“It was just impossible to ignore Sergio’s performance in the Racing Point”- Christian Horner on Red Bull’s lineup 2021 decision.
Red Bull signing Sergio Perez once again raised the objections of the team not treating the 2nd seat driver correctly, as many feel it is a repeat of what Pierre Gasly faced in 2019.
However, team principal Christian Horner has come in to reason out the move and explained that Red Bull took this decision after a long thought process and all the data present with them.
Moreover, the Briton also claimed that the whole management wanted Alex Albon to be successful but the interests of the team inclined towards Perez.
“The decision has been an incredibly hard one,” admitted Horner. “I think all of us wanted to see Alex succeed. What we said was that we would give Alex the season, and not make any decisions before, to have a complete set of data. And that’s obviously what we did.
“But when you look at the data, and you look at the ratio between the two drivers, it was a decision that was obviously very much driven by that.”
“It was just impossible to ignore Sergio’s performance in the Racing Point over the course of the year, and particularly, in the second half the season. So a very, very difficult decision, made even harder by the fact that Alex is a such a lovely guy.”
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“But he remains an important part of the team, and very much part of the team for 2021, focusing primarily on 2022 development. And, of course, he’ll be very focused in terms of making himself a contender to be back in 2022.”
The partnership between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez will be strong
Horner further went onto tell that he expects a mutual respect in the partnership and also explained that both drivers know what is expected out of them.
“I think both parties are very realistic,” he said. “I think he knows the quality of Max. He’s a seasoned racer now. He has a huge amount of experience and I think he knows what he’s going up against in the quality of Max.
“He’s been in immense form in the last couple of years, so I don’t think he underestimates that challenge in any shape or form. But I think he’s absolutely delighted to get the opportunity to prove himself.
“I think we want our drivers racing close to each other, but up the sharp end. It’s clear our objective isn’t between the two drivers, it’s trying to close the gap to Mercedes.
“I think Sergio raced for several seasons with Nico Hulkenberg and I don’t remember there being any issues between those two.”