Checo VS Hulk: The Race To RedBull
Who is more likely to clinch the second seat at RedBull to team up with Max?
Since the beginning of the 2020 F1 season, Alex Albon has been struggling to match his teammate, Max Verstappen in the RB16. Despite securing his first podium with the Bulls at Mugello, he lacked the required pace to keep up with his teammate and help the team to mount a proper challenge to Mercedes strategy-wise. Couple that with a few mistakes that cost him a couple of podiums and valuable points gives the perfect recipe for failure.
RedBull are doing everything they can to help him secure his seat such as supporting him publicly and emphasizing that he is their #1 choice and changing his race engineer to the experienced Simon Rennie however, Albon's results are not encouraging to a team that is trying to win the championship. The pressure took a toll on Albon's mentality lately, which was noticeable in his radio message "They Race Me So Hard!" at the Eifel GP.
His results have pushed Helmut Marko & Christian Horner to consider bringing in a new driver to replace Albon but from outside the RedBull academy. Something that they did last time when they brought in Mark Webber. A move that proved to be successful.
Given that both Hulkenberg and Checo Perez are available next year and they are very experienced, they automatically became the contenders to this exclusive and highly rewarding race. However, which one is more likely to get that seat?
Nico Hulkenberg (33 y/o) earned the "Super Sub" nickname, he came off the couch on short notice to get in a car that he has never driven before, experienced the immense G forces, and delivered great results twice this season so far. It's worth noting that Nico has been out of F1 since the end of the 2018 season. His results this season were very very impressive not only to F1 fans but also to everyone in the paddock. However, Nico's kryptonite is podiums. He has never finished on a podium ever in his entire F1 career, not because he doesn't deserve it. But, it's mainly due to bad luck which might have created a mental obstacle for him.
On the other hand, Checo (30 y/o) is also very experienced and he is delivering great results in his R.P.20. However, he has 8 podiums in his career so far and has scored more points in his career than Hulk. In addition, Checo has partnered with great teammates before such as Jenson Button, a qualification that RedBull is looking for in Max's teammate. Moreover, Checo has great financial backing behind him. That's a valuable asset to a team that is losing sponsors frequently. And due to these differentiating factors, we believe Checo is much closer to RedBull than fans' favorite Nico Hulkenberg if they decide to drop Alex Albon at the end of the season.
What do you think? Let's discuss in the comments below.
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