Red Bull Won’t Prioritize Verstappen Over Perez Under One Condition

Published 03/17/2021, 3:30 AM EDT
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)


Red Bull had secured the signing of Sergio Perez during the off-season in the lead-up to the 2021 season. Team principal Christian Horner is happy with Perez’s performance during the team’s testing sessions and has doubled down on the fact that there is no clear number 1 driver within the team.

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The Mexican has adapted very well to the RB16B if the early signs from pre-season testing are to be taken at face value. Perez has been signed with the expectation that he would give the team reliable performances in the other car, should Max Verstappen have a sub-optimal race for any reason whatsoever.

Both drivers will be given equal priority according to Red Bull boss Horner

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In an interview (translated via Google), Horner spoke about how the team is looking to build on an encouraging end to the 2020 season. He said, “To do better than in 2020, we are building on the positives of 2020.

“Continuing the line of victory in the last race and maintaining the accompanying momentum. That was positive, hopefully we can perform strongly this year.”

The Brit also spoke about the Austrian team’s signing of Sergio Perez and what he adds to the team. “Checo’s coming is nice. He’s very experienced and a great guy. The two drivers get along well and I think he adds something to the team, which is positive. Max and he work well together, they make a good combination.”

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)

The 47-year-old reiterated that there won’t be preferential treatment towards any particular driver. He said, “The first is the one who drives in front. That has been the case for years. It has been that way for years. They get the same car and the same opportunities.”

Can the team challenge Mercedes in 2021?

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The Milton Keynes outfit has struggled to legitimately challenge Mercedes during the turbo-hybrid era. The team has suffered from slow starts, which makes kills their championship hopes with four-five races to go. 

The reason for this has been the lack of a proper correlation between wind tunnel work and on-track data. They have looked to solve that part of it with their almost flawless program they ran in Bahrain.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 13, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

But testing doesn’t give that much of a true indication of race pace. With the first Grand Prix in Bahrain less than 10 days away, they will want to build on this. If Red Bull are able to reel off race victories in the few races, it could make the championship battle with Mercedes very interesting indeed.

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Ashish Thomas

211 articles

Ashish Thomas is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having followed motorsports since age 5, Ashish holds an enviable knowledge of F1 history. Ashish holds extensive experience in sports writing, having previously worked for SportsQuest and Fansided.

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