Sergio Perez yet again proved his worth as a driver over the race weekend in Turkey. The Mexican qualified in a career-best P3 and managed to bring his car home in P2, his best-ever race finish since the 2012 Italian Grand Prix. Martin Brundle felt that Perez is definitely “on Red Bull’s radar” following his incredible “racecraft” in Turkey.
Speaking to SkySportF1, Brundle expressed his view on Perez’s successful 2020 season despite missing out on two races over his COVID-19 misery.
“Surely he’s firmly on Red Bull’s radar if they decide to change Alex Albon. Perez could undoubtedly have had podiums in Austria, Portimao, and Imola too, but for some bad luck,” he said. “And he missed two races with COVID.”
At one point during the race in Turkey, Albon was closing in on Perez quite rapidly, but it never looked like they were fighting for positions. Instead, it looked like a battle for the Red Bull seat in 2021.
Unsurprisingly, the experienced Perez came out as best of the two as he kept his cool, while Albon spun off, not once but twice. Eventually, the Mexican maintained his dominant 2020 season with the incredible podium, increasing his prospects of taking over Albon’s place in the Red Bull.
Half-way into the final lap of the race, it looked like both the flying Ferraris could leave him out of the podium. Feeling the pressure from the Red cars, the Mexican ran deep into turn 9, leaving the door open for both the Ferrari drivers. During the blunder, Charles Leclerc saw an opportunity and got himself ahead.
However, Perez stayed calm and used the slipstream to attack Charles Leclerc, going into turn 12. The Ferrari driver in an attempt to defend his position locked up his tires and ran deep into the turn, effectively returning his position to Perez.
“The soon to be unemployed Perez in the [Mercedes’] sister Racing Point showed his class and experience almost as well as Hamilton,” Brundle said.
“His pace and racecraft were excellent. And despite being passed by Charles Leclerc four corners from home, he still managed to seize second place back to equal his best-ever result achieved back in 2012, and his ninth podium.”
Perez has been carrying his team on his shoulders over the last few weekends, with his teammate still finding his form. The strong performance in Turkey meant that Racing Point surpassed Renault to return P3 in the constructors’ standings.
However, can Perez continue to deliver over the forthcoming crucial race weekends and keep Racing Point safe from their rivals?