As the Formula One circus rolled out of Monaco the media focus was rightly upon the drama of Ferrari’s demise in the race due to poor communication and strategy. Yet as the dust settles, there was much more going on behind the scenes during F1’s flirtatious ‘last’ visit to the Principality.
Of course Sergio Perez was the man of the moment, becoming a first time Monaco GP winner – something the drivers cherish greatly. The fact the Mexican achieved this feat from P3 on the grid is even more impressive.
Sergio was recruited to Red Bull Racing following the exit of Alex Albon from the team and the sport and given a one year contract for 2021. This was extended by another year to cover the 2022 season but for some this short extension only was a surprise. One of Red Bull Racing’s problems has been in the fight for the constructors championship, Max Verstappen has been contributing over 2/3rds of the points as the likes of Albon and Gasley have failed to deliver.
Strangely the % was similar in Sergio’s first year with the team in 2021, though that in part was due to Max winning the championship and winning more races than anyone else. What is true is the number of points contributed by Perez was almost double that of Albon the previous year.
Even before his win in Mexico, Sergio has been having an even better season having settled into the team.
The Mexican now stands P3 in the driver’s champoionship 110 points to team mate Verstaoppen’s 125. More importantly Sergio is now just 6 points behind Ferrari’s hope for a world champion Charles LeClerc.
TIME TO DEMAND A CONTRACT SERGIO!!!
As a Monaco race winner and just 15 points behind Max is surely the time Red Bull would want to snatch a new deal with Perez for at least 2023 and probably longer.
We must remember no other Red Bull driver has been able to live with Max Verstappen as a team mate. The Dutchman’s arrival on the scene saw Daniel Ricciardo – who many believed a future world champion – throw in the towel and head on off to Renault.
Well footage emerged last night from Sky Sports F1 which reveals Perez had in fact signed a new contract prior to his win in Monaco.
We see Perez and Horner post the track interviews going into driver’s ‘cool down’ room before the presentation. Sergio puts his arm around Christian Horner’s back and laughing says, “I probably signed too early”.
Of course when confirmed Perez had agreed a new contract prior to the Monaco GP win, Christian Horner’s response will surely be along the lines of, ‘Clearly we knew the capabilities of our driver and secured his services early’.
Whilst it may have been slightly more beneficial for Sergio to sign any contract extension after his Monaco win, the reality at the end of 2020 was Perez F1 career appeared to be at an end.
Racing Point (Aston Martin) had replaced him with Vettel and it seemed Red Bull would again resign their junior team driver Pierre Gasly.
So for Sergio Perez every race with RBR has been a bonus and despite a bumpy ride with team orders in Barcelona, he appears happy with the Milton Keynes F1 team.
And for good measure, unlike when he had to pay the factory wages at Force India, he’ll be receiving a decent sum of dollars for his endeavours.
His father already inadvertently & indirectly revealed before, so the ‘I probably signed too early’ remark only further strengthens his continuation’s status as an open secret.
So Happy he is with a top team. One of the most honorable drivers on the F1 grid.