One of the much-awaited moves in the drivers’ market took place at the end of the 2020 F1 season. Red Bull fans were expectant to see Sergio Perez team up alongside Max Verstappen, and the team fulfilled their wish.
Make no mistake, Perez brings with himself an immense competitive streak and years of F1 racing experience. He becomes a perfect foil to Max Verstappen, who will himself want to pursue a title challenge.
In that regard, team principal Christian Horner has explained that the move to replace predecessor Alex Albon proved ‘incredibly difficult’. But ultimately, all things considered, putting the Mexican behind the wheel of their RB16B makes complete sense.
Horner stated, “It was an incredibly difficult decision, and one that we were lucky enough to have time to completely rethink – actually throughout the season. And it’s very unusual for a driver of Sergio’s quality and ability to be on the market.” (translated via Google Translate)
Indeed, acquiring Perez came about as part of a driver’s market reshuffle, which saw Sebastian Vettel take his place. But, one’s loss is another’s gain, and it seems like Red Bull has run out the biggest gainers among them all.
“We just had the feeling that it would be better to have a more experienced driver at Max’s side when we go into 2021. I think it was a grown-up point of view we took to break out of our scheme. And to give Sergio a chance.”
“I’ve always followed his career with interest. It was a matter of the circumstances that presented itself as an opportunity, and it made sense that Sergio would take the place next to Max this year,” concluded Horner.
Perez has not earned the moniker of ‘King of the Midfield’ for nothing. With Sauber and Racing Point, he has proven his reliability on the track. Admittedly so, he will look to bring exactly that when gets racing with Red Bull in 2021 as well.
The season soon gets underway in Bahrain, and all eyes will be on Perez. F1 fans will then hope he performs per expectations and lives up to his reputation’s billing.