Perez and Hulkenberg ‘both tough enough to go up against Verstappen’

2020 F1 season

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Both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg are tough enough to survive as team mate to Max Verstappen at Red Bull, according to Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer.

Perez will be replaced by Sebastian Vettel in the team at the end of the year. Nico Hulkenberg, who has driven as a substitute for Racing Point three times this year, is also a free agent for 2021.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has admitted he is considering bringing in someone from outside their young driver programme to replace Alexander Albon as Verstappen’s team mate next year. Verstappen has developed a formidable reputation after emphatically beating both Albon and his predecessor, Pierre Gasly.

Szafnauer believes both Perez and Hulkenberg would fare better at Red Bull. “Both of them have the mental capacity and the mental toughness to fit in alongside Max,” he said, “both of them.”

Drivers, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
2021 F1 drivers and teams
The fact two Racing Point drivers have been linked to Red Bull demonstrates the quality of signings they have made “in the past and hopefully in the future too, including Lance and Seb”, said Szafnauer.

“We pride ourselves in picking good drivers,” he continued. “I think looking back historically even – and it had nothing to do with me, I’m not taking credit – but even in the Jordan says, Michael [Schumacher] was the first to drive for Eddie [Jordan], Eddie picked good drivers.

“And in the Force India days, too. I remember when I first came here, I didn’t choose them, but Adrian Sutil was really quick. We had some good drivers here.”

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2020 F1 season

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 7 comments on “Perez and Hulkenberg ‘both tough enough to go up against Verstappen’”

    1. This team retains the owners son in detriment to their number one driver, then proceeds to brag about how they are great at hiring drivers, going even to mention the signing of Schumacher 30 years ago by a different team owner. Amazing…

      1. Everytime Otmar opens his mouth, I lose even more respect for him.
        I think I’m at -523 respect points by now….

    2. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
      31st October 2020, 8:11

      Is the title a quote or not? Cause i cause find the quote. The different quote in the text certainly is true, they both are mentally better prepared then the other RB drivers. Experience helps.

    3. That’s always difficult for them.

    4. If Albon is to be replaced? Huge clue in Horner’s considering remark.
      Perez for sure. Massive funding. Massive exposure to the whole new Red Bull marketing.
      Mexico & the whole of South America.
      So a no brainer.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        31st October 2020, 13:28

        @wildbiker about as much of a no-brainer as replacing the current Red Bull chassis with the Williams one ;-)

      2. Perez will compliment Max nicely.

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