Possible Options for Red Bull F1 to Consider as Perez’s Replacement – Bottas, Gasly & More

Published 08/17/2021, 4:46 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 1, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez arrives before practice REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo


Sergio Perez, after a stellar 2020 F1 season with Racing Point, landed a seat at Red Bull Racing after Alex Albon failed to impress much in his stint. The Mexican did reckon that he would need 5 races to get up to speed with Max Verstappen.

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And rightly so, the 6th race weekend in Azerbaijan witnessed Perez race to only his second career race win. Then followed a podium in France after a late move on Valtteri Bottas.

Hence, a contract extension with the Milton Keynes outfit looked certain for Perez, but since then, things have hardly gone his way. Since the Styrian Grand Prix, Perez has managed to secure a measly 20 points compared to Verstappen’s 56.

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Formula One F1 – French Grand Prix – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France – June 20, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after winning the race with third placed Red Bull’s Sergio Perez REUTERS/Yves Herman

Also, Dr. Helmut Marko’s recent comments regarding Red Bull’s future with Perez have raised further questions. The Austrian claimed that the outfit is considering other options, as Perez is still struggling to find the right set-up despite using up almost half a season.

Of course, Marko opted not to name the options. But, who could they be? Well, let’s take a look at the possible options for Red Bull if Perez fails to sign a new contract.

Potential replacements for Sergio Perez at Red Bull

Pierre Gasly

The primary name on the list is definitely Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman did undergo a terrible 2019 season with Red Bull, which saw him getting demoted to Toro Rosso midway through the season.

MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 06: Race winner Pierre Gasly of France and Scuderia AlphaTauri celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 06, 2020 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Luca Bruno – Pool/Getty Images)

However, since then, it has been an astonishing stint with AlphaTauri for the French lad. Gasly has already secured 3 podiums and a race win with the mid-field team. And there is no denying that he could accomplish more at Red Bull next season. He deserves a chance to get redemption for his failed phase with the team.

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg was one of the options for Red Bull ahead of the 2021 season as well. However, his lack of gaining on-track action in recent times overshadowed his success with Force India and Renault.

But, he is the kind of driver who can understand a car at a rapid pace. Hulkenberg competed in 3 races in 2020. Despite racing for the first time in months, Hulkenberg secured an impeccable P3 in qualifying at Silverstone and came home in P7 in the race.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – Nico Hulkenberg of Germany and Racing Point reacts in parc ferme during the F1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone in Northampton, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Later that season at Nurburgring, he yet again drove a stellar race to secure P8 after starting from P20 on the grid. Such is the learning pace of Hulkenberg. The German may have zero podiums to his name, but he certainly is a talent Red Bull can’t afford to lose.

Valtteri Bottas

Doesn’t seem possible but there are chances. Bottas might not embrace change in the atmosphere at Red Bull compared to Mercedes. He would still be the second driver, racing behind a much faster Max Verstappen. Team orders will be a factor.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas celebrates second place with the trophy on the podium Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

But, there is a trump card he holds that might attract Red Bull – the secrets about Mercedes. Bottas has been a Mercedes man for 5 years, and he might hold some game-changing secrets that might bolster Red Bull’s on-track performance.

Alex Albon

The least possible option of all. The door has been firmly shut for Albon to make an F1 return. However, his performances in the DTM might just have given a reason for Red Bull to think, ‘why not Albon?’

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NUERBURG, GERMANY – Alexander Albon of Thailand and Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talk in the garage during qualifying ahead of the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Albon has looked quite solid, securing 3 wins out of the initial 3 rounds. However, as things stand, Albon’s focus has moved to Indy, with a viable opportunity awaiting the Thai-British driver. Hence, there are chances that he might share the Indy grid with his former F1 colleague, Romain Grosjean next year.

Overall, Marko’s comments have left the driver’s market wide open, with Hulkenberg’s F1 return seemingly grown brighter. Hence, are we in for a major shuffle amongst the grid ahead of the 2022 season?

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Rohit Kumar

1140 articles

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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