Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Losail International Circuit, 2021

2021 F1 driver rankings #11: Sergio Perez

2021 F1 driver rankings

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At the final race of the season, Sergio Perez was the perfect team mate to Max Verstappen.

Sergio Perez

Beat team mate in qualifying 1/21
Beat team mate in race 1/18
Races finished 20/22
Laps spent ahead of team mate 95/1100
Qualifying margin +0.44s
Points 190

Not merely because he gave Red Bull’s title contender an ideal tow in qualifying or repelled rival Lewis Hamilton for two laps in the race, but because he had the pace to play that vital role at the sharp end of the field. But that hadn’t been the case often enough over the course of the season until that point, which is why he narrowly misses a place in the top 10 of our rankings.

After Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon’s swift ejections in previous seasons from the second Red Bull seat alongside Verstappen (is there any harder gig in motor racing?) no one could be in doubt about the scale of the challenge Perez faced. Given that, his failure to progress beyond Q2 first time out in Bahrain prompted immediate concern.

But on the whole this was only a blip: He usually reached Q3 over the remaining races. And although he almost invariably qualified behind Verstappen, unlike his predecessors he made appreciable gains in reducing his deficit as the season went on.

After the frustration of Bahrain, where a pre-race technical problem compromised him further, Perez beat Verstappen to a spot on the front row alongside Lewis Hamilton at Imola. Aside from Sochi, where Verstappen took an engine penalty, it was the only time all year Perez started in front of his team mate.

Perez lagged some way off Verstappen over the opening rounds. He was, of course, one of several drivers having to acclimatise to a new environment with little testing. Imola proved especially tricky – he went off behind the Safety Car and spun – and he wasn’t in the hunt at Algarve (where he led because he delayed his pit stop) and Spain.

Matters began to improve in Monaco, despite another sub-par qualifying effort, where he made impressive gains on a track where overtaking is virtually impossible. Then came Baku – always one of Perez’s stronger venues – where he was bang on Verstappen’s pace and therefore ideally placed to collect a victory when misfortune eliminated the other Red Bull. When he followed it up with another podium finish in France, it seemed he’d turned a corner.

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Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Baku City Circuit, 2021
Perez was in great form at Baku, where he won
A leaner spell followed. The gap between Perez and Verstappen tended to be a little wider than it was between the two Mercedes drivers, and this blunted Red Bull’s challenge at times. While Verstappen dominated the two Austrian rounds, Perez was out-qualified by the McLaren of Lando Norris both times and finished off the rostrum.

Then came a trio of no-scores: Silverstone, where he spun off in sprint qualifying, Hungaroring, where Valtteri Bottas took him out, and Spa, where he spun on the waterlogged reconnaissance lap and couldn’t start the half-points ‘race’ behind the Safety Car from his grid position.

After eighth place at Zandvoort, where he was eliminated in Q1, Perez was still outside the championship top four in a car which had won eight of the first 13 rounds. But he gave a better account of himself over the final third of the season, trimming his qualifying deficit to Verstappen and becoming a more regular thorn in Mercedes’ side.

Perez played the rear-gunner role well in Turkey, rebuffing Hamilton in a thrilling scrap on his way to the first of three consecutive podium finishes. The last of those came in front of his home fans in Mexico, having chased down Hamilton on a day when Red Bull were particularly strong, though he was unable to get by the Mercedes.

Qatar saw an ill-timed qualifying slip as he fell short of Q3 again, though he worked his way forward to repeat his fourth place from the previous round. He slipped backwards early on in Saudi Arabia, however, before going out in a collision with Charles Leclerc.

But at the season finale he played the number two role to absolute perfection, and can claim a small measure of credit for Verstappen’s title win, as he prevented Hamilton having a free reign on strategy. Red Bull could point to several days where Perez missed out on points which ultimately lost them the constructors’ title, but he still made a valuable contribution to Verstappen’s success when his team needed him most.

What’s your verdict on Sergio Perez’s 2021 season? Which drivers do you feel he performed better or worse than? Have your say in the comments. Add your views on the other drivers in the comments.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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78 comments on “2021 F1 driver rankings #11: Sergio Perez”

  1. I keep reading he closed the gap to max over the season. I just don’t see it.

    1. Liikely cause the actual numbers show he didn’t.
      Perez may have ‘outqualified’ Verstappen once in Imola, but only cause of a minor tracklimit by Verstappen. His advantage lasted nearly less than the gap in quali. After 26 laps the gap was over 30 sec…. that’s around 1.15 sec slower/lap.

      He won in Baku after Verstappen and Hamilton where out of the contention…though ‘bang on Vertappens pace’?
      In the second stint Verstappen pulled away with an average gap of 0.28 sec/lap…over 15 laps.

      Just a couple of random races over the season…
      Spain gap over 23 laps, 0.92 sec/lap
      France gap over 17 laps 0.43 sec/lap
      Italy gap over 22 laps, 0.56 sec/lap
      US gap over 9 laps, 0.39 sec/lap
      Qatar gap over 16 laps, 1.72 sec/lap
      Abu Dabi gap over 12 lap, 0.28 sec/lap

      Perez simply didn’t improve, at least it doesn’t show in the numbers, his defense against Lewis was good racing, but it made me wonder…..why this late in the season? More worrying and something for RB to think about…Gasly outqualified Perez in no less than 8 sessions and was right behind Perez on the grid in another 5.
      With grid position being key in modern F1…what’s keeping RB…?

      1. Absolutely agree, gasly was great this season and perez poor, but let’s not forget gasly was also worse than perez was now when he was given a red bull chance, so quite a gamble if you assume he can be a fisichella-type driver to give him again a red bull seat. I’d give him a 5 race contract, if his times are such that it doesn’t seem he’s driving a red bull, swap back.

        1. Why are you comparing Gasly to Fisichella? When actually it is Perez’s career that is eerily similar to Fisichella. Do you think drivers doesn’t have any self-pride to accept 5-race contracts? That’s so stupid. And seems desperate. Gasly will rather go elsewhere.

      2. Which make you think only one thing. If the same driver would drive the RB and AT. How much faster would the RB actually be?

    2. Sergio’s achievement: “Repelled Lewis Hamilton for 2 laps.” How is that even an achievement when that is clearly the obstruction of the race leader.? How the sport has changed.

      1. clearly the obstruction of the race leader

        Perez was the race leader at the time.

      2. I’d argue the actual damning fact is, while we keep about Perez improving over the season and while the defensive driving was absolutely top notch (and Max could really take a page out of Sergio’s book there), it was also only happening because Perez was basically one pit stop down after 15 laps with respect to the leaders. Yeah he was on the Ferrari-forgot-about-Kimi strategy, but still.

  2. If Perez is 11th having been so roundly thrashed, Verstappen must be the greatest driver ever.

    The other answer is that car is so optimised for one particular driver, no one else can get near to that pace. Vettel’s success in his championship years makes that a possibility.

    1. I think you got it right and that’s probably why Daniel left. He could see Red Bull rallying around Max because that’s the strategy that worked in the Vettel years. It does pay off, but it’s up to the 2nd driver to change their style and adapt. Changing a driving style doesn’t mean a faster driving style though.

    2. Not really. Webber was super close to Vettel in 2010 and half of 2012, and overall ocassionally faster.

      Verstappen meanwhile, is faster than Perez all the time bar Imola qualifying.

      If the car is tailored to VER, surely Perez should have beaten from time to time like Webber did to Vettel?

      That shows how good Verstappen is. Similarly so HAM with Bottas.

      1. What?🤣🤣
        Vettel won 29 races in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Webber only won 3. 29:3 is a very rare occurence.
        For example Hamilton won 30 races in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Bottas won 7. 30:7 is a more frequent occurence than 3:29. To top all of them Webber never even finished P2 in the championship. Shows how good Vettel was. And Webber is a very credible driver who has beaten Heidfeld, Rosberg and Coulthard in his career. Meanwhile Perez’s greatest achievement is beating micky mouse Stroll and getting outqualified by both Hulkenberg and Ocon in 4 out of 5 seasons.

      2. Webber wasn’t actually that close to Vettel in 2010. Webber had pretty much no reliability issues in 2010 while Vettel lost 3 wins (Australia, Bahrain and Korea) total of 63 points lost.

        In the first half of 2012 Webber did look close to Vettel but I think that’s due to the blown diffuser getting banned after Vettel mastered it in 2011. Took some time for him to re-adjust. But there weren’t a lot of races Webber finished ahead of Vettel in the first half (5/11) and two of them were Malaysia and Valencia (Vettel taken out by Karthikeyan and Vettel retiring from the lead). So it’s really 3-8 towards Vettel.

    3. It makes one wonder how RBR built the 2016 car around Verstappen without him actually driving it for one single second.
      Just practice and quali and won his first race in a car completely new to him…. in the races following he was ahead of Ricciardo more often than not.

      People trying to deny, Verstappen’s exceptional talent….

  3. I was looking forward to seeing whether Perez or Bottas would rate higher in these rankings and I believe Keith has made the right decision. Yes, Perez’s defence against Hamilton in Abu Dhabi was sensational, and he was also impressive in that regard in Turkey, while Bottas’ racecraft is among the worst on the grid and he never helped his teammate in the same way.
    But looking at the whole season, Bottas was generally far closer to the pace of Hamilton than Perez was to Verstappen, so gets the nod from my perspective. With the exception of Imola and USA, Perez never remotely looked like he might outqualify Verstappen, and Baku was the only occasion in which his race pace was comparable. And even then, he lucked into the race win when Verstappen got the puncture, while Bottas’ win was far more on merit. Hamilton should have been on pole, but his race was less impressive, and Bottas also lost what should have been his win in Monza.
    At the end of the season, Bottas finished with 36 points more than Perez, and the luck was probably similar. Perez lost third in Abu Dhabi, while Bottas lost second in Monaco. Both had races where they went missing, but Bottas more so. But the crucial point is that Bottas was quicker than Perez this year, and the cars were incredibly evenly matched (I make it eleven races where Mercedes were faster, and ten for Red Bull). Admittedly, the Red Bull looks as though it is set up to suit Verstappen’s driving style, and the success that Perez had before coming to Red Bull and Gasly has had since suggests that it is particularly difficult to be the second driver there. But as that is impossible to quantify, I don’t think it should be included in the rankings.
    I think Perez will have a far more difficult time next season when the Red Bull is most likely less competitive, and 2022 will be his last season for the team. But I expect his replacement to have just as difficult a time, and that he will be more successful if he returns to the midfield, as he was before joining Red Bull.
    Interestingly, Sergio Perez had more Driver of the Day wins than any other driver this season in the official poll with four, and ranked sixth in the fan rankings. But his four wins were Bahrain, Portimao, Zandvoort, Mexico, and in all of these occasions he was clearly slower than Verstappen, so won zero racefans polls. I think it goes to show how much more meaningful the racefans polls are than the official ones, which are apparently just popularity contests or ‘who entertained me most this weekend’ contests.
    I thought Perez did okay this season, given the circumstances with the difficult job of being the second Red Bull driver, and he certainly did his job to help the team. But it is right to rank him below Bottas, as the raw speed was just not there compared to his fellow number two.

    1. Spot on!

      You wrote about 11 races where Mercedes was faster than Red Bull and 10 of those the other way round, I guess you meant Monza was where McLaren were the fastest of the lot?

      1. I missed Spa where it was impossible to tell.

      2. Mclaren wasn’t fastest in monza, that was probably mercedes, but none had the pace to pass ricciardo.

      3. I*d go Mercedes 12×9 Red Bull Racing

        Mercedes: Imola, Portimao, Barcelona, Silverstone, Hungary, Monza, Sochi, istanbul, Interlagos to the end.

        1. So RBR the faster car in:
          Bahrain, with a 0.7 gap on the finish line?
          Monaco, with Mercedes’ slower driver 0.025 sec off pole?
          Baku, with Lewis ahead on the grid, but a very slow pitstop, being in DRS from Perez lap after lap?
          France, when Max did an incrdidble aggressive undercut and two Merc drivers in DRS for 12 consequtive laps?
          Belgium, in the wet whit Russell in second?
          Zandvoort, with a 0.038 gap in Q3?

          In all those races the drivers made the difference, not the cars

    2. BW (@deliberator)
      15th January 2022, 0:52

      Agree with pretty much everything you said – especially the part about the polls. Even Raikkonen got “driver of the day” in the last round which shows the viewers’ priorities…

  4. Patrick Chapman
    14th January 2022, 18:22

    Both Perez and Ricciardo won races last season and yet niether of them are ranked in the top 10. So how many people above them won races? I think that ranking the drivers compared to their teamates is unrealistic and skews the rankings. Both of them were in their first season with a new team to them. what more do you want from them in order to get a realistic ranking.

    1. Sainz was in a new team and next to Leclerc and he looked a lot better

    2. *with respect to Perez or Ricciardo

    3. Pérez is a better, unselfish and seasoned driver, than those young kids, specially Gasly…2022 season will show Perez’s “never quit” and “the best is yet to come”, driver mantras…Go Red Bull

    4. Being in your first year to a new team is not an acceptable excuse for poor performances.

      Especially when drivers like Russell can jump in an unfamiliar car and be immediately on the pace.

      1. @Nandy Not all cars are equally easy to drive. Maybe Bottas and Hamilton left a lot of performance on the table.
        We only saw a Bottas vs Russel once. Maybe Lewis would’ve been .8s a lap faster than both of them, maybe not…
        2022 will tell us a lot more about Russel, but even then: All cars and tires are new-ish in 2022, while the previous years were evolutions giving an advantage to the recurrent drivers.

      2. Mate, Russell jumped to a car that was 2 seconds faster that any other drive that seasson an yet was unable to score a podium.

    5. Ricciardo shouldn’t be anywhere near the top ten. Yes, he had one impressive race win, and Spain and USA were both good races as well, but for most of the season he was a long way off the pace of Lando Norris. Every race should be weighted equally in the ranking, so one good race doesn’t make up for around 15 bad ones. And winning a race shouldn’t be given too much weight either considering the drivers are in strong cars. Sergio Perez’s win in Baku driving a Red Bull, the fastest car on the day, was certainly not more impressive than Vettel’s drive to second in an Aston Martin. And I don’t think we should be giving so much sympathy to drivers moving to new teams. I understand it more with Perez because of the struggles that Gasly and Albon had at Red Bull, but the fact that none of the three really improved makes me think it is a problem with being the second driver at a team built around Verstappen, rather than being a new driver. If we look at other drivers in recent seasons in new teams (not including Red Bull for previously stated reasons):
      Carlos Sainz – right on the pace almost immediately.
      Sebastian Vettel – much better than 2020, and struggled in the first few races before getting back on form (admittedly not pre-2020 form).

      Esteban Ocon – the only one, and admittedly was much slower than expected, but he had been out of Formula 1 for a year and a half which was probably more to blame than the new team.

      Charles Leclerc – on the pace immediately
      Carlos Sainz – on the pace immediately
      Daniel Ricciardo – pretty much on the pace by midseason.
      Lance Stroll – difficult to judge, but seemed at a similar level to 2018 very quickly.
      Kimi Raikkonen – on the pace immediately

      Carlos Sainz – took a couple of races to adjust but was soon performing as expected.

      Valtteri Bottas – on the pace immediately
      Esteban Ocon – difficult to judge, but appeared stronger than at Manor
      Nico Hulkenberg – on the pace immediately
      Kevin Magnussen – stronger than at Renault
      Pascal Wehrlein – on the pace immediately

      Apologies if I’ve missed anyone, but I think this shows that drivers in new teams have never dropped off the pace as much as Ricciardo has in 2021 these last few seasons. I think he is a very good driver, but 2021 was a shocker and 13th was probably generous.

      1. Agree with this, especially with the fact that a win, as deserved as it was (perez didn’t deserve baku more than verstappen, ricciardo probably deserved monza more than anyone, unsure about bottas) doesn’t make up for 15 bad races and that number is surprisingly close to reality.

      2. You forget a few important things here: Testing was limited (a lot) in 2021 and only small changes to the cars, so the new guy was compared to the teammate that had prior knowledge.

  5. I just can’t fathom Perez being behind Bottas. Perez did his rear-gunner job much more effectively than Bottas when called upon. Both were some way off their teammates. In addition, Perez had the handicap of being new to his team. I don’t have any issue with him being this low down, but Bottas should be a place behind him.

    1. Agreed. To be honest I’d put Bottas in the bottom five. Every other race he seemed to find creative ways to perform terribly and make Ham look far better than he is!

      1. Agree! But Bottas should be around 15th or lower…

      2. Only Nikita Mazepin has been conceivably more useless than Valtteri, and to be sure I would like to see them both in the same machinery. Finishing lower than second in a Merc is an absolute failure. And don’t get me started about racecraft, or lack thereof.

        Somehow I still expect to see Robert Kubica in the top ten leaving Valtteri in an implicit @21

        And no, I do not ha te or even dislike Valtteri, he seems a nice enough bloke, he is just not F1 material.

        1. Do you think Valterri cares about what you think?😆
          He is in the top 10 all time in terms of podiums in F1 history and helped Merc won 5 consecutive constructors titles lol.

          1. No, that’s why I’m not addressing him

            And of course I know his stats, but my hamster in a Merc would have done better

    2. How? Bottas got more points than perez and was more often on pace despite similar luck for the 2, check the mid season ranking, again perez behind, simply cause bottas did a better job, he was more consistently doing the minimum accepted for a mercedes, perez was too often way below the minimum he should do at red bull.

    3. If perez had performed like bottas, red bull would’ve won the constructors, think about that!

      1. @esploratore1 I get your sentiment towards SP in terms of his numbers as they stand on their own given the car, but I still would have put him ahead of VB in this ranking. Glad to see you at least have VB 10th in a post below.

        As I see it, at least wrt comparing VB and SP, at least SP did help disrupt LH a few times for Max whereas VB was incapable of disrupting Max for LH, bowling experience aside. VB started his 5th season at Merc and SP was always going to be on his hind foot at least for the first number of races because of that. At least, if we acknowledge F1 is supposed to be hard, and is. To me at least SP showed some racecraft.

        Shame on VB for only finishing 36 points ahead of SP as he should have been way stronger way more consistently starting from race one given his time and experience at Mercedes. Mercedes should have had the Constructors sealed up way before they did but for yet another season of VB showing no progress after 5 years in the WCC car. As I say the key for me is that SP was new to his team and they to him. VB should hang his head at yet another season wasted with that car….well, he did help them for the WCC but only just.

        So, winding the clock forward to the new cars and theoretically tires that won’t require nearly the effort to keep in their optimum window, the drivers on a more or less equal footing with all the cars new to all the drivers, my money would be on SP over VB in terms of actual racing, any day.

        1. Do you think Valterri cares about what you think?😆
          He is in the top 10 all time in terms of podiums in F1 history and helped Merc won 5 consecutive constructors titles lol.

          1. Janith Do you think any of the drivers care about anything that is said by us armchair enthusiasts on F1 sites?

          2. Duplicate comment detected.
            Janith does seem to care about what we think, at least enough to be bothered to answer.

    4. Bottas is super fast and picked up a great win when Hamilton was compromised in Turkey (and should have had a great podium in Monaco). He was frequently disappointing in relation to Hamilton but Perez was relatively much further behind verstappen, in both quali and the race.

  6. When there is two teams capable of winning the championship, the hope is that all four drivers can be contenders. We were lucky neither Red Bull nor Mercedes were solely dominant last year. It’s clear an intra-team battle would been very one-sided.

    1. Like 2007?🤔
      I mean Massa fell off only at the end. That was a fabulous season. That is the best example I can think of.

      1. I’m not a stats person, but you’re right, it doesn’t seem to happen often. The 2010 season almost gave us five contenders across three teams. Another great season.

        1. Yeah but in 2010 Massa was far off the others. It was more like 5 contenders across three teams. Button only fell off at the penultimate round. Maybe if Ferrari join the title hunt we will see something like this in 2022. With Perez maybe the odd man out and others fighting for the title.

  7. Beat team mate in qualifying 1/21
    Beat team mate in race 1/18
    Races finished 20/22
    Laps spent ahead of team mate 95/1100
    Qualifying margin +0.44s
    Points 190

    Omg, this is worse than I remembered!

    1. He was no help to Max really over the season. Not even a bowling incident to wipe out the Mercs to even things up.
      I like Perez though, I hope he gets closer next year and has a good season.

  8. So overall I’m glad to see bottas ranked higher than perez, cause otherwise would’ve been unfair, but I’m guessing bottas should be next now, I’d imagine something like:

    1) verstappen
    2) hamilton
    3) norris
    4) gasly
    5) leclerc
    6) sainz
    7) alonso
    8) ocon
    9) russell
    10) bottas

    With maybe some doubt between gasly and leclerc, points don’t tell the whole story at ferrari and I have no doubt leclerc should be ahead of sainz, but harder to compare with gasly, who had a worse car and was excellent in many events.

    1. Norris can never beat Sainz and you put him ahead? 😏
      What a joke.

      1. How much do you want to bet he will be 3rd in this year’s racefans rankings?

        1. Norris will never beat Sainz in the World Drivers Championship. If someone thinks Norris should be ahead of Sainz in any rankings that’s just pure British bias.

      2. The relative performance of the two drivers last season and the year before is not important for this seasons’ rankings. Drivers’ level changes over time, otherwise you wouldn’t get situations like at Haas where Grosjean was better in 2017 but Magnussen was better in 2018. Carlos Sainz was slightly better than Lando Norris at McLaren last season and the year before, but this seasons Norris was definitely the third-best driver. Over the whole season, he had more bad luck than Sainz, although the cars were very similar in performance. And Norris would have beaten Sainz in the championship if it weren’t for the puncture in Qatar; you can’t say he will never beat Sainz when such small, luck-based occurrences make the difference.

        I mostly agree with esploratore’s rankings, and would not change any driver by more than one spot.

        1. But Magnussen beat Grosjean the following season. Norris never beat Sainz in F1 and may never will. Just pure British bias. Sainz was definitely the third best driver. If Norris was definitely the third best driver he doesn’t need luck on his side to beat Sainz.

    2. I’d place the Ferrari duo ahead of Norris/Gasly.

      1. This answer can go to the other poster too: ferrari had a better car than mclaren and even more so than alfa tauri, but like I said I don’t mind leclerc being ahead of gasly, we shall see what happens.

    3. For what its worth, this is how I would rank the remaining ten…

      10 Bottas
      9 Ocon
      8 Russell
      7 Sainz
      6 Alonso
      5 Leclerc
      4 Gasly
      3 Norris
      2 Hamilton
      1 Verstappen

      Observation: this is by weighing each race equally.

      1. @magon4 This is pretty close to my rankings, although 4th to 7th are so close that they are virtually interchangeable to me and I haven’t really come to a conclusion on it.

  9. Pérez so far gets the biggest drop relative to his position in the WDC (-7). It’s understandable given how comprehensively he was beaten, but there’s more to a driver in his role – and perhaps a fairer comparison is to his ‘colleague’ Valtteri Bottas.

    First the bad: Pérez had a worse qualifying (6.4 to 3.7) and race (6.1 to 5.0) average than Bottas. I’ve excluded Abu Dhabi where Pérez was classified 15th. If you round down to the nearest full number, Pérez did not better than the Ferrari duo – with both ending on 6th place. Pérez scored significantly fewer points than Bottas, with 190 to the Finn’s 226 (the difference being bigger than between Mercedes and Red Bull in the WCC, if only just). While more than once good on the defense, Pérez lacked the pace to put pressure. He finished right behind Hamilton in France, the USA, and Mexico and also didn’t really play a role in the two races in Austria. Especially in Austria and Mexico the Red Bull should have been able to take 1-2s, but Pérez instead trailed Hamilton, allowing him to take a solid number of extra WDC points.

    Then the good: Bottas beat Verstappen just once, in Turkey, where he denied the Dutchman 7 points and took the fastest lap point. Throughout the rest of the season, Verstappen never really had to bother himself with Bottas. Pérez outscored Hamilton three times: in Monaco, where he had a solid race, in Azerbaijan where he arguably led Hamilton to make a ‘forced error’ which cost the Mercedes driver 18 to 25 points, in Turkey, where he complicated Hamilton’s race and eventually ended up in front after the latter’s additional pitstop. Pérez race was also sacrificed to run interference for Verstappen multiple times, with Abu Dhabi being a prime example where his blocking denied Mercedes the option to make a ‘free’ pitstop.

    11th puts him behind Bottas, Russel and Gasly. There’s arguments for that, and where these guys rank probably mostly depends on which factors of their seasons you emphasize.

    To sum up, Pérez definitely contributed to Verstappen’s WDC campaign but came up short to help Red Bull also take the WCC, and will be looking to improve across the board. Whether or not his spot at the team for 2023 is in doubt probably depends on how well Tsunoda and Gasly do in 2022.

    1. Absolutely, agree with this, however don’t forget bottas hungary performance, he took away a lot of points from red bull.

  10. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    15th January 2022, 14:32

    As a wingman and roadblock, he’s definitely #11. As a driver, I was recently told that they have removed the mirrors at Red Bull’s Headquarters so Checo doesn’t have to look at himself in the mirror and puke.

  11. I’m surprised many articles/publications don’t mention this. Facts are facts. The points gap of 205.5 between Verstappen and Perez is the biggest intra-team gap in Formula 1 history.😏

    1. Interesting. Did a quick google and for example Vettel scored 198 more than Webber in 2013 with 3 fewer races than 2021 and no Sprints nor fastest lap points available. And of course as we know there are many ways drivers can contribute to their teams and/or are more desirable to retain than others in terms of attitude and feedback etc etc. Seems like SP fits in at RBR like a glove.

      1. But this is not a great record to have. Webber lost his seat to Ricciardo after the 2013 season. I feel like the only reason Perez has the seat for 2022 is because Red Bull are tired of changing their second drivers. They started with Gasly in 2019. With Albon in 2020. And Perez in 2021. If Ferrari becomes a front running team in 2022 Perez will have even more trouble getting close to Max. In 2013 there were 4 front running teams(Red Bull, Mercedes, Lotus and Ferrari)

        1. Janith Yeah true not a great record to have and fair enough to your point about 2013. Just that from what I can tell it seems like SP is a really good guy for them to have at RBR right now in terms of overall fit and personality and performance all combined. Of course they wanted him to do better than he did but I think they of all people would know exactly why SP struggled when he did, and I get the feeling they appreciate the effort he put in in spite of the numbers he (didn’t) produce. I think they consider that this season is an unknown for everyone and there is lots of positive to be said of SP as they proceed in this entirely new chapter to come. Let’s see if SP can rise to the occasion now that he is more engrained on the team and everyone is starting off fresh with these wholly new cars.

    2. Interesting, and not a very good stat to have. But of course it is not very meaningful, as the total number of points for a season has changed drastically along F1 history. With the old scoring systems there were a lot less points, and typically also fewer races. And there’s also the FLAP and sprint points nowadays.

      Maybe correcting for the present scoring system there was a greater intrateam gap in points somewhere in the past, but my guess is probably not, because the racing calendars were shorter. Someone cares to check?

      Another way of looking at it is the proportion of the teammate’s points (above a minimum, of course it would not do comparing last year’s Latifi’s 0 points to Russell’s 3 points). This season Checo scored 48.04% of Max’s points; it has been pointed above that Mark Webber had 198 points less that Seb in 2013, this one goes to 50.1% of Seb’s points, slightly better than Checo. Heikki Kovalainen got a little better with 54.1% in 2008, also Giancarlo Fisichella, 53.7% of Fernando Alonso’s points in 2006. But in 2005, Fisico got only 43.6% of Fred’s points (58/133) and in 2001 Rubens Barrichello got 45.5% of Schuey’s points (56/123) so I think it is fair to say that both got beaten more thoroughly than Checo this year. And I have only checked from 2000 and for gap between the WDCs and their teammates

      BTW, at the beginning of the 2014 season everybody and their uncle predicted that Kimi would wipe the floor with Fred at Fezza, but then the Kimster only got 34.2% of Fred’s points (55/161) which has to be the more thorough beating by a teammate of a former WDC in F1 history. Fred went on collecting 54 points in 2016 for Jenson’s 21 point, that’s 38.9% of Fred’s points, another former WDC thrashed. The returned Schuey got also pretty well beaten by Nico Rosberg, but always managed > 50% of NR’s points, better than Checo then.

      So ok, Checo surely has the record in absolute points for the gap, but it does not tell the whole story. There have been much worse defeats in F1, even of former WDC’s

      1. Yes of course. Although these lesser amount of point scores like Button and Alonso are not really good measures. There aren’t many points available. It makes a lot more sense to compare points gap/percentage of points between drivers in top teams. I think if you compare Albon’s percentage of points compared to Max in 2020 and Perez’s percentage of points to Max in 2021 they will be surprisingly similar. The only deference is Perez had a championship contending car in 2021 while in 2020 Mercedes was the dominant car. This made Perez look better than he actually was. If he had 2020 Red Bull car it is more than likely he will get beaten by Sainz, Leclerc and Norris.

        1. if you compare Albon’s percentage of points …

          Easy, 105/214, 49.1%, same ballpark but slightly better than Checo

          1. This raises the question how good that Racing Point was in 2020. I definitely think Perez performed better in 2020 than 2021. But even Lance Stroll got 2 podiums and a Pole Position with it. Hulkenberg came in and qualified on the front row. It definitely was much more closer to Red Bull than it first seemed. I’m especially disappointed in Perez in 2021 for not getting a win on merit or even a Pole Position.

        2. Also the 2020 Redbull was a really difficult car to drive, Albon struggled more in 2020 than he did shifting to Redbull in his rookie season midway in 2019. The 2021 Redbull was supposed to have fixed the issues with the 2020 car.

  12. I guess bottad5is 10 then.
    Personally I would have switched places.
    Bottas is used to team and a vastly superior car for 5 years on a row. Perez only one season in a very different car and very different engine.

    1. Checo did contribute to Max’s WDC, particularly by closing the gap in the last race and ruining Merc’s chances for a defensive pitstop, “Checo is a legend” said Max, deservedly.
      But it can be argued that Valtteri’s contributions to an eventual Merc victory were even greater:
      1- Bowling at Hungaroring, taking out both RBR’s and also Lando for good measure
      2- Colliding with Russell at Imola, causing the red flag that allowed the thrashed #44 to recover 19 points (flap included)

      Which shows that even a stopped watch gives the correct time twice a day

  13. I think 11th is fair in one sense as he did drop a lot of points and miss out on a lot of podiums he should have comfortably had. But I do think people’s reactions on here claiming he was so bad are way off the mark. I see Checo building momentum into this season and doing much better. He has banked all the knowledge of driving that Honda engine. He is building a team around himself and their understanding will grow. He should be much more comfortable in the team and able to find a better direction with the new car sooner, especially if the engineers are listening to his feedback. I actually think with the new aero regulations, much of what Max enjoyed that created rear instability is less likely to be a thing with the ground effect seemingly ruling out the high rake.

  14. Sorry, misplaced comment, was meant as a reply to Janith, 17:38 comment

  15. Putting him behind BOT could be controversial, however ranking performance against team mate into an overall battle does throw up interesting results in a top 23 ranking.

    PER did well towards the end, as the article does acknowledge, however for a driver who needs to drive a car that has been solely designed to meet the partner’s preferences is always going to be a challenge. It has been proven beyond doubt that RedBull is difficult to drive (ALB, GAS exits), and VER is so good with it still speaks a lot about VER and less about the Car.

    In contrast, BOT had the team and the car for 5 years and yet performed sub-optimal to what could have been… I would not say 11th is unfair, but in comparison to BOT, given the circumstances, performed better to get to 4th on WDC.

  16. Yes he won another race a few podiums, most of best overtakes and end up 4th in WCC again and contract renewed with a hefty raise, but this guy also deny Ham 8th win so let’s put him on 18th already !

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