Perez's Mercedes knowledge a factor in Red Bull signing him

Red Bull says Sergio Perez's vast experience of the Mercedes Formula 1 engine was an important factor in it electing to sign the Mexican for next year.

Perez's Mercedes knowledge a factor in Red Bull signing him

Perez is to replace Alex Albon at Red Bull after the Milton Keynes-based outfit felt that his performances in the second half of 2020 were 'impossible' to ignore.

Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com about the reasons why Perez became the preferred choice, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko explained that it was not all down to the former Racing Point driver's speed.

"The first thing that spoke was the unbelievable form curve to which he has risen," said Marko. "I think this has certainly been his best season ever since he's been in Formula 1. That's one thing.

"The other is: in the race he won, [George] Russell didn't get significantly closer in the Mercedes despite having better tyres.

"To be able to judge that pace, to drive just fast enough to keep the opponent in check without overloading the tyres, he [Perez] has proved that very well in a couple of races. He also had bad luck a few times, for example when he retired in third place in Bahrain.

"And then there is the fact that he has driven many seasons with the Mercedes engine and knows about it driveability and responsiveness. All these things spoke for him.

"[Nico] Hulkenberg was last with Renault. You probably can't use the three races he drove with the Mercedes engine, because he was more busy adjusting to the car than collecting data."

Read Also:

Marko said Red Bull felt that it needed to head in to 2021 with a stronger driver line-up to stave off the growing threats of teams like McLaren and Renault, but also to help disrupt Mercedes more.

"You have to assume that McLaren will make a step forward with the Mercedes engine, and that Renault and Ferrari will probably come on as well," he said.

"If you're five tenths behind in qualifying, you're not fourth, you're seventh or eighth. And that makes you worthless for the team in the sense that you can't be used for strategic games.

"In Abu Dhabi, Mercedes couldn't do anything [strategy wise], or only with a lot of risk. [Valtteri] Bottas would have been the one to put on soft tyres, but he would have fallen behind Albon and overtaking on the Abu Dhabi circuit is notoriously difficult.

"Because Albon drove a very good race and was very close to the Mercedes, they couldn't play their usual strategy. We want to be world champions again next year. So we need a strong pairing with whom we can pull out all the stops in terms of strategy as well."

Red Bull says it is not expecting Perez to come in to the team and regularly beat Verstappen, but it does want him to be within range of the Dutchman.

"Perez has to be within striking distance of Max in race trim," added Marko. "We'll see in qualifying, as nobody has managed to reach his level yet.

"It may be a maximum of two tenths, something in the region - maybe even less. We need a strength as a team that we can fight against Mercedes with two drivers.

"I expect that we will be Mercedes' opponents again. If Bottas doesn't have such a bad day as in Bahrain, he fulfils his role very well. We expect the same from Perez."

shares
comments

Related video

Fast-tracking upgrades key to McLaren F1 progress - Seidl
Previous article

Fast-tracking upgrades key to McLaren F1 progress - Seidl

Next article

F1 needs to become more driver dependent in 2022 - Sainz

F1 needs to become more driver dependent in 2022 - Sainz
Load comments
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

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021