- S​ebastian Vettel’s much-anticipated move to Aston Martin leaves Sergio Pérez without a seat for 2021.

W​ill Pérez Checo-in to Red Bull‘s heartbreak hotel?

2​020 has been a season defined by the unexpected, but don‘t assume it’s all over just yet.

38w ago

Sergio Pérez is one of many drivers who fits into the unenviable category of having the skills, but not the results. His 10 years in Formula 1 have proven to many that he has the ability to fight with the very best, but so far, the machinery to do so has escaped him. The Mexican driver began his career with Sauber in 2011, moving to McLaren to replace Hamilton, just as he began his career at Mercedes, the beginning of the team’s domination that we’re still talking about today. Just a year later, 3 years after his debut, Pérez moved to the then-Force India. His dedication to Vijay Mallya’s team led him to put them into administration even when said owner became unable to fund it, which saved hundreds of jobs and ensured the team’s future in motorsport. For a driver that was tipped at the start of career to fight with Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel, and yet committed so much to a midfield team, everyone felt that Pérez departure was cruel, especially when there’s an ever-decreasing number of seats left.

Pérez could fit into a number of the remaining empty slots, though. At Haas, he would provide invaluable experience rebuilding a struggling team: at Alfa Romeo, he would work alongside the team that knew him as a rookie. For both teams, Pérez comes with experience, both in racing and growing success of a team. Oh, and money.

A lot of it.

Pérez’s extensive list of sponsors was one of the reasons he was chosen over Esteban Ocon back in 2018, when Lawrence Stroll purchased Force India - a deal which, remember, Sergio himself instigated. F1 is always twisty. Clearly, Checo likes good Wi-Fi, as has the backing of 3 telecommunications companies, which provide a substantial income for his team. For Haas and Alfa Romeo, especially with new financial regulations, investment like this could change everything - like they have at Racing Point.

There’s another possibility I haven’t yet mentioned, though - Red Bull. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “Amelia, they’re doing a balancing act with 2 talented drivers as it is, they don’t need another”. I’d be inclined to agree, but if Dietrich Mateschitz was happy with 2 drivers, he wouldn’t have 2 teams in Formula 1. Whilst the last 2 races have shown that Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly have more than enough talent to go around, something they seriously lack is experience. Sergio Pérez has spent double the time in F1 than Gasly and Albon combined, and might be the change that fits Red Bull’s second seat perfectly. Yuki Tsunoda is providing spectacular performances in F2, and Daniil Kvyat is a reliable driver for Alpha Tauri, but if Helmut Marko decides to bin the Russian before promoting his Japanese teammate to F1, Red Bull actually - prepare yourselves - don’t have any junior careers left to ruin *or make*. I know.

Pérez might be the best option for Red Bull, especially because he isn’t a hotshot rookie - he knows how to race. Moreover, if he fails to make an impact in Albon’s current seat, it forces Christian Horner and co. to make a serious assessment on their culture.

Oh, and back to the money (come on, it’s Formula 1). I mentioned the superpower telecommunications companies that Pérez brings with him, and of course, a team would be crazy to overlook them. Perhaps this is less so for the “top 3”, but even with the 2022 Financial Regulations, Red Bull losing Aston Martin as their lead sponsor puts them on the back foot to Mercedes. Whilst we all know Ferrari seem to be behind the Milton Keynes-based team right now, there are some serious competitors, namely Renault, McLaren - and most significantly, Racing Point.

And just to mix it up a bit, where are Aston Martin going to? Racing Point. Told you F1 was twisty.

To recap, that means that Red Bull’s current main sponsor is moving to Pérez’s current team, who, with Aston Martin’s helping hand, could end up fighting them for podiums every race very soon. Even if Pérez doesn’t want to move to the energy drinks manufacturer team, I have a feeling he’s going to have Christian Horner’s phone number by the end of the year.

Does this mean Pérez is going to Red Bull Racing for 2021? Probably not. Christian Horner did mention the 30-year-old’s name in Mugello, that was before Albon claimed his first podium. Movistar did report that Pérez manager had been in contact with Red Bull, but according to their press team, this was because the same team manage Sebastian Buemi, who drove for Red Bull a decade ago (although that in itself is a wildcard - let me know if you want to see a piece on it).

As for Pérez, Alfa Romeo seemed keen to sign them, although they seem to have provisional lineup of Kimi Räikkönen and Mick Schumacher. Zak Brown also offered the Mexican an IndyCar seat for Arrow McLaren. Taking over the crown for Alonso? Perhaps it’ll go the way we expected for Pérez after all, one way or another.

Red Bull are likely to stick with their talent pool for 2021, but silly season’s never over till it’s over. Don’t look away.

If you enjoyed this piece, let me know! Contact me on Twitter (@formulaAMELIA), and drop me a comment!

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Comments (7)

  • Great article! Also, great pun 😂

    I don't think Perez will end up at Red Bull (most likely Haas in my opinion if anywhere in F1) but that being said, 2020 has been pretty crazy for Formula 1 so I can't rule out him going to Red Bull 100% 😅

      8 months ago
  • Brilliant piece Amelia! I would love to see Checo in a Red Bull, he would definitely make a good go at it and get a chance to mix it up at the front. Despite his sponsors, I'm not convinced Red Bull will give up on Albon, he seems a little more comfortable after Mugello.

      8 months ago
    • Definitely agree with you here. If it’s not broken (which it isn’t) don’t fix it.

        8 months ago
  • Great wishes, but it won't happen. Putting Perez ahead of Albon or Gasly would be like a little defeat to the junior program, and Marko is too proud and too stubborn to accept that. Red Bull has shown many times that 'inexperience' is not a limiting factor to promote a driver within their ladder. The most important responsibility of the #2 driver is to ensure constructor's championship points for the team and last year, despite all the promoting/demoting they did, their position in the constructor's championship was never in jeopardy and far from Ferrari, and this year is the same thing, despite Albon's 'slump' they are comfortably seating in second place with no challenger anywhere near... and even if they had two Verstappens, they wouldn't be challenging dominant Mercedes anyway. Next year nothing is going to change, rules are frozen and development limited. A name change won't make anybody competitive. Ferrari will carry over their foes.

    So, Red Bull having locked the second place in the constructor's championship this year and most likely the next, they have time to develop both Albon and Gasly and take a decision for the 2022 season.

      8 months ago
  • Although Red Bull would be an interesting option for Checo I think it more likely he will (if he stays in F1) go to HAAS, probably as you say with a rookie team mate to teach the ropes to (HAAS need a new line up.) Kimi is the cork in the bottle and possibly the reason Hulkenburg could be missing from the grid again next year - F1 needs more teams...

      8 months ago