Ricciardo. A teammate who was also capable of winning races and really challenging the Dutchman. Sergio Perez may have won in Baku, but that was also because both title rivals dropped out of the top spot. When Red Bull look for a new teammate for the Dutchman, they should look for an experienced driver who knows what it's like to win. The name that immediately springs to mind is Valtteri Bottas. He's always there when it matters most and that's exactly the kind of driver Red Bull are looking for to support Verstappen.

Toby McLuskie - Editor GPblog UK: Pierre Gasly

Most Red Bull drivers don’t get a second chance in Formula 1 when axed from the team, but Pierre Gasly’s form can’t be ignored. The Frenchman has been a star performer this season for their sister team AlphaTauri and currently sits eighth in the Drivers’ Standings on 50 points. His time at Red Bull was not the sweetest but he’s grown as a driver since then and has proved, on many occasions, that he can consistently find himself in the top 10. The one-time race winner however will need to continue his form this season and reach higher points finishes, in order to stand a chance of returning to the Austrian team.

Nicole Mulder - Editor GPblog NL: Fernando Alonso

In the first place, I believe that Red Bull should go for Sergio Pérez. He has proven that he can be there when needed, but he still lacks consistency. When the pressure is off a bit more I'm convinced he can show this more often. Should the team be looking for a replacement, I think Fernando Alonso is the best option. Not only because he has the talent to get everything out of a car, but also because he doesn't break under pressure - if he doesn't perform well enough, he'll do everything in his power to find out why and fix it. In addition, he is an absolute top driver who deserves a winning car. Partly for that reason, however, he will not want to play second fiddle.

Matt Gretton Editor-in-Chief GPblog UK: Valtteri Bottas

If Valtteri Bottas becomes available, Red Bull Racing should throw the chequebook at him. The rule and regulation changes for the 2022 season create some sort of uncertainty, but realistically any driver climbing into the second Red Bull seat alongside Max Verstappen is going to achieve a similar set of results.

But Bottas has a significant point of difference. The Finnish driver has a bank of Mercedes knowledge that no other driver has on the market. That could be crucial in terms of car development and even strategy choices. It really will be interesting to know how much 2022 car information Mercedes have shared with their current driver. And from experience, we know Bottas is willing to sacrifice and provide support where possible. Ousting Sergio Perez would be harsh, but he can't battle Bottas' point of difference.

Tim Kraaij - Editor in Chief GPblog NL: Pierre Gasly

I personally would not be in favour of Sergio Perez leaving. The Mexican has had his ups and downs but has shown he has the speed to support Max Verstappen. However, Red Bull Racing's car is not easy to drive, so even an experienced driver needs time to get used to it.

If Red Bull does say goodbye to Perez, in my opinion, they should choose Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman was pushed aside far too early, while in retrospect he didn't perform any worse than Perez is doing now. He was just as far away from Max on Saturday, only he had a much inferior car at his disposal. A second chance for him would be only right, also because the other option Valtteri Bottas wouldn't perform much better than Perez in my opinion, and Fernando Alonso as second man would only cause internal problems.

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