2021 Driver Market Rumour Round-Up
Albon, Hulkenberg, Perez and more feature as the 2021 driver market hots up.
Its been another busy week in the world of Formula 1 and with no action this weekend, lets take a look at the latest driver market rumours.
Red Bull Remain Bullish On Driver Options
Let's start with one of the big rumours this week, Helmut Marko has refused to rule out a move for free agents: Sergio Perez, 30 and Nico Hulkenberg, 33 should Alex Albon's performances not improve.
Speaking to German Broadcaster Sport 1, Marko said: "We can call the names that are available on the market, this is Hulkenberg and this is Perez. The question is how far away they would be from Max?"
Also speaking to Austrian Media Servus TV, Marko said: "Until now, we have always used drivers from our own junior team but there are none at the moment. So we may have to do what most of the other teams do and go for established drivers."
These comments come after another poor performance for Albon at the Eifel Grand Prix, which saw him drop through the field, take a time penalty for taking off Danill Kvyats front wing and ultimately retire the car due to a radiator problem.
Alex Albon, 24 is currently sat in P7 in the driver's championship with 64 points, whilst Perez is in P5 with 68 points, despite not taking part in two races due to testing positive for Covid-19.
Albon To Do A Gasly?
The latest rumours also suggest that Albon would not be dumped from the Red Bull F1 program altogether, but instead will be sent back to Alpha Tauri.
Red Bull are said to still be very happy with Albon and still believe he has a bright future ahead of him.
It is believed Daniil Kvyat, 26 will be making way for the Thai driver.
Albon had 12 races for then Toro Rosso in which he scored 16 points for the team and had an average finishing position of P10.
Alpha Tauri's Dilemma, Youth Or Experience?
Photo Credits: au.motorsport.com
Yuki Tsunoda, 20 has been highly tipped to be the next Alpha Tauri driver to potentially partner Alex Albon.
Alpha Tauri have already confirmed Tsunoda to be taking part in his first test at Imola on the 4th November, which will come at the wheel of the 2018 car.
Tsunoda is currently sat in P3 in the Formula 2 championship with two races to go, which would be enough guarantee him a Super License, a requirement to race in F1.
Nico Hulkenberg has also been linked with a move to Alpha Tauri, speaking on this Hulkenberg said: "Who knows. Time will tell but I think it's going to take a while."
This rumour would never have reached mainstream media two years ago, however with Toro Rosso's rebranding to Alpha Tauri, they have also shifted from a junior team to a sister team, meaning that they no longer have to solely focus on bringing Red Bull youth through.
What About Race Winner, Pierre Gasly?
Pierre Gasly, 24 is linked with a shock move to Renault to partner the returning Fernando Alonso.
This means Gasly would be a direct replacement for fellow Frenchman and direct rival, Esteban Ocon, 24, despite Ocon penning a 2 year deal for the 2020 season.
Ocon has had a difficult season in which he has not delivered on his return to F1 like many believed he would and is currently 8 places below his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo and 42 points behind.
Pierre Gasly is currently sat in P10 with 53 points, compared to Ocon who is sat in p12 with 36 points, despite being in an arguably better car.
Perez Ruled Out, Haas A"Maze"ingly "Pin" Hopes On Russian Driver.
Sorry for that pun, I know I can do better.
Perez has been reportedly ruled out of a move to Haas in 2021 despite financial backing from his sponsors.
Instead, Haas have had their heads turned by current Formula 2 driver Nikita Mazepin, 21 and more importantly, his very substantial financial backing.
Dmitry Mazepin, father of Nikita and Billionaire is ready to put an offer on the table that "F1 teams won't be able to refuse".
According to Motorsport.com: "Last weekend in Sochi there were meetings with several teams, and in particular it seems that Mazepin is interested in Haas. "
"To make the entry into the market of Mazepin a real 'earthquake', it is the conspicuous economic support that the Russian pilot can guarantee and, according to some insiders, Nikita's father, Dmtry, could put on the table an offer that it becomes difficult to give up."
Nikita Mazepin is currently sat in P6 in the Formula 2 championship with 140 points with 2 feature race wins.
Perez To Russell A Few Feathers At Williams?
The domino effect of Mazepin snatching the Haas seat means Sergio Perez has now turned his attention to Williams for 2021.
George Russell and Nicholas Latifi both have contracts for the 2021 season although this was before the takeover by Dorilton Capital and Sergio Perez has seemingly peaked their interest.
The driver making way for Perez would be George Russell.
George Russell is currently sitting 21st in the Drivers Championship with 0 points, Latifi is also on 0 points, Russell, however, does have a higher average Qualifying and Race finish.
Nicholas Latifi has a lot of backing and brings in a lot of money for Williams through his Father, Michael Latifi, whos company Sofina is featured on the Williams car.
Williams are notorious in recent seasons for choosing drivers based on their financial backing rather than pure racing ability with Latifi, Kubica and Maldonado all heavily backed by sponsors.
What do you think about these rumours? Will any of these happen? Have I missed out any rumours? Let me know in the comments below.