With Sergio Perez’s Formula One future still in the balance, we take a look at three reasons why the Mexican deserves a Red Bull seat in 2021.
Having lost his Racing Point seat to Sebastian Vettel for next season and midfield teams looking elsewhere, Red Bull represents Perez’s best hopes of being on the F1 grid in 2021 so we take a look at why Perez deserves that second Red Bull seat.
Outside of the top three, it is difficult to argue for a more consistent driver than Perez who has scored points in all of his last 18 race starts dating back to Russia last season, collecting 125 points across those 18 starts with an average points finish of 6.94 despite missing both Silverstone rounds.
Compare that form to Alex Albon in which the Thai has collected 120 points in 20 appearances, averaging out at six points per race despite making two further starts than Perez has managed, which surely indicates that Perez is the stronger and more consistent out of both drivers in terms of consistently bringing points home for his team.
For hypothetical purposes, even if Perez had participated at Silverstone and achieved the same results that his replacement, Nico Hulkenberg achieved then his points per race average would still be higher than Albon’s race points average, despite dropping from 6.94 to 6.6 points-per-race.
In terms of consecutive points finishes, Albon has only managed nine consecutive points finishes in his two-season F1 career, of which two of those points finishes came at Toro Rosso just prior to his promotion to Red Bull, whereas Perez is currently in his best form since a 15 race run from Germany 2016 to Spain 2017.
In regards to Qualifying, Albon is on average 0.999 seconds slower than Verstappen across 22 of 23 races that they’ve been Red Bull teammates in which both drivers set at least one timed lap in Qualifying, although two of those qualifying sessions were wet with Albon on average 1.457s slower than Verstappen but contrasting conditions make wet comparisons unrepresentative to some extent.
Perez meanwhile has been on average 1.426s quicker than Stroll across 20 races in same timespan which shows that the Mexican clearly still has the pace after ten seasons in F1 and would therefore ideally fit the number two driver role at Red Bull, in terms of contributing not just points but also pushing Verstappen whilst bringing experience and technical advice from a decade within F1.
It is therefore not difficult to see that Perez is worthy of a Red Bull seat on consistency across Qualifying and race unlike Albon who has seriously struggled to match Verstappen’s pace since joining the team in August 2019, although there are further aspects which highlights how valuable Perez would be to Red Bull.
If Red Bull want a driver who will be loyal to the team and gives their everything in the car and off track then Perez surely is the ideal man because he possesses a great on track attitude in terms of being prepared to play the rear-guard to faster teammates like Stroll as evidenced on Sunday when he successfully caused issues for likes of Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel for majority of race.
Perez also isn’t afraid to give his teammates a proper fight when he has the faster pace as demonstrated on many occasions over the years yet can be just as tough defensively to both teammates and rivals as Red Bull’s Verstappen discovered to his cost in Sunday’s Turkish GP, which shows that Perez isn’t afraid to get stuck in when required to do so to help out his team.
It is worth noting though that Perez spoke in December 2018 to Planet F1 of having “an outside relationship” with past teammates which is surely a huge plus from Red Bull’s perspective because they can be assured of Perez pushing Verstappen hard but fairly without many clashes and disrupting harmony within the team with both drivers having a mutual yet professional off track relationship.
If throw in the fact that Perez has spent seven seasons with Racing Point (formerly Force India) producing strong but loyal performances alongside three different teammates, it is clear that he is a proven driver that Red Bull need in terms of stability after young driver difficulties of recent seasons.
Value for Money
With Red Bull’s main aim to finish in top two constructors, Sergio Perez has proven over the years that he can be good value for money when given the right car in a midfield team with a strong average of 68.1 points across ten seasons at time of writing with three rounds of 2020 season left.
If compare that to fellow contender, Nico Hulkenberg who has averaged 52.1 points across ten seasons in F1 if include this season’s emergency stand in drives up until time of writing then Red Bull surely would be guaranteed better value in terms of money and points if go for Perez, even though Hulkenberg is reportedly cheaper in terms of salary but Perez brings financial support from Mexico though.
Albon though has earned an average of 63.5 points across two seasons in F1 whereas Perez scored 40 points on average across his first two seasons, whilst Hulkenberg averaged 42.5 points across his first two full seasons in a race seat.
We should however note that the midfield battles were much tougher for both Perez and Hulkenberg who have driven for midfield teams throughout their F1 career unlike Albon, who has had the benefit of a Red Bull car in 23 of his 35 starts in comparison on top of the hybrid era widening the gap between teams.
I therefore would argue that in Perez, Red Bull would be getting proper value for their money given Perez’s consistency and experience whilst the Mexican will bring financial support and new advertising opportunities within Mexico if look at the money perspective, whereas Hulkenberg is cheaper and German where they already are well known as a brand with RB Leipzig.
Should Red Bull Sign Sergio Perez
- Yes (98%, 44 Votes)
- No (2%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 45