‘Perez deserves Red Bull seat, I hope he gets it’ – Lawrence Stroll

2020 Sakhir Grand Prix

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Racing Point co-owner Lawrence Stroll says he hopes Sergio Perez is offered a drive with Red Bull next year after leaving his team.

Perez, who signed a three-year deal with Racing Point last year, is being dropped by the team to make way for Sebastian Vettel in 2021. His best chance of remaining on the grid lies with Red Bull, who are considering a replacement for Alexander Albon.

Following Perez’s shock win in yesterday’s Sakhir Grand Prix, Stroll praised his outgoing driver and said he hopes he remains on the grid next year.

“Checo has been a fantastic asset,” he told Sky. “He’s been an asset for this team a long time before I’ve arrived.

“I think he most definitely proves every weekend he deserves to be in the car next year and I hope he’s in that Red Bull next year.”

Drivers, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020
2021 F1 drivers and teams
Perez’s victory was the team’s first under the Racing Point name. It has had several previous identities including Force India (2008-2018), Spyker (2007) and Midland (2006). It scored its most recent victory under its original identity, Jordan, at the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix with Giancarlo Fisichella.

Stroll hopes his team’s breakthrough victory is the first of many.

“What people forget is it already was a great team we purchased,” he said. “They were 400 guys, half the amount of staff of most of our competition, less than half of the budget, and they managed to finish a couple of years fourth in a row. So it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that they’re able to accomplish this today.

“I brought some funding that the team desperately needed to be more competitive and I brought some leadership skills with me that helped the team be more competitive. Today and, hopefully, many more days like today in the future, is the result.”

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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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78 comments on “‘Perez deserves Red Bull seat, I hope he gets it’ – Lawrence Stroll”

  1. Not as much as he deserves an Aston Martin seat.

      1. Yes, there’s an uncontracted seat at Mercedes, and Sergio has won a race as well.

    1. @red-andy Exactly. Ridiculous comment by Stroll sr.

      1. Ridiculously ridiculous statement from old man Stroll. I haven’t felt right about this from its origins. My opinion is the only thing Perez actually deserves is juniors race seat.
        Imagine if Perez mentored under Vettle while both went at the rest of the guys. Let junior perfect his skill sets in the test driver role. Promote your son when he becomes a Grand Prix racer. Let him learn in a positive way. Not the way the old man presented the whole idea about its future. Junior has had but one part of a race where he actually led. Otherwise he has no business at this level of racing. His accomplishments are all based on the unexpected failings of others. It’s his race craft which there needs to be improved a ton. Mean while Perez walks or has simply been put in the trash and he takes that winners trophy with him. It’s stupid business and now has hurt a dedicated employee in the worst way. After so many years contributing to the goals of the team he works for, he finally wins and junior can only bitch about it how things are impacting him.

  2. Well you shouldn’t have replaced him with Vettel who is past his best Lawrence. You would have saved some $’s too.

    1. Getting Vettel was a great move from Aston Martin. Vettel both deserves to be on the grid as much as anyone, and to not have his final season in F1 be for Ferrari as it is. He’ll prove everyone wrong next season when he bounces back after leaving that toxic environment, I’ve no doubt on that.

      The problem isn’t that Vettel is getting that drive, it’s that he’s replacing the wrong person.

        1. Yep, everyone happy to pit Perez vs Vettel as if the latter is the problem, while no word is said about Stroll keeping the seat.

          1. Without Stroll in the team, there would be no money from Papa Stroll and the team would be probably a tad bit better than Williams and Haas, but not by much.

      1. george spencer
        7th December 2020, 9:34

        Checko 1st Vettle 12th keep checko

      2. I have 0 trust on vettel, as soon as he gets beaten by stroll I hope they will realise the mistake they’ve done.

  3. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    7th December 2020, 7:42

    I’m sure Lawrence means well, but seeing as he’s the guy who rather keeps his poor-performing son rather than Checo, he’d been better off keeping his mouth shut. This is just salt in the wound.

    I get hiring a 4-time world champion for your ‘new’ team and I’m sure Vettel will bring some much needed experience to the team. But mark my words: he’s going to show Stroll all corners of the ring. Whilst Stroll occasionally does something nice, the guy simply isn’t a good enough racer for F1. He does okay when he drives in clean air and during qualies, where he has all the space in the world (mostly). But when there’s other around him, there just shorts something in his head and he starts doing dumb stuff.

    I don’t know which commentator said it, but there was one that once said that proper racing drivers can drive AND do several other things at the same time. Stroll isn’t one of those people.

    1. @barryfromdownunder , for me Stroll senior putting his son in that seat is what every reasonable dad would do for his son irrespective of anything if he owns that team. I don’t get it when people criticize him for this, because most if them will put their sons in that seat as well.

      1. Yeah, people just fail to realise that there would be no Aston Martin as a car company and F1 team without the involvement of Stroll Sr. He wouldn’t have been involved this deeply if not for his son.

        At the same time, Stroll has proven himself to be a decent driver, as good as most number 2 drivers in F1. I have no concerns of him occupying a seat as long as the team performs well and has a good number 1 driver.

      2. most if them will put their sons in that seat as well.

        Yehnah, if I had money I would follow Bill Gates lead of giving my kids what they need and nothing more.

        They’d have to make it on their own, not being carried through life on a wheelbarrow of money.

        Stroll is doing to racing what Trump is doing to politics in this money buys anything world.

      3. BECAUSE it takes the proper racing driver out of the seat and then gives it to the undeserving family member. Having that kind of money buys you stuff. Even if it ruins another’s deserving aspirations.

  4. He basically finished ahead of Renault and McLaren where the car should finish (seeing that Verstappen and Mercedes took themselves out).

    Hulkenberg actually helped the team improve to the level that they are now consistently the third fastest car. That is what Red Bull need.

    1. I don’t see what Vettel brings.

    2. For some reason Hulkenberg has podium allergy.

    3. I appreciate that you still had to get your Verstappen dig in, mate. Good stuff.

      1. I laughed out loud, this guy is the new krxx :)

      2. @aiii Thanks. More a matter of fact though.

        1. Nope, more a matter of F1saurus messed up view of reality ;)

    4. @f1osaurus No, RB need someone who can win races and be on the podium regularly… and that isn’t Hulkenberg.

      1. @tflb They need someone to help develop that car. Verstappen is not doing that.

        Hulkenberg isn’t slower than Perez anyway.

        1. @f1oclown
          “They need someone to help develop that car. Verstappen is not doing that.”

          Hahaha, Perez can’t develop, or drive, the second best car ever made in the history of F1 into a car that finishes 2nd in the championship while Max is capable of developing, and driving, the worst car Newey ever build (a car worse than this years McLaren, Racing Point, Alpha Tauri and Renault) into a consistent podium finisher, a race winner, and 2nd in the championship, and he does it all by himself.

          1. Well, I’m pretty sure you’re ignoring the red bull’s overall pace, verstappen can’t do miracles, he’s extracting what the car is capable of, just look at ricciardo, he was comparing pretty well to verstappen, it’s just albon and gasly were terrible at red bull, they can’t drive a top car, there’s been drivers like it in the past; even kvyat did better there.

        2. Hulkenberg is simply not as good as he is hyped to be by fans. He was in teams and situations to earn podiums but never managed to do so.

          Also he couldn’t match up to Ricardo at all in the past year. Not than Ocon is any good but he still managed to grab the elusive podium.

          Between Peter and Hulkenberg, it would make sense for any team to prefer the former based on recent performance and also sponsorship money.

          1. @f1g33k Perez is simply not as good as he is hyped to be by fans. He had the third fastest car all season and he’s only now getting some good results. After the team needed Hulkenberg to help improve the car!

            Especially in 2018, Ocon destroyed Perez. Ocon qualifying ahead almost 3-1 and finishing ahead 2-1. Not much different from Hulkenberg beaten by Ricciardo a year later. Or Verstappen being beaten by Ricciardo.

            However, now Ricciardo is beating Ocon. So yeah, it’s expected that Hulkenberg would have been beaten by one of the best in F1.

            Either way, Perez is the last in the ranking of these 4 drivers compared. He would be nowhere against Ricciardo.

          2. @f1osaurus

            Not sure how you work out that Hulkenberg is better than Perez. Ok so Hulkenberg was better in 2014 but after that Perez was better when they were teammates.
            Also doesn’t it get tiring for you writing ‘HuLkEnBeRG iMpRoVEd tHe Rp’ in every comment you make? You’ve made your point, it’s getting very tiresome you incessantly repeating it.

            Perhaps think of some new arguments if you can?

    5. Hulkenberg made the deal with Toto to buy last year’s car? Really?

      Also, why do Red Bull need to become the 3rd fastest car when they could remain the 2nd fastest with Max? Seems odd to want to move down the field.

      1. @petebaldwin Hulkenberg helped them improve the suspension. Their improved performance since these improvements have been implemented is quite clear.

        But yeah good point proving my point. They had the third best car all year, but Perez couldn’t extract the performance out of it for most of the season. Hulkenberg pointed out an area of improvement and that helped them a lot.

        Hulkenberg helped RP from being 4th to 5th fastest to properly 3rd fastest. Red Bull have a car that should be fastest according to Horner and Marko, but their current driver is just not getting that out of it.

        With Ricciardo on board they were edging closer and closer to Mercedes, 2 wins in 2017, then 4 wins in 2018, but it started to slide back down since then. Even with Ferrari out of the way, Red Bull is even further back in 2020.

        They were slower at the start of this season than they were the season before! Red Bull clearly needs someone to help develop that car. They have the resources. They have the best aerodynamicist. The engine power is only 20bhp different. It’s the development and understanding of the car where they fail.

  5. Yes Mr. Stroll and if Vettel doesn’t work out ask Alain Prost or Jackie Stewart to drive for you…
    I hope Checo goes to Red Bull and drives circles around you.

  6. Well, maybe you should’ve let him stay given his existing contract beforehand. Vettel, after all, isn’t necessarily going to be an upgrade from him based on the recent past, so hardly justifiable to allow him to remain in F1 at the expense of Perez

  7. “I think he most definitely proves every weekend he deserves to be in the car next year …”

    So why didn’t you retain his services? Oh yeah, I remember now…

  8. Of course he would like that as it wouldn’t make him look so bad. Those mechanics chanting ‘checo’ at the end like a hero, and he’s just been thrown out the team!

    1. @john-h I’ve got to say I enjoyed them all chanting his name, he’s clearly popular in the team, it wasn’t your usual ‘get in there / high fives’ celebration.

      1. Indeed @bernasaurus it felt very genuine. It actually made me a little sad about the whole situation.

        1. Ted said there were women and men screaming and crying at the same time. No doubt a special moment for all of them.

  9. It would be wiser for Lawrence to stay mum on Perez’s drive for next season. Papa stroll chosen to keep his underperforming son in the squad at the expense of a driver who is far more integral to this team’s success even before the Strolls arrived.

    This whole Aston Martin venture seems like a joke now. They have a team owner who will favour his son over what’s best for the team. They’ll like to ‘brand’ their team better by getting a 4 time WDC in their squad even though he’s been driving worse than almost all the midfield drivers this season.

    Personally, I don’t see Aston Martin flourishing in the future if this is the quality of decision making at the top.

    1. @todfod At the time when Perez was replaced, he was beaten by Stroll in 4 of the 5 races they finished together. With Stroll actually picking up the first podium in Monza.

      1. If they make decisions based on the first 4 or 5 races.. Then they have even bigger problems. Heck, Bottas has had a better opening 4 to 5 races than Hamilton in 2018.. As did Ricciardo over Max.

        1. @todfod Well they can only take decisions based on races that have taken place already. So … ehm … yeah, the first half of the season is all they had.

          That Perez picked up the pace somewhat after the midpoint is nice and all, but not something they would have weighed in since it didn’t happen yet.

          Perez was utterly lackluster at the time they took the decision.

          1. @f1osaurus

            I don’t think results really made a difference in this one. There’s no way papa stroll would fire his baby.

          2. @todfod Also that. Still I don’t think it’s fair to only look at that. Perez was performing poorly around the time they decided to have him replaced by Vettel. Not that Vettel is doing so great, but I guess they hope he can snap out of it and be WDC again.

      2. You actually forgot to have a go at Verstappen this time. Pick it up, please.

    2. This whole Aston Martin venture seems like a joke now

      Indeed! The entry of a manufacturer or a manufacturer backed team usually instills a lot of hope – for the fans, the employees of the said team and for the sport in general.

      But this Aston Martin venture is on seriously shaky ground. I feel it might even eclipse Toyota’s misadventure of the early 2000s.

    3. I bet he would have stayed mum, but the Sky guys asked him about that point blank on live TV minutes after that emotional podium. I guess he couldn’t have said anything else at that point.

  10. In 10 years of F1 Perez didn’t exactly set the world on fire, now he scored some freak race podiums in what might be the second fastest car alonside one of the worst drivers on the grid. Would he even be in F1 if it wasn’t for the money he brought in all those years? Do people really believe he can go up against Max?

    1. Red Bull neither needs, nor I assume wants, someone that could go up against Max. They already have their Lewis, they now need their Bottas. Someone to drive comfortably behind him but not so far as to be behind the competition. Either Perez or Hulk would fit that role perfectly in a way neither Gasly nor Albon could.

      Yesterday was a race that Red Bull’s second driver should have won after Max got bamboozled out of the race, that’s what the second drivers are there for.

      1. @aiii – They’ve already got their Bottas. It’s just that the gap is smaller between Red Bull and the rest of the pack so Albon ends up further back in the field. Red Bull need better than that.

        Perez isn’t as quick as Verstappen but he’s good enough to finish 4th in the Red Bull regularly.

        1. You think that’s it and not the fact that Bottas generally qualifies within .2s of Lewis, while Albon qualifies anywhere between .4s and 1.0s on any given Saturday?

          If Bottas had those kind of gaps to Lewis, even he would find himself in the midfield.

          1. Agree, bottas has been terrible in recent races but not before them, so I don’t understand why he’s being considered an albon. Albon should be out of f1 as far as I’m concerned, unfortunately red bull rarely hires outside their program.

    2. @d0senbrot that Turkey drive took immense skill. He’s really improved in the last couple of years, nothing like the Perez of 2013. He’s exactly the driver Red Bull need at the moment, I can’t really see why you’re saying these things – no one is hailing him as the next Senna or anything, but a driver who can consistently bring good solid results. Really, I don’t see your point.

      1. @john-h I don’t think he has improved significantly over the last couple of years. By the end of 2018 Ocon appeared to be the faster driver who was just in his second full season. With Stroll next to him he still managed to struggle at the beginning of the year, while Hülkenberg put the car 3rd on grid the second time trying. My point was exactly what I wrote, he is no top material. And I think the hype implied that. Maybe I got that wrong.

    3. Perez was always a top of the midfield driver, and capitilised on races where podiums were on.l, he has done some stunning races over the years. He is a better driver now than when he drove for mclaren and would do an excellent job in a top team.

    4. You dont know anything john Snow! Perez had always been a hot prostepect.

    5. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      7th December 2020, 13:14

      someone was clearly not paying attention in 2012 or 2016 here…..

      1. Ah yes the Sauber C31 what a car that one! talk about race wins that got away. Nevertheless Perez has always been a special talent.

  11. I’d say he deserves another seat. Yours.

  12. I think he does (deserve the seat), but let’s consider the most simple logic here.

    Aston Martin seat > Perez
    Red Bull seat > Aston Martin seat
    Red Bull seat = Perez !???

    I’d say Lawrence Stroll = hypocrite. Goes well with all the nepotism (which I can understand at least, though I have zero respect for it).

    1. Nepotism isnt banned in f1. Put yourself in Lawrence Stroll’s shoes, you have a son you love who is an f1 podium winning f1 driver, you have invested money for several years to get your son in a top f1 car, you have got a deal with a rich manufacturer and mercedes engines, you want to win and you want your son to win. I believe he is honest that he wants Red Bull to sign a talented driver he let go, as Red Bull will likely still be faster than Aston Martin next year, so he wants the best for Perez now that he isnt staying on in his team. It would have been a difficult choice to cut Perez, as he is trying to build a team for his son to win in, but im sure he realises it will work out best for everyone, especially Perez now if Perez went to Red Bull. It is easy to hate on people with money, but atleast he unlike other multi millionaires is investing in our sport, and if Lance Stroll becomes a winning driver he will deserve it like every other past winning driver in F1.

      1. As I said, I can understand that (from human perspective). I don’t hate people because of money, I can’t say I’m poor myself. But having two more talented drivers fired from the team already, so someone undeserving could take their place is not something that will win too many hearts. I understand the father, I don’t understand the son. I’d just feel bad in his place, knowing what people think of me. It’s all about money in F1, of course, Perez is a pay driver himself after all, but it’s about having some class in life too. Imagine them buying Red Bull and firing Verstappen next (and late in the season, when there’s no other seat for him), or Mercedes’ team and Hamilton. It’s about class and dignity, if you’re not willing to prove yourself and earn something, you’re just a spoiled brat.

        1. Just wait until he realizes Vettel Is just not that good anymore and everybody at RP will realize what a mistake they made letting SP go

  13. Red Bull. Right Now. I said right now!

  14. Imagine Christian Horner with a Sergio Perez.

  15. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    7th December 2020, 14:14

    First of all, I haven’t been Checo’s fan over the years but since the unjust announcement that he will be leaving Racing Point, he has delivered some of his greatest performances. He has won me over the past few races. Seeing a journeyman win the race yesterday, not through sheer luck, but simply by bringing all his skill, experience, and fight to the race was truly something to behold.

    But I cannot see him going to Red Bull. If he goes there, they’d lose Max the next season.

    1. At Force India Checo and Ocon clashed on a regular basis, as neither one backed off to be the number two. I don’t think Checo wants to be a Bottas for Red Bull, but brings the fire to Max. That’s not good for the RB team spirit, and not good for Max.

    2. Actually I think verstappen would prefer perez to albon if he was asked, he’s been very critical of albon’s performances, which is unusual for a team mate.

      I think verstappen doesn’t fear anything and wouldn’t even oppose hamilton coming to red bull.

  16. I think this is one of those instances where it would be better to just say nothing at all, Stroll Sr.

  17. Racing Point, for all their valour yesterday, are P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.
    Red Bull are P2 in the Constructors’ Championship.

    Perhaps Lawrence is suggesting Checo has outgrown this team and deserves a promotion to one with (currently – I sense resurgence at Team Silverstone) a more consistently fast car? ;)

    1. True, that’s a good point!

  18. His words do seem rather empty, given Checko is clearly the better candidate to partner Vettel.

    That said, I think RB are mad if they don’t sign Perez. I’ve been a big supporter of Albon all year, but what’s concerned me most about him lately is not the qualy/race results, its what he says on the radio.

    “These guys race me so hard”
    “I can’t go any faster”
    “We’re faster but aren’t racy enough”

    What? We all heard Russell on the radio yesterday “How much curb is he using? I can go faster by using more” That’s how a driver, especially a young one, should think.

    Perez to RB seems a good decision for all involved, including the whole of F1. I still think Albon deserves more time-elsewhere, with Alpha, or even a year off if need be, he’s still young.

    As for the Strolls, hopefully as F1 becomes more competitive overall, from top-bottom, there will at some point, no longer be room for “pay drivers.” If Williams can build a good competitive car for instance, does anyone think Latifi really deserves his seat based on merit?

    1. Well, given the recent performances, I’d like to correct your first phrase into “checo is clearly the better candidate to partner stroll”, since recent performances doesn’t hint at vettel being better than stroll and being one of the worst drivers on the grid, and yes, I’m taking into account the state of ferrari, but the potential of ferrari is around what leclerc is doing!

  19. The only thing he deserves is your sons seat.

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