Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2021

Perez knew “very early on” Red Bull would retain him for 2022

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Sergio Perez says that he was never concerned that he might not keep his place at Red Bull for the 2022 Formula 1 season.

In brief

Perez never doubted he would keep Red Bull seat

Sergio Perez says that he “wasn’t worried at all” Red Bull would decide not to keep him on for a second season with the team.

Perez struggled to match the performance of his team mate, Max Verstappen, who won the world championship. Despite openly admitting his difficulties in adapting to his new car, Perez says team principal Christian Horner and motorsport consultant Helmut Marko let him know early Red Bull would re-sign him for a second season.

“No, I wasn’t worried at all,” Perez told RaceFans. “I mean, at this stage of my career, it’s hard to get worried about not getting a seat.

“I think we matched really well, really quickly within the Red Bull family. Very early on, Helmut and Christian told me to not look anywhere else because they wanted to carry on with me.”

Seidl see scope for improvement with McLaren’s pit stops

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2021
Seidl sees scope for improvement in the pits
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says he is looking for the team to make a step forward with their pitstops next season.

While securing a victory in the Italian Grand Prix, McLaren lost out to third place in the constructors’ championship to Ferrari. Seidl says he is pleased with the team’s achievements this season but points to pit stops as an area where they can improve.

“I’m very happy with what we could achieve again this year as a team,” he said. “It was important for us to simply make the next step in terms of performance of the car – the way we work together between the race team out here, back home, engineering and production.

“I look at things like pit stops, for example, we could again make the next step in terms of consistency, but also speed. The most important thing for me was to make this next step again as a team this year because making these steps is key on our journey where we are in, where we want to get to the point to fight for race wins at every single weekend and not just occasionally.”

Isola clarifies filming day tyre rules

Pirelli’s Mario Isola has clarified the details of what tyres F1 teams will be allowed to use for filming and promotional purposes on their cars into next season.

Alongside dramatic technical regulations changes to cars for 2022, F1 cars will run with 18-inch wheels instead of 13-inch wheels. Isola explained that, unlike previous seasons, teams will be allowed to use cars from the year before in filming.

“The difference is that if you look at the sporting regulations now, it is considered a ‘previous’ car – a car from 2021,” Isola explained.

“In the past, the car from the year before was still considered a ‘current’ car. But because of the big change in technical regulations next year, the only current cars will be the 2022 cars and the 2023 cars – not 2021.

“That means that we will continue to supply what we call driver academy tyres, that are different from race tyres. They are available in three different compounds, plus wet, and they can use them for any test with 13-inch wheels with previous cars. While, for 18-inches, only running promotional tyres will be available.”

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Comment of the day

Looking back over Honda’s latest spell in Formula 1, Olivier sees a stark contrast between the Japanese giant’s relationship with Red Bull compared to McLaren…

It’s quite interesting that Honda didn’t go all in from the beginning, perhaps to avoid the issues Toyota ran in when they had their own F1 project, however Honda are seasoned players who are not new to the F1 challenge.

Also interesting how Red Bull/Honda partnership played out. The Bulls were really willing to partner as opposite to McLaren who surely saw them as engine suppliers.

This season has really been fascinating and not only because of the battle of the wills Hamilton vs Verstappen but also (or mainly from my point of view) Mercedes vs Honda. Of course Honda is as mighty as Mercedes is in the big picture but in the F1 context I’d say they were more of the underdog. It’s not an easy task to take on a heavy weight champion and challenge them to the point they have to use overclocked engines to beat the opposition.

I’m not sure Mercedes are satisfied they beat the challenger, particularly by the way they did it. Another thing I’m sure of is this is not the last time we will see Honda back in F1.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Alvink and Bryce Metzger!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born on this day in 1974: 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2004 IndyCar champion Tony Kanaan

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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37 comments on “Perez knew “very early on” Red Bull would retain him for 2022”

  1. By all objective accounts, Checo looks terrible against Max.

    As I cannot imagine this eluding Helmut or Christian, I can only conclude that they’ve either grown tired of replacing their #2 drivers with the same result or that Checo’s sponsors make it worth their while.

    1. I believe the idea was to extend Checo’s contract early in the season in the hope it would play a positive role in the confidence Perez got from that, and thus performing better without the stress of maybe losing the seat. Eventually it worked out in Abu Dhabi and Mexico, but they must have hoped for more. It would also silence all rumors or Red Bull switching drivers, again, which wouldn’t have helped Verstappen, as a lot of energy would have gone to that. Would Perez have done the same in Abu Dhabi if he got dropped for 2022? I seriously doubt that.

      If Verstappen wouldn’t have battled for the WDC, I’m 100% positive they would have let him go after this season, perhaps even during the season.

      1. That or winning a race guarantees an extension.

    2. Maybe they also realized it’s not all due to the 2nd driver, but also to a very specific car… Since the 2022 cars will be completely different, it’s worth a try to keep Perez and see if that changes the story (not counting that Perez huge experience and quality in tire management could come in handy with the new regulation), instead of going for yet another driver change.

      I mean, I have no doubt that Max is a beast and would beat most driver on the grid. But the gap is too big to be solely due to the drivers, especially good drivers such as Gasly, Perez… There must another factor involved.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        31st December 2021, 12:38

        It doesn’t stop the new cars from still being tail happy exhibiting oversteer

      2. HAL, Gasly and Albers, amongst others, have indicated that Verstappen has a contract that also enshrines Schumacher-esque preferential terms of treatment for him.

    3. @proesterchen Unnecessarily harsh against SP. There are likely other reasons such as his attitude and his communication skills when it comes to helping them advance the car. As well this is a team that seems to insist on having fun while they’re putting their noses to the grindstone, and it would seem SP fits right in. As well, who would one put in there and to do what? Challenge Max? Beat Max? Lol. Do enough to help them win the WCC? Sure. Let’s remember he started on his hind foot as the newbie on the team and so was always likely going to be behind VB in that role of supplementing the WCC tally.

      And when it comes to reassuring him early in the season about next season, I say why not given the drastic changes to the cars. They now know him and he the team, and 2022 will be a much better chance for SP to bolster the WCC tally.

      I envision SP sat there ultra grateful to have a ride let alone one on a top team. He is well experienced to know there are the LH’s and the Max’s that may take over the top spots and leave the rest for the scraps, and that’s just the reality of racing. Doesn’t mean he can’t have a blast trying to improve every day, helping his team, doing what he loves, getting huge money and well supporting his family for generations to come. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if that gratitude and desire to help wherever possible sealed it for CH and HM early on once they saw him working with the team in earnest.

      1. Sorry, I must lack the required sympathy for the plight of the over-matched paydriver.

        But hey, if his sponsors cover the loss of revenue from a bungled WCC, that’s all water under the bridge.

        1. @proesterchen Not sure what your definition of pay driver is but making an estimated 18mill doesn’t sound like he is paying for his ride, does it? That he brings sponsors with him is as normal as it gets in F1. SP seems to be the fourth highest paid in F1 behind LH, Max, and FA.

          1. Just to add, what you call a ‘bungled WCC’ would not be echoed within the team who would likely have experienced an SP that genuinely did his best, and indeed helped the team in many ways, and even CH said afterwards that it seemed fitting that Mercedes won the WCC and they the WDC. That sound like a team that feels the need for some remuneration from SP or his sponsors, who are also contributors to the team effort? His sponsors that can now benefit from Max’s WDC now to at they are in the RBR family with SP?

            Aside from all that, I think RBR can feel pretty confident that if it weren’t for the bad luck Max and SP had they would likely have won the WCC too, but they know that’s racing and they indeed on paper made a WCC level car, and but for the expected circumstances that are always possible in racing missed out in the actual points tally. Doesn’t mean they will hang their heads at what they designed, produced, and ran for a season, nor at what SP did throughout the season as their rookie.

          2. To me, pay drivers have significant parts of the base salaries contributed to the team by entities backing them personally, and yes, that makes Carlos Sainz Jr a pay driver.

          3. Put any of the string of so-so Red Bull Junior program drivers in Checo’s position, collecting less than half of Max’ points and only a singly lucky victory over the season, and ask yourself if we would be talking about them getting an early renewal or a second season at all.

            We are only because Helmut and Chrisitan are not convinced that any of the available alternatives would do comparatively better to outweigh Checo’s sponsors.

      2. /\ Sorry about reporting this reply, I was being Mr Fumblefingers while trying to reply.

        Feel free to ignore the report and delete this message. Again, sorry for the inconvenience!

  2. I knew Perez would be well behind Verstappen, just didn’t expect him to be quite as bad. Especially in qualifying.

    But he’s a perfect in his role because he has the ‘Irvine Factor’. He can show up to a grand prix, fully aware that he could drive every single lap at 100% of his own ability and the guy in the other car would still beat him. He could do the lap of his life and Verstappen would still be a tenth or two quicker. And it doesn’t seem to bother him – he can accept that he isn’t as good as the team leader and he doesn’t sulk about it, just gets on with his job and everyone is happy.

    I don’t think Albon or Gasly could do that… neither had the ‘I’m #2 and I’m happy’ mentality. And over at Mercedes, I don’t think Bottas had it either.

    1. the ‘Irvine Factor’

      Excellent description :D I do agree. Also: even if Gasly or Albon were to be ok with the #2 label, they (for Gasly: at the time) had to prove that they could actually bring in the results, in contrast to Checo who already had proven himself before.

    2. Davethechicken
      31st December 2021, 9:55

      Got to agree, Neil.
      Irvine was all about the money.
      He made millions from property long before F1. He had no delusions of grandeur in terms of his ability.
      Schumis other teammates were more upset about the special treatment. Eddie understood what he was being paid to do.

    3. Spot on… Perez fulfils his role well and without drama or hassle.

      He is no Max Verstappen when it comes to speed but is nicer at everything else.

      Gasly and Albon were mentaly weak and imploded under pressure. I suspect RedBull management has changed their approach aswell.

      Meanwhile Bottas knew very soon he was out of a seat. It is good for him to be #1 somewhere else.

    4. @neilosjames

      I’m sure that it bothers him, but what can he do about it? It’s not like he even got the opportunity that Rosberg and Bottas got, to battle with the better driver.

      I think that Checo is hoping for exactly the same thing that Horner and Marko are hoping for: that the 2022 car will be easier to drive.

    5. They said Irvine wasn’t a ferrari guy or he didn’t suit it quite as well as the others. I’m not sure how Perez finds himself at Red Bull. Since they found Vettel they have always wanted that one superquick guy but that second seat has been a problem. Checo might be happy to play that second role but how long? Irvine had his chance in 1999 when Schumacher injured himself. Barrichello

      1. never really had that chance. Webber almost won it in 2010 and after ’99 and ’10 Irvine or Webber didn’t really have another chance to fight for the title. I bet every racing driver has that mentality to win and when you have a car to do it, you will try. Still it’s not the worst job to be the 2nd driver in a winning team but since you have reached that far you must think the possibility of winning the championship

    6. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      31st December 2021, 12:46

      In cold hard facts and figures Perez didn’t help with the WCC, Verstappen beat Ferrari on his own.

    7. I think the “i’m #2 and happy” is going to be a problem for Merc in 2022, can’t see George accepting that.

  3. I think Perez secured his drive with his performance and win in Azerbaijan. I would also say off the top of my head that throughout the season I think Perez was generally more useful at assisting Verstappen than Bottas was assisting Hamilton. While Checo’s overall performance compared to his team mate was bad, I wouldsay he had a better time of it than Gasly or Albon did.

    1. A comparison isn’t complete without saying bottas overall outperformed him; perez had better racecraft, but bottas did the bare minimum for the car he drove more often than perez, which for 2021 could be for example the podium.

      1. @esploratore1 Ok but for me for the comparison to be complete let’s always remember SP was the newbie on his team and VB had 4 seasons of the WCC car and pu behind him. So for you to say SP had the better racecraft is something I can agree with and is a huge compliment to SP. For VB to have overall outperformed him was to have been expected since he should have been able to hit the track running in his 5th season at Mercedes, with SP on a steep learning curve.

  4. Considerable technical rule changes, yes, but why didn’t an exemption get made back in 2014 or 2017? Using 2013 cars for unlimited non-race weekend running in 2014, nor 2016 ones in 2017 would’ve been equally unuseful for present on-track success.
    I’m unsure why Isola mentioned 2023 even though 2023 cars don’t exist yet.

    I agree with Seb. 100% sustainable fuel could & should come sooner (than when the next PU concept change occurs). Relevant technology already exists, so waiting is unnecessary.

    A good COTD, although whether Honda makes yet another re-return someday is another matter.

  5. Biofuel is not so environmental friendly. Every biofuel would take so much land and land-use change will contribute to greenhouse gas emission and could emit more than the demonized fossil fuel. Biofuel from rapeseed emits 1.2x more greenhouse gas than the fossil fuel it replaced, while soy 2x more.

    If Seb really think F1 should be more environmental friendly, the sensible things he should said was to banned air freight.

    1. @ruliemaulana and what is the evidence for your claims?

      1. Go look it up and EDUCATE yourself. This is common knowledge widely available – it just isn’t pushed as part of the fake Green Agenda that people have been indoctrinated into.

        1. Steveetienne, if it is supposed to be, in your somewhat mangled phrase, “common knowledge widely available”, then you should be able to provide the evidence to support your argument.

          Otherwise, by saying “do it yourself” and demanding others have to do your work, you simply make others ask why they should make any effort towards a position that, given you are making so little effort to support it, it raises the question of whether you really do support it at all.

  6. “There will initially only be a 10% share of bio-fuels or ethanol. Which is neither sufficient nor in keeping with the times. I stand by my criticism. We have all the possibilities, we have the money, the resources, we could do very sensible things withth it.”

    Bio fuels are not that great.. However synthetic fuel made from atmospheric carbon, That would be something.

    I guess oil companies paying sponsorship are 90% happy with 90% fuel comming from fosiles.

    1. @jureo why? The production cycle for synthetic fuels is extremely inefficient and wasteful, often places excessive strain on resources that could be used for other benefits and is excessively expensive. Even outfits like Porsche, which are pushing synthetic fuels, do not believe it will be a mass market product – they’re looking at producing rather limited quantities that will only be used for their highest value cars.

      The hydrogen used in the process is almost universally produced from fossil fuel sources, making it a very dirty process right now. Even if you want to claim that “oh, we can use electrolysis of water”, Porsche’s pilot plant in Chile is in a nation that is already facing concerns about supplies of freshwater, given the rising demands of industry and concerns about long term declines in supply (something that the VW Group is deliberately avoiding commenting on).

      1. Seems like a bit of confusion over information.
        Porsche factory in Chile is part/cooperating of/with a bigger project. Chile is trying to be become the biggest producer of sustainble hydrogen in the world, with what is called National Green Hydrogen Strategy.
        The Porsche factory is going to produce the synthetic fuels with a technique ExxonMobil patented in the 1970s. In which they catalyze H2O and CO2 to ethanol catalyze that to Synthetic fuel.
        The watersource will be seawater since the factory will be build in coastal town Punta Arenas.
        The whole thing is supposed to be CO2 neutral by 2030.

        Also remember that the production of conventional fuel requires alot of energy and causes emissions in the process.

        Synthetic fuels will provide a practical way to reduce emissions in area’s of the world that don’t have the infrastructure for electric cars. Nor are they able to afford electric cars or its infrastructure.

        Besides if they can produce synthetic fuels with renewable energy, the CO2 emissions are cyclical and therefore sustainable. Other forms of emissions will be a lot lower than conventional fuel, because synthetics aren’t adulterated with pollutant chemicals like sulfur in the way crude oil is.

        1. erikje, and have you looked at what some of the authors of those publications have said about the practical issues that surround synthetic fuel production?

          For example, you have Heather D. Willauer, a researcher at the United States Naval Research Laboratory, and the research that she has done on synthesising aviation fuel using seawater (see “The Feasibility and Current Estimated Capital Costs of Producing Jet Fuel at Sea Using Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen”, September 2010).

          That paper looked at the costs and energy requirements for producing 100,000 gallons of jet fuel a day, or about 450,000 litres per day, from extracting CO2 from seawater (on the basis that it is more efficient to extract CO2 from seawater, and that it could be hydrolysed to extract hydrogen gas as well). Even if you assumed the theoretically perfect scenario of 100% efficiency in all steps, which is obviously unrealistic, that would give a lower bound requirement of 8.9 million cubic metres of seawater and a power plant producing at least 250MW.

          She also explicitly notes that, even with that extremely idealised scenario, as the chemical synthesis process is predominantly an endothermic process, it is inherently going to require significantly more energy than you can ever realise from it. Even with that theoretically perfect production process, the end conclusion was that the theoretical maximum efficiency for producing your fuel would be below 60% – and, in reality, she acknowledged that the true efficiency would be far, far lower than that.

          The costs were extremely high – capital expenditure running into billions and an end product that was three times more expensive – and the main justification was really more based on strategic considerations than the practicalities of production (i.e. the argument that, even if it was highly expensive and inefficient, the lack of an alternative meant that they had to accept the cost and limitations of that production process). That’s not exactly an encouraging argument for synthetic fuels.

  7. non story regarding perez. Try to look behind the netflix drive to survive reddit tier hype and look at the real politics that controls 99% of F1 inc.

    Perez will always be in F1 due to billionaire carlos slims Telmax sponsoring who is also a close family friend. RB and liberty media also want a prominent south /central american driver because of the huge lucrative Hispanic market Liberty media wants to attract into F1.

    I always regard perez as a generic journeyman who started as a pay driver and guaranteed a seat for life due to carlos slim.

    Perez didn’t deserve to tie Kamui Kobayoshis shoelaces at Sauber when they was team mates but Koba lost the seat and eventually an F1 drive because he couldn’t bring pay driver money.

    1. @ccpbioweapon why are you complaining about Kobayashi losing his seat at Sauber when Perez wasn’t there and had nothing to do with that?

      Kobayashi himself claimed that he was bringing “a budget of at least €8 million” in sponsorship deals for the 2013 season when he was trying to negotiate for a seat in late 2012. If that is true, then contrary to your assertion that Kobayashi “couldn’t bring pay driver money”, Kobayashi was bringing in pay driver money – because that level of sponsorship would have been the same as that of Perez, as his backing from the Slim family was estimated at €8 million per annum when he was at Sauber.

      In fact, if Kobayashi was correct about having raised at least €8 million for 2013, wouldn’t he have fitted the definition of a pay driver, given he would have been paying quite a bit more into the team for his seat than the team were paying him in return for his services? When it comes down to it, Sauber effectively replaced Kobayashi with Hulkenberg, not a pay driver.

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