“That’s What’s Made This Decision Harder”- Christian Horner Opens Up on Call to Replace Albon With Perez at Red Bull

Published 12/19/2020, 3:44 AM EST
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)


The saga over the second Red Bull seat ended yesterday when the team announced Sergio Perez would drive for them in 2021. But Team Principal Christian Horner said that that decision was not easy by any means. And his demeanor and popularity in the team made the decision to replace him even ‘harder’.

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Horner stated, “This year’s car has been tricky. I think it’s improved significantly throughout the year, particularly in the last third of the year. But, again, it’s what you make of it, isn’t it?”

The gap between Albon and Verstappen at Red Bull remained ‘consistent’

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“I think the gap between Alex and Max has largely remained consistent from Austria to certainly Bahrain 2. He had a good race in Abu Dhabi.”

From a logical perspective, the selection of the drivers’ lineup is completely justified. Max Verstappen needed a stronger partner in the races, and the 30-year-old is the perfect choice.

Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Alexander Albon arrives ahead of the Sakhir Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The 47-year-old continued, “Everything else, he’s done brilliantly well. He’s a great racer, he’s an absolute gentleman within the team. 

“He’s very popular within a team because he’s such a nice guy. That’s what’s made this decision harder,” concluded Horner on the subject.

Perez has been brought in to offer a competitive edge to the team

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The idea from Red Bull is clear, they intend to challenge Mercedes for the 2021 titles. With Perez drafted in, the expectation is for him to primarily bridge the time gap to Max, and bring some consistency into their results.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon in action during the race REUTERS/Clive Mason

More often than not, Mercedes were able to win races as Red Bull did not have a second driver capable of forcing a strategy rethink. But Perez’s arrival will essentially look to sort that issue out on the track.

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Albon will stay on at the team as a reserve and development role and help the side in their preparations for 2022. But as it stands, Red Bull have now clearly expressed their intention to put out two competitive cars on the grid and take the fight to Mercedes.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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