Ricciardo Has a ‘Lot of Confidence’ in Sergio Perez Being in F1 in 2022

Published 12/15/2020, 4:01 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Racing Point’s Sergio Perez celebrates on the podium with the trophy after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon


Sergio Perez is scrambling for an F1 drive next season. The Mexican racer, despite having his best-ever season in the sport, is without a racing seat currently. Even though he finished P4 in the driver’s standings, Racing Point ousted him in favor of Sebastian Vettel.

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His peers have huge respect for his driving abilities, and one of them is Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian was making his picks for the 10 best drivers of the 2020 F1 season, during a podcast recently.

Naturally, he included Perez in his list. Complementing him, Ricciardo said, “He’s always had that Sunday, let’s say that Sunday race craft. He’s always there. I don’t know if he’s the fastest driver on the grid. But he’s there on Sunday when it counts.”

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“Whether it’s through tire preservation or being clean and driving, let’s say, a mature race.”

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – December 6, 2020 Racing Point’s Sergio Perez sprays sparkling wine as he celebrates winning the race on the podium with second placed Renault’s Esteban Ocon Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace

The ‘Honey Badger’ is not wrong by any means. Perez is indeed very good with tire management and driving an error-free race, which allows him to sneak a podium spot every now and then. Ricciardo agrees that it will be grossly unfair for him to not have a race seat for 2021.

However, he believes that the Mexican will eventually land on his feet.

“It would be unfair that he’s not on the grid next year. But I would say that if he isn’t, I would still have a lot of confidence he’s there in ’22. So I don’t think it’s done for him,” Ricciardo said further.

Does Sergio Perez deserve the Red Bull seat?

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The battle to win the seat at Red Bull and partnering Max Verstappen for the 2021 season isn’t over yet. Courtesy of Alex Albon’s unconvincing performances this season, it is supposedly vacant now. And Perez is under contention with Albon for that hot seat.

SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 28: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talk in the garage during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 28, 2020 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images,)

With his excellent performances culminating in a win this season, Perez makes quite a compelling case. However, it is one thing to beat the Billionaire Boy Lance Stroll and another to beat the other-worldly Verstappen. There’s a good chance that the Dutchman will make him look ordinary.

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Hence, the Energy drinks Team should target Nico Hulkenberg. The German is the ideal qualifier that they need to compete against Mercedes from the front of the grid. Meanwhile, Perez should rather wait for 2022 when a competitive midfield team calls him.

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Bharat Aggarwal

755 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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