Mercedes F1 team manager Toto Wolff expects Red Bull to be a much stronger opponent for the 2021 Formula 1 season after having signed Mexican Sergio Perez as new partner of Max Verstappen.
Sergio Perez, who found himself without a seat after the announcement of his replacement at Aston Martin by Sebastian Vettel as of the 2021 season, was hired at the last minute by the Red Bull team to replace the Thai Alexander Albon who couldn’t convince his employers to keep him for 2021.
Alex Albon has regularly struggled to follow the pace of his team-mate Max Verstappen last year, winning only two podiums at the end of the 2020 season. Verstappen, on his side, has taken two victories and nine podiums, scoring more than twice as many points as Alex Albon.
After the announcement of Red Bull at the end of the year which marked the arrival of Perez to Milton Keynes from 2021, the seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton stated that he thought Perez was more than worthy of being part of a great team like Red Bull, and that his arrival would make him Red Bull a greater threat to the championship.
Indeed there has been some speculation by F1 fans as to how the 2021 season will stack up in terms of who will have improved, particularly after such a poor season by Ferrari last year.
Although the first race of the new year does not happen till March, opening odds for the Constructors Championship title have already been released. It’s no surprise that Mercedes is the favorite to win AGAIN. They have won this title every year since 2014 it looks like they are not stopping. That said, as is usual, Toto Wolff publicly states nothing is taken for granted at the start of the year and declares Red Bull’s threat by agreeing with the opinion of Hamilton:
“Certainly, I think that Red Bull, with Perez, will be a much stronger opponent in the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. ” said Toto Wolff to Austria’s ORF news network.
“I think Sergio will be really strong and I think it will be interesting to see how Perez resists Verstappen. He is a new opponent.
“Otherwise it will be a season with the same cars as last year. But I think Honda will put the emphasis on power to fight for the championship in its last year as a manufacturer. That’s why it will be very interesting,”
Ladies and Gentlemen… Seb has entered the building. 🤩 #WelcomeSeb
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In 2021, Mercedes will have the opportunity to win an eighth world manufacturers’ title, while Lewis Hamilton (who has still not signed a contract) will have the opportunity to go for an eighth world drivers’ championship title, thus allowing him to become the most successful driver in the history of Formula 1.