Marko Reveals Red Bull Nearly Signed Sergio Perez in 2007

Published 03/11/2021, 8:30 AM EST
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Racing Point waves to the crowd from the garage during final practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)


For nearly the entirety of his F1 career, Sergio Perez had made a habit of hauling mid-field teams to incredible results. But after slipping under the radar for quite a while, the Mexican made a bang in the 2020 season. His performances couldn’t be ignored, and he deservedly got a seat at Red Bull for 2021. However, the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s advisor, Dr. Helmut Marko, revealed that Checo could have been on their payroll as long ago as 2007.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Marko admitted that Red Bull had come close to snapping up the Mexican when he was still racing in Formula 3 championships.

The Austrian said (translated via Google)“Pérez almost became Red Bull Junior in 2007 after a sighting in Estoril. The fact that the collaboration did not materialize was due to a planned junior team of Mexican sponsors, into which Sergio was integrated.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

SUZUKA, JAPAN: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Racing Point walks out for the drivers autograph signing session during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

There’s no telling what Perez could have gone on to achieve if he was in the Red Bull academy. Who knows, perhaps he may have won a few championships with the Austrian team.

Nevertheless, it is a case of better late than never for Checo. He still has time to craft his own legacy, but that may be a bit unlikely considering he has got a certain driver called Max Verstappen as his teammate for 2021.

Red Bull have always kept a close eye on Sergio Perez, claims Marko

Although they missed out on signing him to their academy, Perez wasn’t a forgotten commodity for the energy drink-owned team. Marko admitted that they had been keeping tabs on the Mexican.

He also went on to reveal just how easy it was to sign him up for 2021.

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko and Renault Sport F1 Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul talk on the grid before the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Dr Helmut said, “There was enough time to watch him. We knew about his strengths in the race and small weaknesses in qualifying.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“After Alex Albon was unable to achieve consistency despite all our efforts and he got nervous, for example, when the tires were deteriorating, we only talked more closely in Bahrain during a longer stay between two races. Everyone lived together there, so it wasn’t particularly noticeable. Then it went quickly to the signature.”

Having already divulged some secrets about the Mercedes engine, Perez will be chomping at the bit to hit the track with his new team. The good news for him is that he won’t have to wait too long, as the opening round of the 2021 campaign begins on March 28.

Can Checo help Red Bull to dethrone Mercedes? We shall soon find out.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Where Did Sergio Perez Come From? Chronicling the Red Bull Driver’s Journey into F1

3 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ronan Carvalho

1063 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT