Vettel, Hulkenberg weren't 2021 F1 options for Red Bull

Red Bull says neither Sebastian Vettel nor Nico Hulkenberg were ever seriously considered for a 2021 race seat with the team.

Vettel, Hulkenberg weren't 2021 F1 options for Red Bull

With Red Bull weighing up its options from the middle of the season about whether or not to stick with Alex Albon or look elsewhere, both Vettel and Hulkenberg were linked with the Milton Keynes-based outfit.

Speaking after eventually signing Sergio Perez as Max Verstappen’s teammate for 2021, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said that the Mexican was the only driver that it looked at properly.

Asked if anyone else was evaluated seriously – especially amid Vettel rumours earlier this year – Horner said: “No. There was no other.

“There was a brief discussion with Nico Hulkenberg. But it's really accelerated over the last month, I would say.”

Read Also:

Horner said that it was Red Bull’s pure good luck that a top driver like Perez was a free agent at the very time when they were looking for the best candidate possible.

“It's remarkable and, I mean, circumstances are a little crazy, aren't they?” he said. “Nico Hulkenberg is another capable driver that should really have a seat in F1.

“But it was our good fortune that he [Perez] didn't have a seat and that allowed us the time, without him having any other options that he could pursue as a race seat, to fulfil the season with Alex before making a decision.”

While Red Bull has a young driver programme, Horner said that the team had had to make a pragmatic choice about what suited it best when it felt that none of the juniors were ready yet for a top-line F1 chance.

“There was no candidate on the junior program that was suitable,” said Horner. “So we decided to go outside of the program for the first time since 2007.

“It was impossible to ignore Sergio's performance this year. I think he's driven a great campaign. He's been truly impressive, particularly in the second half of the season, and he's earned the seat.

“We want to field the strongest team we can to take the fight to Mercedes, and you've got to do that with both cars. I think Sergio has got the necessary amount of experience, brings a wealth of knowledge to the team as well, and I think will be a good teammate for Max next year.” 

shares
comments

Related video

Sainz will be “free” to fight Leclerc on track at Ferrari
Previous article

Sainz will be “free” to fight Leclerc on track at Ferrari

Next article

Hamilton "proud" Wolff will remain Mercedes team principal

Hamilton "proud" Wolff will remain Mercedes team principal
Load comments
Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Prime

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months.

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021