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Why Perez can beat Verstappen in 2021

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Sergio Perez’s move to Red Bull was arguably the biggest move in the whole driver market in 2020 and will likely provide one of the spiciest teammate battles in the 2021 season. Aside from a stint at Mclaren in 2013, which didn’t go well for Checo, Sergio Perez has been waiting his whole career for a chance in a race-winning car so will likely relish this opportunity, and give every race his maximum effort, and if current form is anything to go off, he will take the fight to Max Every. Single. Race. Here at Formulanerds we think Perez has every chance of beating Max in 2021, here’s why: 

There is no question Checo is one of the most talented drivers on the grid today, and the fact that he came so close to not having a seat in 2021 was unbelievable. Red Bull will hopefully give Perez the chance he deserves to potentially fight for a world championship, as well as further race wins. Checo heads into the 2021 season full of confidence, he got his first win at the Sakhir Grand Prix as well as finishing 4th in the driver championship despite missing the two Silverstone races after contracting COVID-19, and many considered him the driver of the season.

Red Bull have had a second driver problem ever since Daniel Ricciardo left for Renault. Both Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon have struggled massively in the second Red Bull, mainly with the rear end of the car. With Dr Marko saying no Red Bull young drivers were ready to step into the main team (a GIANT snub to Gasly) they were forced to look elsewhere. As luck would have it Racing Point (now Aston Martin) made the decision to release Perez to make way for 4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, despite him having a very disappointing 2020 campaign. The Milton Keynes team will hope Checo brings them luck in 2020.

Many will assume Perez comes in as a ‘second’ driver to Red Bulls superstar Max Verstappen but I am almost certain Perez will not settle for second best. I feel we will see similarities to the situation at Ferrari in 2019, when Leclerc came into the team as a second driver to Vettel, but soon established himself as being on par with Vettel, if not being the teams preferred driver. I am not suggesting Sergio will be preferred to Max, but I feel they’ll be on the same level after a few races.

Perez out-qualified Verstappen on two occasions, in a slower car, a feat which Albon never managed despite being in the same car. A stat which Checo will take hope from in 2021. Checo’s racecraft cannot be overestimated  either, his race win in 2020 was made even more remarkable by the fact that he was plum last after lap one, thanks to incredible overtaking (as well as a well-timed VSC) he was able to get back to the front. Checo also had an extraordinary way of managing his tyres, which allows him to take alternate strategies not many others would, giving him a chance to put a spanner in the works in 2021.

Finally, Perez only has a one year contract, so every race matters to him to secure his seat for 2022, and with Gasly, Albon and others knocking on the door he is under lots of pressure. And to use the words of former teammate Lance Stroll ‘Diamonds are made under pressure’.

2021 will be an exciting season with this battle and others to look forward to, watch this space.

 

  1. Checo drove the 2019 Mercedes with the incredible 2020 engine , why do you think that was a slower car then Albon’s RB on powertracks ?
    You really think Gasly and Albon settled for second best from the start, lets just hope, because of his experience Perez keeps calm and sticks to his driving style against Max .

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