Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

Official: Perez in, Albon out of Red Bull race seat for 2021

2021 F1 season

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Sergio Perez has been confirmed as Alexander Albon’s replacement in the Red Bull team for the 2021 F1 season.

Perez, who was previously contracted to Racing Point for 2021 until the team dropped him in favour of Sebastian Vettel, will join Max Verstappen in Red Bull’s line-up on a one-year contract.

The move marks a return to a front-running team for Perez in what will be his 11th season as a Formula 1 driver. He previously joined McLaren in 2013 as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton, but lost his seat to Kevin Magnussen after a single season.

The appointment is Red Bull’s third new driver hiring in as many years following the departure of Daniel Ricciardo at the end of 2018. Pierre Gasly lasted just 12 races as Verstappen’s team mate the following season before being replaced by Albon.

While Albon initially impressed following his move to Red Bull during the summer break, he has found the RB16 a more difficult car to drive than his team mate this year, and often lagged well off Verstappen’s pace. Albon ended the season with less than half Verstappen’s points total.

“Alex is a valued member of the team and we thought long and hard about this decision,” said team principal Christian Horner. “Having taken our time to evaluate all the relevant data and performances we have decided that Sergio is the right driver to partner Max for 2021 and look forward to welcoming him to Red Bull Racing.

“Alex remains an important part of our team as test and reserve driver with a key focus on 2022 development and we would like to thank him for his hard work and contribution.”

“I’m very happy to share this with all of you, we will drive for Red Bull Racing in 2021” said Perez on social media.

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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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157 comments on “Official: Perez in, Albon out of Red Bull race seat for 2021”

  1. Great news.
    New season looks already interesting.
    I am happy for him, totally deserved.

  2. I think this is a good decision. Hopefully he can push Max more and will they be able to fight Mercedes together.

  3. Christmas present I’ve been waiting for

  4. YES! Get in there Checo!

  5. Yes!!!!!

    So happy, can’t wait for next season even more now

  6. Very exciting, I am glad that Perez gets this chance, because he really didn’t deserve to be replaced instead of Stroll to begin with. Certainly not after just winning his first race from the back of the grid like he just did. Stellar performance that earned him this spot.

    Albon got 18 months and every opportunity to improve, unfortunately he couldn’t make it work and it’s understandable that Red Bull have made this move. There’s just no justification where Albon over Perez would have made sense, it was an unavoidable change. Hope he gets a good drive elsewhere, because he’s a sympathetic guy and an exciting driver in terms of on-track fighting even if he didn’t quite make it work at the top of F1.

    1. I am glad that Perez gets this chance, because he really didn’t deserve to be replaced instead of Stroll to begin with. Certainly not after just winning his first race from the back of the grid like he just did.

      Don’t forget that Perez got replaced earlier in the season well before his improved performance towards the end.
      One could even argue that Stroll was the stronger and more consistent driver during the early part, @aiii.

      And as much as I share the excitement of having a strong driver pairing next year at RBR, I’m not sure that Perez will get to a level that I want to see in that car (think Ricciardo). But for team having solid 2nd driver might be more important than having the 2 best drivers. Mercedes shows us how successful this can be.

      1. @coldfly Indeed. Ricciardo’s stats against Ocon really show how fast and strong Daniel is. I hope he will be succesful with McLaren. But for Red Bull I think Perez was the strongest driver available. I cheer for him, well deserved!

      2. @coldfly fair enough, you could make that argument sure. Though I think the results don’t really match Perez’s performances even early on. The missed races didn’t help either, of course.

        I agree with you that Perez isn’t there to beat Max and is set for a Bottas role. I don’t think there are many drivers that could beat Max in his current form anyways. What they really need and Albon didn’t provide is just someone to be there to annoy Mercedes during strategy calls or on days that Max isn’t in the top 3 for whatever reason. Perez should certainly have a shot at that.

        1. You might be proved wrong.

      3. Lol what early season were you watching Perez had stroll beat at almost every race at the start of the year even with worse luck

  7. Excellent news! Albon, whilst likeable, just wasn’t good enough. Perez missed 2 races and absolutely toasted him in the championship in a slower car.

    This really was a no brainer. So pleased for Perez. He should be a solid points scorer for Red Bull. I hope he can be close to Verstappen, which will be some challenge.

    1. Agreed. I like Albon as a personality and am really pleased for him that he made it to F1 at all, but there are so many other drivers that deserve to be in the 4th fastest car than him.

      I think the writing was on the wall, not just because he didn’t really achieve much more in the seat than Gasly (in twice as long), but also by how much Gasly bounced back this year at AT.

      1. You mean 2nd fastest car.

        1. No two cars are identical.

  8. Totally shocked to be fair, I just hope Checo can get to grips with the Rbr.

    1. Yes, Red Bull must be desperate if they start hiring outside their young driver program. I’m still expecting either Gasly or Albon back in that seat by 2022 though.

    2. @icarby I hope so too. Pink Mercedes is much easier to drive than the difficult Red Bull. Same as the difficult Ferrari this year. I would not be surprised if Vettel in the Racing Point (as long as it is a Pink Mercedes) will be more succesful than Perez in the Red Bull. But in the end I am hoping that both Vettel and Perez will do well next year.

      1. You have absolutely no way of knowing which car is more difficult to drive. That being said, the curse of the second Red Bull seat is real and I hope Checo can adapt to the car and start scoring points from race 1.

        1. I think the ‘Red Bull Young Driver Programme’ has done little for the team over the 15 years or so. Tsunoda looks promising, Jonny Edgar also (though is probably 3 or 4 years away from graduating to F1). The only 3 ‘stars’ are Vettel, Ricciardo and Max, two of whom never really came through the programme and were signed because they needed a seat and Red Bull could give them one.

          Then think of the casualties, Speed, Bourdais, Vergne, Buemi, Albon, Kyvat, Klien, Liuzzi, Hartley, Gasly, Alguersuari et al.

          I don’t know how much Dietrich spends on the programme, but I would be asking Helmut what is it worth, when we can sign someone who has already demonstrated what they can do and will be desperate to drive our car anyway? Perez being on a one year contract and bringing sponsorship, with proven qualities, is surely better than spending millions on churning through drivers that almost always get cut loose after a couple of years.

          Max and Seb aren’t products of the programme, so after 15 years, what is there to show for it?

          1. Take a look at the 2019 standings, 6 out of the top 10 were former RB protegees… Even this year many of them were once under Marko’s wings… They might not all be pure products of the programme, but how about the other major teams then?

          2. @bernasaurus

            The falsehood that Vettel wasn’t part of the program just won’t die…

          3. To be fair, Bourdais and Hartley became multiple world champions outside of F1 so it wasn’t all bad for them

        2. @latorres86 I don’t. But Albon and Gasly are much better drivers in the Alpha Tauri than in the Red Bull. You say it’s the curse of the second Red Bull seat, I say it’s because of the car being very difficult to drive. Either way, we both don’t know for sure.

    3. Said this was a no-brainer during a post on the Hulk & the driver market @ the Eiffel GP.
      Actually Albon & Checo have a common problem – both to a high ranking drive to early. Both quick, but inconsistency resulted in the lack of runs on the board.
      Dr. Death will be absolutely $h!7 scared of the Papaya-Mercs nicking 3rd place where, under the new rules, 1/2/3 constructors get a $$s bonus.
      Wonder just HOW involved Mr D. M. was in the decision and/or why they procrastinated?

  9. It’s not exactly a ‘return’ to a front running team as the article states, as Mclaren ended up being midfielders in 2013. Best of luck to Sergio – I think he’ll surprise a few people.

    1. Carefull to state “a front running team” and no mention of having actually had a front running car until this season. Yes, @tflb, that McLaren was probably closer to somewhere between the current McLaren and where RP is than a top notch car.

      I certainly hope that Perez will be able to build on his form this year and take that effectiveness of achieving into Red Bull. It could finally give us at least the hope of a championship fight.

    2. It’s not exactly a ‘return’ to a front running team as the article states, as Mclaren ended up being midfielders in 2013.

      When Checo was hired to drive for McLaren, it was a front running team. They just finished the season (2012) with the same amount of wins as RBR, and only lost out to Ferrari due to reliability.
      We don’t know either what RBR will do next year, @tflb. There could be a Mexican curse :P

      1. Bad luck Checo, I hope this move breaks the curse.

        1. Firstly it’s Sergio – not Check. Secondly, Albon deserved to get sacked. That is what happens when you grass Lewis Hamilton up (last year).

          1. Checo. Stupid auto correct.

  10. Mexican and Austrian national anthem combination incoming.

    1. That was not a good combo the last time it was attempted.

  11. Brilliant news.

    Feel sorry for Alex, but this is 1000% the right decision.

  12. Great news.
    3 weeks ago it looked like he’d leave F1 without a win. Now he has an outside shot at another win or two.
    I hope Albon gets another shot somewhere one day (preferably not just dropping back to Alpha Tauri). Hopefully acting as a development driver will help him grow.

  13. Wow, that I didn’t see coming. I was convinced Marko’s obsession with his young driver program excluded Perez, but maybe Horner, Verstappen and even Mateschitz convinced Helmut that the team needs 2 drivers near the front.

    Good news in a way, but as much as I want Perez at a top team, he will probably never outdo Verstappen to be champion, so would probably be best to wait to join Ricciardo McLaren. With their new good funding, they could well step up and match Red Bull in a few years, and with some luck, the new tyres will be even more sensitive (to make 2 stop races), and Perez’ tyre management skill make the difference.

    1. @balue Based on what I’ve read, Horner and Marko were both in favor of Perez for the team, whilst it was in fact Mateschitz who wanted to retain Albon, potentially for the Thai link.

      1. Also what’s the point of funding a young driver program if you are gonna hire outside of it?

        1. Yeah.. just like mercedes.. Top talents loosing to the competition and hiring a driver like Bottas form a support team.

        2. You cannot accuse Red Bull of not trying. The reality is that hiring from within has not worked for the team recently so it makes sense to change the approach if they want to be a threat to Mercedes next season.

        3. @paeschli

          It’s perfectly normal for a development program to have better and worse cohorts.

  14. Common sense prevails! Sergio had such a brilliant year, let’s see what he can do with a front running car.

  15. Perez now has a lot on his hands. I know the Mexicans do some bull riding and he will need to be doing lots of that to score podiums. Here is hoping he can deliver.

    1. We’re more famous for bull fighting but lets hope it does not come to that.

      1. Ha-ha-ha funniest comments!

  16. I’m gonna make a prediction that Pierre Gasly will leave Alpha Tauri at the end of 2021, potentially for Renault or Alfa Romeo, and Albon will join Alpha Tauri for 2022. I’m sure Gasly will be looking for any opportunity to leave Alpha Tauri, especially after he was overlooked for a promotion this year.

    But on the Perez news, I think it’s great. I personally don’t see any obvious replacements for him in the near future (jury’s still out on Tsunoda), so he will likely get a few seasons at the team with nobody lined up for his seat, unless he performs Albon-esque or Tsunoda outperforms Gasly.

    1. With Yuri Vips, Liam Lawson, and Jehan Daruvala all waiting in the wings for a call-up. I highly doubt there would be a place for Albon in that team in 2022. Kvyat held on to that seat because nobody was really ready and Dan Ticktum is Dan Ticktum, but with their current stock of drivers in F2, I doubt there’s going to be a repeat of that scenario.

      1. @aiii Indeed. The same also applies to Albon in that he only got to Toro Rosso for 2019 for the same reason as Kvyat (lack of available academy drivers eligible for a super license at the time), so realistically no room for him there, especially since Juri Vips already has SL, even before Tsunoda got his. For 2022, I can foresee Tsunoda-Vips at Alpha Tauri and Gasly either back at Red Bull Racing or out altogether for another team.
        @mashiat

      2. None of those delivered promises this year.

        The Red Bull Junior program is in dire straits.

        Other than Perez finally proving to his bad fortune that the car is the issue, I don’t see any of those joining AlphaTauri in 2022, much less RBR.

  17. Understandable, but I’m sad for Albon. He was highly inexperienced with F1 machinery when he started at Toro Rosso, elevated halfway to the senior team in an unfamiliar car and in only his second year lining up against someone considered to be one of the best in the sport currently. I think he was thrown into the deep end quite heavily and he struggled – didn’t do terribly by any means but not stellarly. There’s a lot of potential in Albon.

    Even so Perez will be a dependable driver in the second seat, so maybe it will be the best choice in the long run but with no space at AlphaTauri that’s Albon’s career over. I think the press and some fans have been far too harsh on the guy, who was nowhere near as bad as people made out. I hope he finds success elsewhere.

    1. Yes he was thrown into the deep end rather too quickly with too much expectations. Verstappen has molded that Redbull till it fits like a glove. For Albon it is either too tight or too loose hence he can’t get the best out of the car.

      1. That car doesn’t fit Max like a glove.
        Max can adapt his driving style to the car, like all greats in f1.

        1. Indeed, alonso 2014 ferrari, schumacher 1996 ferrari, 1994-1995 benetton and so on.

  18. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    18th December 2020, 14:13

    How many races till Checo keeps his arms out like he did next to Ocon several times and rattles Max’ cage (and rustles his jimmies)? Gonan be a firework-lineup for sure!

    1. Well it seems Perez has a seat for 22 elsewhere, so he has nothing to lose next year.

  19. Expected news about Perez. Earlier in the season I favoured Hulkenberg for that seat. But there is no denying that Perez had a very strong finish in 2020, even though his full season was not that stellar. Still not sure if Perez is stronger than the Hulk (the latter won their inner team battle), but Perez is on a roll now and has proven he can finish it when offered the opportunity.

    1. @coldfly even if Perez could score more points in the Red Bull than Hulkenberg, what will the price of those points be?

      1. I do not know too much about Hulkenberg’s sponsors, but Perez had quite good background in this aspect, as I remember sponsor money with worth of 10-20 million dollars /season followed him everywhere. Would it be few combined with a driver who is considered only a bit slower than Ricciardo by many? Both Perez and Ricciardo are tyre mages, and both are just a bit too good to slap them in at any top team’s 2nd seat because that is not an approach practiced by most teams of the modern era since the Senna vs Prost battle it’s generally avoided instead.

        I guess even the lead driver has some words on whether their team (which is running for a championship with realistic chances) can sign a calibre of Perez or Ricciardo and give them equal treatment. I guess many managers, and many older and proven drivers would avoid that, especially it that’s a commponpalce practice, so why not to do so?
        Similarly probably the reasons why Ricciardo or Perez not signed previously to a better team are because they not wanted to sign as a dedicated 2nd driver. I guess more and more people will raise words against being considered as an “asset”, even if “being a great asset” was considerd to be sound in the recent decades. Myself I would not like to be any corporate’s “asset”, I would just leave instantly when I feel that I had pocketed enough. Assets are not grateful, because they are not living. Probably that’s why Ricciardo just pulled the plug at Red Bull, being a non contractual 2nd driver is likely even worse than being a contractual 2nd. I’d say I like Red Bull’s promo events, they know how to do funny, sound and nice things, but that not implies that they are similarly professional at treatment of their best employees.

        Although in this case I can’t exclude that Perez signed as a contractual 2nd driver. I would do so even if I know I can sweep off the dedicated 1st driver, and do it like Leclerc. I like Perez, but beating Verstappen seems a bit unlikely although. On the other hand I don’t think that Perez will compare too badly, he will be decent, he has a real racer attitude, who enjoys being challenged :)

        Imo in case of teams which are not obvious title contenders, or are only on the road of becoming one it’s not bad at all to have drivers with similar capabilities and ask them to support the one who has better chances at the particular race.
        In this case they have a common opponent, a great challenge, like the giant impersonated by Hamilton and the Mercedes, and they will find more joy fighting the giant and less pain of eventual sacrifices until they not become an obvious title contender with good chances for years. Division starts there. Until that, it’s considerable for a team to score more, to look better, to be a bigger sponsor magnet instead of managing the driver roles a bit more.

    2. 2013 2014 2015 2016 Total
      Hulk 51 96 58 72 277
      Perez 49 59 78 101 287

      1. @hezlava which one is higher there in terms of F1? 277 or 287? I’d take the 277 especially if I was Red Bull. I can see Haas taking the 287.

  20. This is extremely exciting not only to see Checo racing for Red Bull but to relive the Multi-21 and Baku incidents.

    The biggest news to the F1 paddock is that Red Bull by signing Perez are conceding that they can no longer keep Max as their driver. He’s up for grabs next year, that’s absolutely monumental.

    1. (Max is) up for grabs next year

      He has a multi-year contract with RBR, @freelittlebirds.
      But of course there will be clauses, and money can buy out contracts.

      1. I’m sure there are clauses for him to leave. This is going to be the best part of next season.

        I have a feeling that Red Bull realizes that Max will eventually leave and if he’s not planning to they need to be ready for it – this is Red Bull so the exit will not be pleasant ;-)

        I’m sure that Red Bull are already in talks with Russell who is probably very unhappy at Mercedes at this point for having to spend another season at Williams while Norris is at McLaren, LeClerc at Ferrari, Gasly got a stint at Red Bull, Albon the same. He must think his biggest mistake was to be a Mercedes driver.

        It’s also likely that Sainz and Leclerc will be on the market next year or the year after that or Ricciardo could come back to Red Bull.

        This is a very strategic move by Red Bull and the only message I can see is “Red Bull without Max”.

        1. @freelittlebirds Can’t go along with several things you’ve said. I don’t know how this signifies Max leaving, whatsoever, and unless something is coming open at Mercedes and he’s invited there, where would Max go?

          Russell unhappy with Mercedes? Not likely whatsoever. And the rest of that paragraph? Biggest mistake to be a Mercedes driver? Utterly ridiculous.

          As to Perez? So far all we know is he is on a one year, and he himself had said that if he had to sit out 2021 he was fine with that as he had a ride for 2022 anyway. Perhaps Perez only wants one year at RBR.

          1. @robbie

            Russell unhappy with Mercedes? Not likely whatsoever. And the rest of that paragraph? Biggest mistake to be a Mercedes driver? Utterly ridiculous.

            Really, you actually believe Russell is happy to be racing for Williams while all his buddies are getting podiums, fastest laps, wins and 100s of points? It’s quite an interesting perspective! I don’t buy it.

            Let’s take this argument to the next level – it’s obvious that Mercedes’ dominance will eventually end. It’s not a possibility, it’s a certainty. Not if, but when. Russell’s bright and he knows that Mercedes is already testing the limits of longevity success. More than likely it’ll happen when the regs change.

            Does he want to be a driver for Mercedes when they are no longer tops? What good will that do him if he has aspiration of becoming a WDC? He surely does harbor those aspirations especially after his race in the Merc. Before Sakhir, Russell was just a beggar! After Sakhir, every top team is now looking at Russell as the possible future for their team.

            As for Perez, he wants one thing – redemption! In my view he has achieved that but he’s always wanted a chance to rejoin the table with the big boys after being kicked out unceremoniously by a rookie in 2014 (or whatever year that was). I don’t think he’s looking for 1 year with RBR and if it’s just 1 year, he’ll make sure it’s his year. If he cannot achieve his goal of redemption, he’ll certainly ruin Max’s season. Where’s the upside for Max there?

            Either Perez beats Max or Perez does his best to ruin Max’s season. This has the potential to make the Rosberg/Hamilton 2016 season seem like a friendly affair. Even if he doesn’t ruin Max’s season, he can do a better thing. He can ruin Max’s relationship with Horner and Marko. After all, Max wanted a better teammate and suggested to Red Bull a specific driver.

          2. @freelittlebirds I have absolutely no doubt, from everything I’ve heard GR say, that he is grateful to be in F1, and grateful to be under the Mercedes umbrella, and will respectfully bide his time while he is a relative newbie, and I expect him to be taking VB’s seat in 2022. Were you thinking that he expected them to rip up VB’s contract for next year? I wasn’t. Is anyone thinking Mercedes won’t still be highly potent after the reg changes, even if no longer ultra dominant? Not me. Why would GR be mad when he knows the lay of the land, like I say unless you think he is that arrogant that since LH got COVID and he got a weekend with Mercedes they should now rip up VB’s contract, or what…not even re-sign LH lol?

            Your two options only for Perez and Max are ridiculous. He likely won’t beat Max, and otherwise how would he ruin Max’s season and Max’s relationship with Horner and Marko? You’re spewing tabloid nonsense. And btw Max and Perez are not LH/NR, don’t have the same childhood rivalry that I’m aware of, and probably aren’t going to be fighting solely out front together for the WDC, so they’ll be competitive but also cooperative in order to keep bettering the car.

            Such a negative nelly re GR and SP/Max.

          3. @robbie well, since you mentioned tabloid here are some headlines that will bolster your arguments while we have a laugh.

            I’m glad you saw beyond the 2 options I offered. There was a third option that we all missed. Checo is going to propose to Max and he’ll say yes! Max and Checo will be the first married couple to race together in F1! Horner will be the best man!

            I knew there was something going on between those two on track, with Checo trying to stick his Racing Point car into Max’s Red Bull every chance he had. The mystery is solved…

            As for Russell, he signed a contract with McLaren, Renault, Ferrari, and Red Bull before making those statements :-) The teams thought it’d be easier if Ricciardo sent him copies for 3 of those!

          4. @freelittlebirds on the other hand, if you consider Leclerc, we’ve just seen Ferrari put in their worst performance for 40 years and the team admit that they are in a pretty dire place, with the team not expecting to recover their form for multiple years – 2022 is the earliest they think they might be somewhat competitive.

            In Norris’s case, McLaren have somewhat recovered their form, but they’re still a long way off regularly challenging for podiums – both of their podiums came about largely by luck – and it’s only recently that McLaren’s future has been somewhat stabilised.

            As for Gasly, whilst he got 12 races at Red Bull, he seems to have had the doors slammed shut in his face by the parent team given their refusal to even countenance promoting him back to the team so far – and where could Gasly go if he wanted to move elsewhere? He might have a midfield car, but it also looks like he’s stuck there – is it necessarily positive if it looks like there’s nowhere he can progress on from here?

            You also forget that Gasly wasn’t supposed to have been promoted to Red Bull in 2019 – they wanted to extend Ricciardo’s contract for two years back in 2018. If that had gone ahead, the earliest Gasly would have been promoted to Red Bull would have been 2021 – meaning Red Bull would have given Gasly three years at a junior team at the minimum, much the same experience that Russell is having.

            Albon might have also had a chance to drive at Red Bull, but at the same time his current demotion suggests that his career as an active F1 driver is over. Red Bull seem to be focussing more on possibly lining up Tsunoda as his replacement, with Vips potentially next in line after that – it’s very unlikely that they’ll ever want to go back to Albon again. Is that necessarily a win for Albon overall?

          5. I’m not sure that Russell feels that way though. I cannot see him thinking “thank god I’m in the Williams with zero points – look at poor Charles in the Ferrari with 12 podiums, 7 poles and 2 wins and Rookie of the Year. That could have been me – instead I’m fighting for my 1st point, thank god!!!”

            Ditto for Norris – he’s probably thinking “hey, shouldn’t I have 100 points this season and taken Rookie of the year in 2019?”

            As for Gasly “he’s probably thinking, what the fudge? Pierre won a Gran Prix?”

            As for Albon, he probably feels he would have beaten Verstappen if he was in the Red Bull.

            I can’t see him taking comfort that he’s a bench warmer that’s on loan and might eventually play for the main team some day.

          6. @freelittlebirds I think you are still way off the mark with GR. It’s not that he is saying to himself I’m so happy that I’m with Williams, he just knows that for 2021 that’s the way it is. Where imho he will feel like he has won the lottery though, is that he is being groomed under the Mercedes wing, and he is likely quite close to a seat with the best team. All things seem to be pointing there, and it can’t happen sooner than 2022 anyway, unless, as I suggested to you earlier, you think he’s so arrogant that he is sat there stewing and mad that they haven’t ripped up VB’s contract and rolled out the red carpet for him for next year. That was never on, he’s known that all along, and yet he seems to be an heir apparent to a seat there…ie. a golden ticket. Imho, he probably still can’t wipe the smile off his face from his performance when LH had to sit out. As far as I can tell GR has it made in the shade, so what’s one more year of experience and learning at Williams?

          7. @robbie he’s heading into his 3rd season with Williams which is not a competitive team at all – they ended this season with 0 points and scored 1 last year. I’d understand if he was in a midfield team but Williams is currently not even capable of getting a point unless have the grid runs into issues.

            Kvyat – promoted after 1 season
            Verstappen – promoted after 1 season and 4 races
            Gasly – promoted after 1 season and 5 races
            Albon – promoted after 12 races
            Norris – insta-promotion to midfield team
            Sainz – forced transfer to Renault after 2.5 seasons
            Leclerc – promoted after 1 season
            Bottas – promoted after 4 seasons but Williams was 3rd in the WCC for 2 of those years

            Are you suggesting that Russell feels he’s being groomed or being screwed? What if Bottas does better next year and earns another 2 seasons?

            You can’t compare Russell’s seasons with anyone on this list as they racing for midfield teams scoring crazy points compared to Russell who can’t score a single point if his life depended on it.

            Even Giovinazzi has it better than Russell. He’s racing against a WDC in a team that’s 2 steps ahead of Williams.

            As for driving for Mercedes, don’t forget that Wolff came from Williams and that his success in F1 is very much aligned with Bottas’.

            It’s good to be patient but there’s only so much victory material in Russell. You start running at the back of the grid for 3,4,5,6 years, you’ll eventually believe that’s where you belong.

          8. @freelittlebirds I thought it was pretty clear that you are the one claiming GR is being screwed, and I disagree and I think he is being groomed and will be in potentially the best car on the grid, or certainly Mercedes will be a top 3 car, in 2022. I don’t sense whatsoever your claim that he is mad and disgruntled at Mercedes and should think about another team. Your repeated claim on this, and including comparing to other drivers experiences is not something I agree with. Perhaps you have quotes from him expressing dismay?

        2. “This is going to be the best part of next season.”

          Although I seriously hope that races will be more amazing than contracts and clauses.
          Especially as we will have amazing pairings like : Verstappen – Perez, Ricciardo – Norris, Leclerc – Sainz, Gasly – Tsunoda, Vettel – Stroll. Many of these can be nice live benchmarks, or at least can provide some “fun” at the radio, and many of these are results of big driver market changes, which were quite rare in the recent years.

          Is it credible? I tried to google how many laps were completed by team at 2020, and I have found this:
          https://www.pitpass.com/src/seasons/2020/statistics/teamlapscompleted.php

          completed percentage of all race laps
          Mercedes 2031 laps 97.9%
          McLaren 1897 laps 93.4%
          Alfa Romeo 1902 laps 91.7%
          AlphaTauri 1848 laps 89.1%
          Renault 1840 laps 88.7%
          Williams 1825 laps 88.0%
          Racing Point 1776 laps 87.8%
          Red Bull 1789 laps 86.3%
          Haas 1755 laps 84.6%
          Ferrari 1736 laps 83.7%

          At about seems credible, as I summed the laps where both teammates were running, from the Teammate comparison articles of 2020, and got similar results.

          According to this I’m a bit surprised with the low percentage at Ferrari and Haas, and the much higher at Alfa Romeo.
          At Mercedes reliability is just astonishing, while at the Honda engined teams it seems there is sill a lot to do.

          So based on his, Mercedes can be in trouble in the following ways at 2021, because 0.5s gaps are just not closing themselves:
          – they will struggle more than expected without DAS,
          (they had quite a lot of tyre problems even with DAS at this season, I was quite surprised)
          – RB comes up with a much better and more reliable car. Although they were quite up to pace with Verstappen at this season, so going forward is not necessarily granted. I wonder how much Honda will gamble with the engine development for their last season. I guess they will roll the dice a bit.

          1. Wow, Ferrari at the bottom while Mercedes are at the top? That’s quite the analysis.

            It’ll be very interesting to see what impact DAS has – you’re right, Mercedes does struggle with tires and that could be the only Achilles heel those cars have.

            Alfa Romeo’s numbers are really impressive – that’s 3rd and over 90%.

            I’d like to hope that RB come up with a better and more reliable car. Usually reliability is tied to performance – you can get better reliability if you lower performance but perhaps they can make a leap. If they can put those numbers into the 90-92%, that’d be a huge improvement. I think reliability also affected Verstappen more than Albon, right?

            I’m curious to see whether the Red Bulls run into each other next year.

          2. I think one or two crash amongst teammates happened to almost everyone throughout a longer career :)
            But yes, more than a few is not ok, and crashing with the teammate is kind of a eek moment. Leclerc has to watch out for this, because he had his bad moments, although Verstappen had quite much of those before his 4th or 5th season as well, and it was Leclerc’s third. Interestingly one of the worst which I remember is Leclerc’s first drive as a Ferrari driver at Monaco, he was overly aggressive after a bad bad quali -strategy error eliminated him at Q1-, and eventually retired due to the crash damages he picked up. I like him, I see the fire of the great and natural born talents like poor Jules Bianchi or Gilles Villeneuve in him, but he has to improve to control this aggression.

            As I remember Leclerc had at least two race ending crashes (one with Vettel) during the first lap of the races in 2020. These largely contributed to the lower percentage, that is 3 complete race distance, that is a lot by itself. Imo Ferrari had stopped quite rarely due to failures, so they are quite reliable, that is why it was surprising to see them at the bottom of the list.

            Alfa Romeo did well, Kimi actually raced Vettel and sometimes even Leclerc at many races around the middle of the season. I like Kimi, so I found those moments not just awkward but funny as well. I guess Kimi and Seb will make jokes about those nice backmarker races when they will be older.

            Verstappen’s DNF’s this year:
            Austria – electric, (1)
            Monza – Power unit, (2)
            Tuscany – fist lap crash involving muliple drivers, he was rammed, so quite innocent, and had a software problem which was likely to end his race anyway, (3)
            Imola – puncture, tyre failure due to some cuts likely from debris
            Sakhir – after a nice start due to an evasive maneuver ended up badly in the gravel and then in the barriers, it looked like it was like stone skimming on the gravel, little chance to brake, so quite unlucky

            Albon had a failure after the contact with Hamilton at Austria, he not stopped but sunk out of the points, despite he had some chance to score some (4). At the Eifel GP happened the “rampage like GP” of Albon, he had a really bad race with many awkward maneuvers, and eventually stopped with a reason “radiator failure”. I’d say it was the worst looking races for him. (5)

            Gasly had 3 retirements: gearbox (6), coolant leak (7), and one first lap crash involving multiple drivers at Tuscany which eliminated Verstappen as well.
            Kvyat had one retirement, a hard crash due to a tyre failure.

            So Honda and RB family had something like 6-7 not tyre related, but severe failures. That’s not godlike reliability, although not utterly bad either.

            Yes, the members of the reliability, performance and costs triumvirate are counteracting each other, they are in some kind of inverse proportionality relation at almost all fields of life. So Honda has found a good amount of horsepower, but they still should improve reliability.

            It would be nice to filter the crashes out to see the percentages without those. But databases and other kinds of comprehensive data sources are rarely free, although it would be cool to access one what is updated with the current races data.

            One of my dreams is to access comprehensive and live tyre data, to see the state of all tyre sets per driver in live (mileage covered, flat spots, some other notes on the condition), although that’s far from free, probably F1 or teams do not want to give away detailed info on that. That would be amazing to check during the race weekends. But at least the telemetry comparison around some corners is finally a good looking and useful seeming visualization from Amazon.

            I used to read Wikipedia to compare drivers, teams, and seasons if I want to quickly compare some of them, Wikipedia is a nice and well organized free content on F1.

  21. Damn 3 driver changes in 3 years. This shows Red Bull are going for it this season. Although, Perez on a one- year deal and then Albon to return to Red Bull in 2022? Perez said he already has plans for 2022. This should cause some trouble for Mercedes next season. #44 will have to fight it for the 8th.

    1. @krichelle I can’t remember the exact words he used since I inferred that he had viable F1 options but no definitive plan. However most of these plans would probably have only been put into action if Perez was on a sabbatical.

      Not sure if his options will change as he will now fight hard to retain seat for 2022 as his first choice.

      One-year contract was inevitable given his age and Perez had no leverage to demand longer.

    2. Well, I would venture 5 driver changes in 4 years if you include next year’s. My guess is Checo stays at Red Bull in 2022.

      I think this is great news for Mercedes. They’ve pretty much secured next year’s championship especially with Wolff staying on. Today was checkmate for Red Bull – the season’s over before testing even began.

      I really think that Netflix needs to increase the number of episodes in Drive To Survive since most of the action will be off track.

  22. Even if Perez is not as quick as Verstappen, his ability to run the tyres for longer is perfect for a number 2 driver. By being able to run longer, Red Bull can use him as a pawn to do 1 stop less and back the Mercedes into Max, or even to make early pitstops to put the Mercedes cars under pressure knowing he can make the second stint last. One of Albon’s weaknesses was that he often was one of the first to pit, so he was unhelpful in that regard.

    1. @mashiat but can they do that? Can they allow Perez to get 2 victories on the alternative strategy while Max is chasing down Bottas and Hamilton? They obviously can’t chase those victories so Checo will have to win chasing down Max, Bottas, and Hamilton.

    2. @mashiat Max has shown very often that he can make a set of tires spin out, lol, sorry, last a long time too.

  23. I think he is gonna struggele just like Alex, and just like himself when he was with McLaren. But I really want him to fight for podium, but thinking that he will challenge Max is madness, he cant do that, otherwise he would have done it to Button/Ocon/Hulkenberg …

    1. lexusreliabilty?
      18th December 2020, 18:08

      but thinking that he will challenge Max is madness, he cant do that,

      What’s madness is projecting your opinion as fact. Max Verstappen isn’t unbeatable. Not even Lewis is unbeatable. Or Senna, Prost, Alonso, etc etc. Even Hakkinen was beaten by Coulthard, twice. This is sport, anything can happen. Only way that Perez is guaranteed to not do that- is if Red Bull resort to the Vettel/Webber days should Perez prove to be competitive for Max.

      1. In the old days they could be beaten just because cars were so unreliable, so there would be a degree of unpredictability.
        With drivers like Lewis going an entire season without a single DNF, unpredictability has gone out of the window. So no, Verstappen really can’t be beaten by his team mate in an entire season other than by talent and skills, but that just doesn’t exist today. Easy win for Verstappen.

  24. Very glad Perez got RB seat. Still sad tho Albon couldn’t be in F1 next year when someone like Latifi can.

    1. Kind of interesting that after Vettel pips Perez from a good car, it is now Perez who takes a seat Red Bull did not want to make free for Vettel @ruliemaulana.

      I sure hope we will see Albon hold on and return in another F1 car. Hard to judge Latifi, but yeah Albon has clearly done a good enough job of showing what he can do. Shame there aren’t more teams on the grid

  25. The best thing about this is he’s genuinely earned that seat with his 2020 performances. Red Bull have done what’s right for them and ignored their driver academy, instead focussing on points. The good thing is that with Verstappen, Honda and Perez…2021 could be the year they do it.

    The bad thing is I wouldn’t be surprised if 2021 is Red Bull’s final season in F1.

    1. @joshgeake. Holy smokes, I didn’t even think about that possibility. If next year results in civil war at Red Bull and Verstappen jumps ship, could that be the straw that breaks Mateschitz’s back?

      1. Lol civil war. Tabloid.

  26. Good for Perez. Red Bull is going to get competition from McLaren for sure next year and maybe Renault…

  27. Jose Lopes da Silva
    18th December 2020, 14:28

    Justice was done. Formula One’s 17 seats are filled with great drivers.

    1. The three undeserved being Daddy’s boys?

      1. Without Daddy’s boys, there will be only 14 seats sadly.

        1. Jose Lopes da Silva
          19th December 2020, 22:59

          It’s not sadly. It would be fortunately. The people leading this sport would have to understand that it is not economically sustainable. Decisions would have to be made to make this sport sustainable.
          I don’t feel sorry for jobs lost in Formula 1. I can feel sorry for restaurants during a pandemic. I don’t watch Formula 1 for the jobs it saves. And the sport is doing a turn to the gentlemen drivers concept of the Fifties. Buy a car and race. I understand it is expensive, but stop calling it sport.

  28. 100% the correct decision. It’s been unfortunate for Albon, he was basically promoted to Red Bull too early due to the Gasly situation. Of course he couldn’t turn down the chance, but having another season in Toro Rosso (or AT) would have probably been the right step, in reality he was promoted too early but this is all with the benefit of hindsight. He might have done quite well, but to be honest he’s been way off Max for far too long now, he really has had a chance and there are many many very nice guys out there that have had much less chance in F1. Let’s see what happens at AT, I really hope Gasly moves away from them in 2022 if possible (he’s not going back up to Red Bull let’s be honest), which would leave a seat there for Albon perhaps, much in the same way as happened to Kvyat.

    Anyway in summary, correct move by Red Bull. Even if the cars aren’t going to change much, the 2021 season sure will be interesting!

    1. Just to clarify, I’m hoping Gasly moves to another team out of the RB family, not leaving F1!

  29. Great news at the front of the grid. I’ve said it many times before, but I think Perez will give Max something to think about on Sundays. I expect Saturdays to be one sided, but Sundays to be more competitive. Sorry Alex, nice chap and all, but just not good enough to be in that Red Bull seat next to Max.

  30. Surprised but pleased. RBR going outside their pool of home grown drivers didn’t seem too likely, but this will obviously strengthen their line-up and provide Max a decent challenge.

  31. “The move marks a return to a front-running team for Perez in what will be his 11th season as a Formula 1 driver. He previously joined McLaren in 2013 as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton, but lost his seat to Kevin Magnussen after a single season.”

    That year was the start of McLaren being a midfield team. That season McLaren were a poor 5th and a long way from a front running team.

    Red Bull was usually fastest, with Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault sometimes matching them, between them they took all the wins, podiums and most of the points. McLaren’s best was a single 4th place with Perez’s best a 5th. Mclaren were mostly fighting Force India and Sauber, the other teams Perez has driven for.

  32. Checo! Checo! Checo!

  33. Swapping out Albon for Perez is a no-brainer in my opinion.
    First, Perez brings funding which Red Bull would welcome at a time where they are taking over the power unit development from Honda alongside an incoming cost cap.
    Second, he is a seasoned driver with experience in helping develop vehicles during regulation changes which should help with 2022 (RB17?) design.
    Third, to address the comments from others about the difficulty of driving the RB16 don’t forget that even though there is a “development freeze” for 2021 the downforce levels are being reduced (and subsequently clawed back by the designers) so the driveability of the RB16B is likely to be much different to that of the RB16. So expect Max’s driving to be disrupted just as much with this change.

    1. Is it a fact that RBR will be taking over the development of the Honda pu?

      1. 86 responses, so far, and this is the first mention of Honda. Finally.
        RBR and Honda both want desperately, to win the WCC and 2021 is going to have to be IT.
        2022 will be a crap-shoot. With the tight prescriptive regulations, it will come down to development, testing, research and luck. The bigger (aka, fully funded) teams will probably win that contest.
        As referenced by M. Brundle, only engine mfg. to go without PU penalties in 2020 …. Honda. Harbinger of things to come.
        If the 2021 season gets off the ground come spring, will be an exciting year.

  34. I saw this somewhat coming. But still surprised that it actually happened, given Perez’s statements he already has something lined up for 2022.
    Fell a little bit bad for Albon, but being able to help work on the 2022 car and checking all the details in the Sim and so on makes him a very important figure in the buildup to the new regulations and to see that the car is a contender.
    But knowing that the 2021 car is not going to be that much different from this years car, and having seen Perez drive some undrivable cars and getting the most out of them, I think he will be right up there with Max.
    And if he starts beating Max, what does that say for the future of Max at Red Bull.

    1. @us-brian Not sure about the car being ‘undriveable’ next year, and while Horner says 60% of the car will be transferred over, 40% won’t. I think they have a good chance with the changes to the floor, and the inevitable changes to the car to make up for lost downforce, to end up with a better balanced car.

      I don’t think he is going to ‘start beating Max’ as that is a tall order and Max is engrained in the team, but I can see it being more of a MV/DR type of thing with both drivers maximizing the car but Max slightly moreso.

      Max was accelerated into that top ride whereas it has taken SP ten years to get there, albeit with a brief stint at Mac, for a reason. But hey, best case scenario for RBR would be they usurp Mercedes and start taking 1-2’s on the grid and shut out the competition ala Merc. I just don’t think Perez is near Max, but they could be near each other if indeed they end up both limited by the car.

  35. I hope Perez shows Honda something worth staying for. Congrats to Christian Horner, Adrian Newey and of course Perez!!!! 👏👏👏

    1. I think Verstappen has already done that.

  36. Dumbest decision I have ever seen RB take. Clearly not as dumb as Renault and then Ferrari signing Carlos Sainz.
    Albon did not deserve the seat. There was no good decision to make though, they need a good driver now, they can’t afford to wait or sign someone that has been out of f1 for a little while.

  37. I doubt that Checo wants to be RB’s Bottas. He is a real hot tempered racer and will go for the win. While at Racing Point he had a lot of clashes with Ocon. Maybe it will be the same with Max and brings this move more bad than good for RB.

  38. Whilst Alex will undoubtedly be feeling pretty bummed out right now, I feel this is in fact the best outcome, for all parties involved. Himself included. Being number two at Red Bull is a tough role, considering how heavily they cater the car to Verstappen’s liking. Personally I feel only a very experienced driver can adapt to this situation properly. Something which neither Albon or Gasly are. So I don’t attribute much blame to either of them, for how their stints at Red Bull played out.

    In all honesty it seems to me that had he stayed at Red Bull for 2021, Alex would have continued to struggle. Which really would not have done his career any favors. His best bet is to see if Gasly moves on from Alpha Tauri at the end of 2021, knowing that his path back to the senior Red Bull team has basically been blocked; opening up a seat at Alpha Tauri for him. I really hope this is how things play out, as Albon deserves to be in F1. But Red Bull just wasn’t working out for him, sadly.

  39. Yes Checo, show Lawrence Stroll what you are capable of , Beat them at any cost !

  40. 2021 could be very nice: RP and McLaren can race closely as both get Merc PU, and, if Checo replicates Verstappen, it will six cars with similar performance – with Alonso sneaking in. Lets hope Mercs just dont fly away again and Ferrari was sandbagging this season.

  41. My optimistic side would like to think Perez will be around the same place Bottas is with Hamilton… unable to beat Verstappen on a normal day, but may occasionally nose himself ahead. Verstappen’s probably the best qualifier now so I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him ahead at least 20 times out of 23 on Saturdays (might even do a clean sweep), but Perez does his best work in the races. I think Sundays are where it’ll get more interesting.

    Or at least, interesting as long as the radio messages are along the lines of ‘you can fight’.

    Feel for Albon as he came across as a very nice guy, but he was shattered in that team and I don’t think he’d ever have recovered alongside Verstappen. Hopefully he’ll get a second chance.

    1. Verstappen is strong ofc, even in qualifying, and yes, perez’s speciality isn’t qualifying but a clean sweep is hard to do with anyone, albon is a thing, with perez I doubt, especially in so many races.

  42. “They r(epl)ace me so hard”

  43. Big Ric Energy and Lando in a Merc McLaren
    Alonso in a Renault
    Checo in a RBR

    If only Toto had some balls, showed Bottas the door and put Russell in along side Lewis – could have been the most exciting driver/team line-up in YEARS. Instead we have another easy ride to 8 WDC and an exciting “Formula 1.5”.

  44. Well battle for second and third place will be spectacular.

    I hazard a bet Perez will get atleast 1 win next year.

    And if Verstappen outclasses him fully, then we atleast know Perez is not a top driver, despite there being many signs he might be.

    Good job RBR. I would have signed him too.

    1. @jureo If you’re a Verstappen fan, I’m not sure how this benefits you.

      I’m not even sure how a Red Bull fan benefits from this. Perez fans benefit, McLaren does, Ferrari does, Renault does.

      Mercedes benefits the most – Christmas time for them. They are keeping Wolff and Red Bull is out of contention before testing starts.

      1. Verstappen for one will have a more competitive team mate, which gives him more chances of winning against mercedes, strategy wise, at least if the car is as fast as 2020, hopefully more.

        1. @esploratore competitive means that the cars are running close together which is why Mercedes may have to cover Perez. In my opinion, if that’s the case they’d have bigger issues because Perez wouldn’t care about beating Bottas and Hamilton – it’s good enough to beat Max. If Perez scores almost the same points as Max, he comes out a massive winner. If he beats him, it’s akin to winning a WDC title.

          On the other hand, Max’s focus has always been Bottas and Hamilton. If he has to worry about Perez, he’ll be in a 3 vs 1 battle and he’ll long for the good ole 2 vs 1 days. Not sure how that will help him.

          Does anyone here for a second believe that Checo will play second fiddle to Max? Red Bull doesn’t! Max doesn’t!

          They all know what’s headed their way. The question is why would they do that? It’s the unlikeliest pairing on the grid, if you ask me.

          1. I think you’re waaay too optimistic about that particular battle. Perez will be easily dispatched by Verstappen. RBR and Max are truly looking for someone who can get within .3 seconds on Saturdays and sort of stay sufficiently in touch on Sundays to have some influence on team race strategy on Sundays. Max, nor RBR are worried at all about Checo somehow being close to Max, or even beating him. That’s outside of the realm of possibilities. Quite the oppositie, they want Perez to succeed. It’s not the unlikeliest pairing, as you say. He was the best available driver, but I foresee disappointment and he’ll go the same way as Albon and Gasly before him, qualifying 0.5s behind and nowhere close on Sundays.

      2. I am first and foremost a racing fan. I like how Verstappen races, I like how George did at Mercedes and what Leclerc is doing.

        IF Perez comes in and woohps VerstappBoooty then no problem. May the best racing driver win.

        1. @jureo Well, whoops is a relative thing. There are many ways to whoop a driver in F1:

          1. Slam into them anytime they are about to overtake you and make that count. Slam into them anytime you get close to them from behind. Rosberg perfected that and Perez gets a commendation against Ocon. Wait, isn’t Perez going to Red Bull?
          2. Play it safe and let the other driver take all the chances and try to win more points while you collect points in P3,P4 or inherited P1s, P2s, P3s. Rosberg did that against Schumacher.
          3. Win more points against your teammate by using alternate strategies. Perez used that against Hulkenberg.
          4. Winning more points being quicker than your teammate – Hamilton is a great example of that.

          I suppose you’re referring to 4 but as you’ll find out 1,2,3 are the ones any Verstappen fan should care about.

          Again, 2 names come up a lot here. Rosberg and Perez. If Red Bull are ok with Perez and they signed him up, then they were obviously also ok signing Rosberg.

          1. How about racing in the same timezone? That would be a decent start. Let Verstappen feel some pressure.

  45. About time.

    Merry Christmas, Formula 1 ! :)

  46. This is great! With these two drivers, if they can stay away from ego-shoving matches, I see a lot of double podiums for Red Bull next year (full disclosure, I’m a Mercedes fan😜).

  47. Sometimes the quality of a mans character is the only true measure of his value in society. This apples to Perez in that he showed such quality of character that it was noticed and now his place on the grid is set. I expect him to earn every point scored and that alone will tell us what we need to know. He may become better at RB than he would have become staying in the pink car. So through effort, self belief and opportunity we will see what his persistence of patience yields.

    Favorite driver move since the future 3 times Champion Piquet joined up with Niki Lauda at Brabham. He got into a proven racecar mentored under Lauda and made a name for himself and that advantage of drivers car and team ( just like now) started tearing everybody up.

    I see the New RedBull team being a lot like that. What I’m reading suggests the best decision for scoring points in pursuit of a first F1 championship has happened and this RBR team has already stepped ahead for 2021

  48. Well @Michael, they have:
    – No engine deal for 2022 and no likelihood of a Mercedes
    – A second team they’ve considered selling
    – A driver academy that’s been publicly failing for several seasons (Kvyat, Gasly and Albon)
    – A superb but likely tiring chief designer
    – An enormous amount of work for the 2022 regulations
    – A brilliant but twitchy lead driver

    It wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t bother with 2022.

    1. @joshgeake
      They have:
      -A big chance that they will continue with Honda’s ip under favourable conditions.
      -A second team (There is no indication whatsoever they tried to sell AT, quite the opposite. Hence AT.)
      -The best driver academy up to date, giving us Daniel, carlos, Sebastian, Pierre and Max, soon to be followed by Tsunoda.
      -A superb chied designer. (Do you have insight knowledge? If not, it’s just meaningless blablabla you’re babbling.)
      -An enormous amount of work for the 2022 regulations. Just like the rest of the teams.
      -A brilliant but twitchy lead driver. Ah, now it’s clear; you haven’t watched F1 since Monaco 2018!

      1. All of what you have said is your personal opinion. Here’s mine:
        – They currently have no engine deal for 2022, what you talk about with IP doesn’t change this.
        – The second team was rumoured to be up for sale, Gasly said this by accidental slip of the tongue.
        – Newey is almost 62 and can’t go on forever. He’s already walked off to design boats and supercars, you can’t guarantee he wants to keep doing this.
        – RB academy gave us Vettel, Riccardo and Sainz. Since then they’ve bullied them to pieces and Kvyat, Gasly and Albon haven’t done well when given their opportunities. Max wasn’t really a Red Bull academy driver.
        – By “twitchy” I meant Max is probably twitchy to leave. This is simply my opinion but when your team can’t find you a reliable teammate nor competitive engine, it would have me checking my break clauses.
        – All the above make the 2022 investment harder to swallow.

        This isn’t rocket science.

    2. Max would get beat by the top 2 drivers in equal machinery. Red bull is treating max just like they treated Vettel. And look how vettels skills turned out when he wasn’t favored by the team

  49. lexusreliability?
    18th December 2020, 16:52

    Imagine the meltdown if Perez beats Verstappen, like Ricci did.

    1. Yeah, he sure did, didn’t he?
      That’s why Monaco 2018 will be remembered as his last win in F1……..

      1. lexusreliabilty?
        18th December 2020, 18:01

        Don’t speak to soon- Ricciardo still has a solid number of years in the sport, and you’ll end up eating humble pie like you usually do.

  50. Absolutely fantastic,fully deserved

  51. I think this was the best possible move Red Bull could make. They need two drivers at the front to take the fight to Mercedes and, unfortunately, Albon just wasn’t cutting it. Pérez doesn’t have Verstappen’s raw speed but he has incredible consistency, which would seem to make him an ideal #2 driver for a frontrunning team – and I mean that as a compliment. If he can prove himself more than that, even better. I’m happy for him and so glad he still has a place in the sport.

  52. AT LAST albon gets fired, well deserved! I can hardly think of a worse performing driver than him throughout 2020, in the league of vettel, and also well deserved for perez, the most wronged driver this season and finally gets redemption.

    I’m surprised though, red bull hiring from outside their academy is a big thing, I wouldn’t really have expected that, props for marko, horner or whoever decides for doing that, as it hints, like some people said, to red bull’s program not working very well in recent times.

  53. My question is if Perez is better driver than Bottas? RBR can stack against Mercedes and at least secure 2nd place for Max in WDC. Can Hamilton carry the weight of Mercedes if Botass fall apart? WCC will be interesting. If Perez start beating Bottas it will prove the point of being hired. As an armchair expert I am It’s what I would expect instead of a classless Max vs Perez debate. The objective is to beat Bottas.

  54. I’m glad. We already had enough bad driver decisions for 2021 that weren’t related to driver skill at all, so I was convinced the 2nd Red Bull seat was going to go the same way just because of Albon’s Thai background, but glad to be proven wrong.

  55. Harsh on Albon. He showed great talent at his short time at Toro Rosso. Gasly got his backup but not Albon?

    I’m glad Perez has the drive & F1 should be better for it next year but Albon deserved the chance to grow in an easier car. He could’ve gone back & thrived at Alpha as Gasly has done.

  56. I am sure that everything that could be said about this has been. I think RBR have made the right decision. Sergio does not deserve to lose his F1 drive. And in a way things have worked out for the best for him.

    It will be interesting to see how he fares compared with Max. I think though that it’s bound to benefit the team to have a very experienced driver in the second car at RBR for the first time in several years. Hopefully they can make a real strong challenge to Merc. I am far from a big fan of RBR but it would be good for there to be a proper challenge with two cars/drivers.

    I do feel Alex is a bit hard done by. I think, all things considered, he did reasonably well at RBR. I would have liked to see him back at Alpha Tauri for a year rather than them bringing in another rookie (Tsunoda), probably too early in their career.

    I still think there’s a chance that come 2022, Gasly or even Albon may be back in the Red Bull. We shall see.

  57. I’m really, really happy to see Perez next year, especially in a top team. He’s always been there or there about in midfield cars and finally he’s given the opportunity to shine.
    Given of course Red Bull will still be competitive, he’s good and the second Red Bull driver curse isn’t real…

  58. In a way everyone gets what they deserve. Deb Ashton Martin RIc McLaren and Check RRR.

    Except the 2 billionaire sons ( Russian and and Canadian origin) everyone seems a right fit.

  59. Good for Perez, but can’t help think that if Riccardo got out of Red Skull Racing due to unequal treatment – that Perez is probably stepping into a similar mess he had at Racing Point or whatever their name is now. Plus since Marko likes to sabbatoge racing drivers that came through their talent pool I cant see him welcoming a non-Red Skull Racing driver into the fold. Got to love F1, high paid jobs for disfunctional egomaniacs.

  60. I’m an ordained Minister. I could marry these fellows in front of the start of the race. Right after the black lives matters stuff. So Max and Sergio are to be married soon. What a load from the Desperate Contributor. Try to bring 5cents worth of intelligence to race fans without your two cents worth of lies.

  61. Perez eats team mates as much or even better than Verstappen, nothing to proof of either they will make Redbull way stronger now, specially if they suddenly need one less pit stop with one of their cars !

    #tirewhisperer

  62. Since Max knew Albon was out, he really shouldn’t have said anything about Albon. Albon’s out of a ride. That was a little bit classless. And, Max got what he wanted. An experienced aggressive fast teammate. And Perez is no pushover. If Perez gets right up to speed with Max, he won’t be pushed around. I predict at least one teammate crash next season, as neither driver likes to give an inch. I was no fan of Perez after he punted Kimi at Monaco. And whatever he did at McLaren was so bad, that he couldn’t even pay for a top ride. But for the last few years he has cooled his rockets and has really worked his butt off. He deserves the Red Bull seat. And I wish him the best.

  63. The appointment is Red Bull’s third new driver hiring in as many years following the departure of Daniel Ricciardo at the end of 2018. Pierre Gasly lasted just 12 races as Verstappen’s team mate the following season before being replaced by Albon.

    That says a lot right there.

  64. Good out-of-character move.

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