Further to the original article (at bottom of page) TJ13 published early yesterday, the Formula 1 paddock rumours seem to have confirmed our source in Formula 1 – Perez will be joining Red Bull sooner rather than later.
The Mexican has impressed the Red Bull Racing bosses, most notably Christian Horner and Helmut Marko, and it is they who has persuaded Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz to not stay with Alex Albon, his preferred option. Rather, both Horner and Marko wish to sideline Albon in favour of first time race winner (during the Sakhir GP) Sergio Perez.
Mateschitz knows that the part-owned Red Bull brand whose origins are based out in the far east, has a strong desire to succeed with Albon who runs under a Thai flag, so rumour has it there could be a dual role, and a sharing of the Red Bull seat for 2021.
It is TJ13’s understanding that this is incorrect, and Perez will get the full race seat beside Verstappen. Albon will therefore be retained as reserve driver.
This announcement is expected today or tomorrow.
Meanwhile today Perez suffered a woeful race in Abu Dhabi, pinning the reason for his retirement firmly on the shoulders of Mercedes, against the thinking of commentators that it was a transmission issue.
Perez lost a near-certain podium at the Bahrain Grand Prix when he suffered an MGU-K failure late in the race. More failure again in Abu Dhabi, even though the Mexican driver took an engine swap with the penalty putting him at the back of the grid ahead of the race.
A precautionary move to negate the expected Mercedes MGU-K issues thought to be coming, and likely arrive during the race.
“We’ve got a bit of a gremlin sitting in there,” admitted Mercedes boss Toto Wolff on Saturday,
“The MGU-K is below the power that it should normally give. We don’t understand exactly why yet. So we’ve taken a bit of performance out of it, on all the Mercedes engines.”
Perez confirmed the engine was to blame for his early retirement during the Abu Dhabi GP saying he “still had this MGU-K problem”, and that Mercedes “unreliability has hurt us this year” to motorsport.com.
Blaming ones engine supplier is a tradition Red Bull are very familiar with, so he will certainly fit nicely.
Marko admits Perez can partner Verstappen
A Red Bull 2021 Formula 1 contract for Sergio Perez is very likely to come true according to a source within the Abu Dhabi paddock, which would see the Mexican partner Dutch driver Max Verstappen.
Helmut Marko and Christian Horner have been negotiating with the Mexican in a more active way since the last F1 Grand Prix in Sakhir.
“We are waiting for this last race to take place,” explains the Red Bull motorsport consultant at Yas Marina.
“Alex Albon’s last race in Bahrain wasn’t great, but we don’t want to jump to conclusions right away. The decision will be made in a few days”.
Marko admits that Perez, who recently won in Bahrain but lost his Racing Point seat to Sebastian Vettel, is on the “radar” for Red Bull as Max Verstappen’s new team-mate.
“Perez has been on our radar for the whole second half of the season actually,” he admits.
“I’m flying to England on Monday, and there will be a decision by Christmas at the latest”.
Updates indicate this decision has already been made.