Christian Horner Reveals How Sergio Perez Is a Better Red Bull F1 Driver Than Gasly and Albon

Published 07/01/2021, 5:56 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 6, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez celebrates with team members after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


Ever since Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull for Renault in 2019, the Milton Keynes outfit suffered a big void in the ‘number 2 driver’ role. Of course, there were a handful of drivers who gave it a shot, but failed miserably – Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon.

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Neither of them shined enough with the team, which forced Red Bull to hunt outside their driver’s programme. And Sergio Perez remained the only driver without a contract for 2021, despite winning a race last season. Hence, Red Bull didn’t necessarily have to think twice before securing a deal with the Mexican.

Although Perez is yet to challenge his teammate, Max Verstappen, he has been better than his predecessors. Amidst such a decent start to the campaign, Red Bull’s boss, Christian Horner, opened up about what Perez brings to the team.

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What did the Red Bull boss say?

During a podcast, Horner reckoned that Perez managed to change the dynamics within the team this season. What’s more, Perez’s experience has apparently helped him handle the pressured situation at Red Bull.

I think he just gives us that experience. He’s got 10 years’ worth of experience,” he told F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast.

Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 19, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during practice REUTERS/Yves Herman

He’s got an ability to manage tires within a race that is second to none. And he just brings a different dynamic into the lab, both Pierre and Alex are tremendously gifted drivers. But, the timing just wasn’t right and then the pressured environment that we have on the expectations was very tough for them.

The way he settled in, the way he’s delivering, particularly after that victory in Bahrain last year, would have been very tough for him not to be in Formula 1. And I think he brings a dynamic in the fight that we have with Mercedes that’s starting to pay dividends,” he added.

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Can Perez beat Hamilton on the driver’s standings?

Ahead of the 2021 season, Perez demanded that he would need five races to get used to the car, before fighting at the top. True to his words, he did struggle over the first five race weekends.

And then arrived the big turnaround over the succeeding weekend at Baku. Not only did he perform well, but the Mexican even secured his first Red Bull race win. Later at Le Castellet, Perez made a late move on Valtteri Bottas to claim P3 and almost reciprocated the result in Styria.

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Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 6, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez celebrates with sparkling wine on the podium after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Perez switched to a two-stopper with just over 15 laps in hand. He then enforced a late charge on the Mercedes driver and brought down the gap from over 20 seconds to less than a second at the checkered flag.

Overall, Perez has garnered 52 points out the last three race weekends and is just over 40 points adrift of Lewis Hamilton. So, can the Mexican continue his current form to gift Red Bull a dream 1-2 finish in the drivers’ championship this season?

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Rohit Kumar

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Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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