Red Bull Explain Reason behind Choosing Perez over ‘Serious Candidate’ Hulkenberg for 2021

Published 12/24/2020, 2:00 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – November 26, 2020 Racing Point’s Sergio Perez during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Alexander Albon’s seldom-found stability in the Red Bull car led to rumors about a potential replacement next season. He did not out-qualify Verstappen, never finished ahead of him, and only got within three-tenths of a second of Verstappen, and that too, just once.

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Red Bull had three drivers to pick their 2021 driver from – Alexander Albon, Nico Hulkenberg, and Sergio Perez. They were all serious candidates to join Verstappen next season; however, After Albon’s unimpressive season, it boiled down to just two.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 13, 2020 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

Helmut Marko explained the thought process that helped them pick Perez over Hulkenberg.

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“We have analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the three candidates Alexander Albon, Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg in great detail,” Marko explained.

He further added, “Hülkenberg was a serious candidate. In the end, only one thing was decisive for Pérez to Hülkenberg: He was able to bring most of the knowledge about the Mercedes engine to the table.”

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Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were the last competitive pair for Red Bull. After Ricciardo, they went through Gasly and replaced him with Albon mid-season in 2019.

Finally, the team had to look outside their drivers’ academy to become more competitive. Meanwhile, Mercedes are aware that they have their work cut out next season.

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Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – December 4, 2020 Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff talks in the Team Principals Press Conference during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Sakhir FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Wolff said, “In my opinion, Red Bull has been strengthened by this new addition. It will make the team even more of a strong opponent in the Constructors’ World Cup.”

“That will make life difficult for us as a team. We have to improve because this is a fight that has not been there for a while – that Red Bull has two strong drivers who are against drive us,” Lewis Hamilton concurred.

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Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez believe that they will push each other to the limit. Red Bull can expect another competitive car on the grid next season, and hopefully, the team will have a lot more tequila for their celebrations in 2021.

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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