Perez also falls short of Bottas in the second half of the season

25-11-2021 09:11
F1 News
Perez also falls short of Bottas in the second half of the season

Red Bull Racing is very happy with Sergio Perez who seems to be performing better and better. However, if we look at the numbers, compared to his Mercedes rival Valtteri Bottas, it is not so bad. The question is whether Mercedes has made the right choice for 2022.

Exciting title race

With two races to go, the 2021 Formula 1 season is almost over but the title fight is far from over. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will fight it out for the world title, but Bottas and Perez will also play an important role in the battle for the constructors' title. In the standings, the difference between Bottas and Perez is only thirteen points in favour of the Finn.

Over a whole year Hamilton's teammate has performed better than Perez, but what about each half of the season? Before the summer break (after the Hungarian Grand Prix), the difference between Bottas and Perez was only four points in favour of the Mercedes driver. In this case, this wasn't even that crazy. Hamilton was also ahead of Verstappen (eight points) halfway through the season.

However, with Verstappen's unfortunate crashes in Azerbaijan and Great Britain, it would have been the other way around. So over the first half of the season, you could argue that Verstappen showed that Red Bull's package was better. However, when you look at Bottas and Perez this was not the case.

Bad luck for Bottas

While Verstappen was unlucky in the duel at the front, Bottas was not. The Finn was thrown out of the race by Russell in Imola and was unlucky that his tyre was not loosened during the pit stop in Monaco. Perez only had this kind of misfortune in Hungary, when Bottas forced him out of the race at the first corner. Bottas did not finish the race either.

Without the bad luck in Monaco and Imola for Bottas and the bad luck in Hungary for Perez, the Finn would have a slightly bigger lead in the championship. In the summer break, however, it was Perez who got a new contract, while Bottas was told he could leave Mercedes. Where you would think Red Bull could take advantage here, that wasn't the case.

Where Verstappen in the same car and the same number of races turned an eight-point gap on Hamilton into an eight-point lead at the moment, Bottas was even further ahead of Perez. After the summer break, Bottas scored 91 points, compared to Perez's 86, and there was more bad luck for the Finn in this half of the season.

Perez losing ground

Perez wasted points in Belgium by driving into the wall on the warm-up lap. A race never came, so this blunder cost Perez six easy points. He also finished in the points in every race, but three third places in Turkey, America and Mexico were his real top results.

Bottas, with three thirds and a win, has better results than Perez. He also suffered a flat tyre in Qatar and was tapped out by Daniel Ricciardo in the first corner of the Mexican GP. 

Do Mercedes have regrets?

Verstappen and Hamilton have been showing all year that the packages of Red Bull and Mercedes are extremely close, but for now, it's always an advantage for Verstappen, especially when you factor in bad luck. Bottas and Perez are also very close, but Bottas is the best driver on the grid.

For Red Bull, it is important that Perez performs even better. It is possible with this car to perform better. On the other hand, Bottas with his performance will also cause uncertainty at Mercedes. Did they make the right choice with the arrival of Russell or did they already have the ideal man next to Hamilton?

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