Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Yas Marina, 2020

“One race doesn’t change your life” – Perez unsure first win will boost Red Bull chances

2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Sergio Perez doesn’t expect his breakthrough victory in the Sakhir Grand Prix will guarantee Red Bull pick him to drive for them next year.

Ahead of his final grand prix for Racing Point, Perez remains in the dark about whether he will have a drive for the 2021 F1 season. Red Bull are known to be considering him as a replacement for Alexander Albon, but will not make a decision until after this weekend’s race.

Asked whether his win last weekend will improve his chances of getting a drive with Red Bull next year, Perez said: “I’m a strong believer that in Formula 1 one race doesn’t really change your life.”

Perez says his ability as a driver is shown by his career performance “in the last 10 years, weekend after weekend, year by year, always having ups and downs but always coming to the year-end with strong results.”

“This year you’ve seen has been very up and down, missing two races with Covid in such a short championship, [losing] an engine when we had a podium in the pocket,” he continued. “So many missed opportunities and still we’re lying fourth in the drivers’ championship.”

Although Perez has known for several months that he will not drive for Racing Point next year, he praised the team and Lawrence Stroll for the improvements they’ve made this season.

“It’s been a strong year but also a lot of credit to the team because they gave me a car this year which I can show what I’m capable of. So that’s also something very special.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“And a big credit to Lawrence because when he came to the team, thanks to him, in a way, this victory came through because he has taken the whole team to a different level with the level of investment he’s done and I’ve been able to take advantage of that with that win.”

Perez admitted it is frustrating that his future is still unclear at such a late stage in the year.

“I’m in big peace with myself,” he said. “I’m not fully in control of my future at the moment. It’s something that bothers you, obviously, any human being in this position will struggle a bit.”

If he isn’t able to find a team to drive for next year, Perez intends to come back in 2022. “I definitely didn’t come to Formula 1 to win [one] race only,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans.

“I arrived here with the hope of being a world champion. But very early on you realise that being a world champion is not fully down to you. You have to be in the right car in the right year and since I came here there’s only one team that can give you the opportunity year by year.

“So it’s very hard, only two drivers have that chance once a year. Being a world champion is very hard, if you don’t have a car with that calibre, you just have to make the most of your opportunities.

“The reason I am at peace with myself is because I think I’ve managed to do that with the level of machinery that I’ve had from my years. I definitely made the most out of it. I’ve had a lot of success in the sport considering the machinery I’ve had, year by year. That’s all you can do in the sport.

“If you don’t have a Mercedes, for example, you just have to do the maximum possible you can with the car and that’s what I’ve achieved in these years in the sport.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Following Perez’s win Formula 1 motorsport director Ross Brawn said Sebastian Vettel will have “big shoes to fill” when he joins the team next year. Perez said he was surprised by the comment.

“I thought ‘big shoes to fill’ for a four-time world champion is hard to imagine versus a guy who’s just won a race.

“But in a way, that’s Formula 1. Titles and victories doesn’t mean a lot because it’s so much down to the level of car you have during your career.”

He predicted Racing Point will be strong contenders again in 2021. “I think Seb has taken a great decision,” said Perez. “He has come to a team of pure racers, to a team that he will definitely have a good time and he will enjoy.

“The most important is he will have some good fun and I have no doubt the team will be one of the strongest next year. He will definitely have a fantastic car.”

2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

21 comments on ““One race doesn’t change your life” – Perez unsure first win will boost Red Bull chances”

  1. For sure he is more than F1 material, but there’s plenty of highly professional racing series. If he would’ve tried having contact with IndyCar or WEC he’d have a drive.

  2. It is just so nice to read an interview with a driver who really seems to be at ease with anything to come because he knows he did a great job of what he had available to him.

    1. @bascb agreed. He doesn’t sound at all bitter, despite having every right to feel so. I think he’s dealt with scenario really well and with great dignity and humility. I do hope he gets a decent drive again sometime soon.

      1. Exactly, and yes, please give him a drive in a very decent car @eurobrun!

  3. Imagine if he wins or gets another podium again on sunday, pressure will be on redbull with albon’s failings

    1. Albon failing? So far he is doing a lot better job than Bottas, only difference is that Bottas has a car that would let a clown finish 2nd and Albon is driving the worst car Newey has ever designed.
      Albon in the Mercedes would be WDC material, so I see no reason for Red Bull to feel any pressure.
      Mercedes on the other hand, given that they’ll be WCC next year to, might get a lot of calls from FOM begging to replace Bottas and give us an actual fight for the title instead of handing out freebies to Lewis

      1. I think Max has proven the car is very capable in the right hands. Perhaps Albon is not that talented.

        1. Yes, but that’s in the hands of Verstappen probably one of the greatest raw talents we’ve ever seen.

          The Merc can be a race winner in the hands of someone that jumped in it for the first time 48 hours prior.

  4. People wanting Perez to get Albon’s seat. However, I don’t trust Red Bull after the last 2 years. Can he adapt and drive the car? 2 drivers in the last 2 years failed to extract performance out of the car, and while I wish that he stays in F1, I think he should avoid Red Bull. I don’t care if a car is fast, if you cannot drive it and neither any driver on the grid can as well, then the car is useless. I’d rather have Albon at Red Bull rather than having a risk in ruining Perez’s career after the last 2 years at that team.

    1. @krichelle Except that PG and AA are both relative rookies or were when they started at RBR over the last few years, whereas Perez has much more experience. It is hard to imagine an MV/SP pairing wouldn’t be much closer to what they had with Max and DR.

      Sounds to me like SP would love the ‘risk’ of going to RBR ie. staying in F1. And what is more risky to his career than not having one, at least in F1?

      1. Indeed, in the circumstances I’d risk it too, but it’s not up to him, I don’t know what’s wrong at red bull but they seem to have given up on their performance > rest attitude, keeping albon for as long as they did is inexcusable.

  5. It’s possible it could ruin his career.

    It’s better to try than wonder “what if” the rest of his life.

  6. Any driver would go to RBR. The chance to drive an Adrian Newey design is an opportunity of a life time.

    1. Bill I agree wholeheartedly. Even when MS/Ferrari were dominating, some pundits were saying Newey is more valuable to the team he’s on than any driver.

    2. @Bill
      “an opportunity of a life time”

      You clearly missed the last two seasons where Adrian’s design translate into undriveable pieces of garbage.

      “Even when MS/Ferrari were dominating, some pundits were saying Newey is more valuable to the team he’s on than any driver.”
      You clearly missed the last two seasons where Adrian’s design translate into undriveable pieces of garbage and it’s all about the driver making the best of it.

  7. Oconomo A few things on that though. Surely F1 is hard and he’s not always going to make every car he’s involved in the WCC car. There’s competition too. But what he has done is make the only car able to at least bother the Mercedes at times, at least when it is in Max’s hands and it is obviously not undriveable. This all up against the one factory team out of the two, Ferrari being the other, who have been together since the start of the hybrid era. Let’s recall that RBR had a 4 year run until they changed the rules to disrupt said run, in 2014. And it worked. The gauntlet was handed to Mercedes and no team has been able to touch them since, and RBR has lacked the full run of years in this chapter with being the necessary factory team at that, so Newey hasn’t had all the necessary tools. None of this takes away from his stunning CV in F1.

  8. I would love to see an experienced driver in a RBR. It seems most people now see the development of a car “detached” from the drivers, as if any driver could develop a car or a team or even the other driver in the team. I remember Ocon himself said that he learnt from Perez some skills on how to take care for tyres, it seems obvious to me that Lance also got some of that. And it is no surprise that in the last particular race these three drivers got the MAXIMUM from their tyres. Look at VB, he destroyed his tires (even with the DAS), I can assure you that the double stack “preventive” change of tires was not so preventive but rather fear that Perez could push them to finally destroy their tires without any gap to spare after safety car, particularly VB’s and maybe also GR’s. I know everybody sees GR’s as the ultimate wonder, Hamilton heir. And he might be so, no doubts, but he is also a young driver in a formation stage. Perez is an old wolf, and the miles and years he has, are of great real value. That’s why RBR are so troubled with their decision.

  9. Also nobody talked about it but in Turkey where SP went with intermediates almost the same lenght than LH, Mercedes cars had the benefit of DAS, which the RP aka “merc B” does NOT have. Really impressed for what SP can do with tires. Maybe his background of never having enough money to purchase new tires every race since karts in a not so rich country, and having to re use them many times is a long learnt lesson. Hats off to him!

  10. It is extremely disheartening to see that most drivers on and off the paddock have accepted that only two cars and therefore two drivers run by Mercedes works team is competent enough to challenge for championship in the current hybrid formula.

  11. I feel like Perez had his chance Malaysia 2012 but bottled it. The win would have changed his career, would have been earmarked for a Ferrari drive at some point. Would have been the next big thing on the grid.

  12. There’s one way to do it: Max, Christian, Helmut and Jos out.

Comments are closed.