Albon and Gasly just weren’t ready for Red Bull seat

Date published: December 20 2020

Alex Albon Pierre Gasly

More of your reaction to Red Bull signing Sergio Perez for 2021 and what the overall problem has been with that second Red Bull seat.

Plus sympathy for Alex Albon and praise for the mighty Mercedes. It’s your Sunday edition of the Mailbox.

Is 2021 the beginning of the ascension of Perez?

Jjzzeee: [It was a] blessing for Perez that Racing Point dumped him. With only a one-year contract at Red Bull and Bottas’s contract expiring in 2021, Perez might have a seat at Mercedes if he does well.

It looks like Perez is on the ascent. At only 30, he is certainly on the rise now, and with a top drive, he can win a few championships. His last nine races remind of Alonso/Ferrari in 2010 and 2012. Super consistent. Very few mistakes and maximized the opportunities when they arose.

Butch: I don’t agree with the naysayers. Perez has always been among the top three or four drivers on the grid but just never had the equipment under him. Getting dumped in favour of Vettel is the best thing that ever happened to him, and Racing Point is going to regret hiring Vettel. Watch for wins by Perez in 2021. None by Vettel.

Time is not Absolute: I was a never a fan of Perez, but he deserves a shot at the top. He has never had a great car to prove himself. And it’s at the right time, in the prime of his career. I just hope he can cope with Max and aid Red Bull to fight against Mercedes.

Revolver: I mean the hype around Checo is good and all, he’s a very capable driver, but people seem to forget he’s being signed mainly to be Red Bull Racing’s version of Bottas. I don’t think anyone expects him to challenge Max the same way no one expects Bottas to challenge Hamilton. If he can manage to be a bit closer to Max in order to cover him in RBR’s fight with Mercedes, he’d be perfect for the team.

Joe Mc:If Checo can finish fourth in the WDC and bring it home on the podium when Max has a race-tantrum and biffs it – job done. Albon finished seventh on half the points of Max. Checo will bring points and strategy options to Red Bull – and a calm head, which will be an interesting dynamic compared to the other side of the garage. I hope Max takes advantage and learns from Checo, you can see Lewis has over the past couple of seasons.

Spare a thought for Albon

Myki Myk: Hopefully, Albon won’t be away too long. Some of his overtakes are legendary.

DearLider: People keep saying that. I don’t recall anything that great during his whole time at Red Bull. He certainly had some good ones with Toro Rosso. If anything I remember a lot of clumsy moves with Red Bull that didn’t pan out.

Javi: In my opinion, Albon is a talented driver; it’s just that he wasn’t ready for the top seat, the same as Gasly before. I hope they keep developing him, and his time comes.

Obviously, Max is number one in Red Bull, and he will keep being number one when Perez arrives. But I don’t think that’s the reason the young drivers are underperforming.

The reason is that they weren’t ready. Everyone is not like Max, who was ready from day one in Red Bull, most drivers need more time to develop.

Whether or not Perez’s sponsors will support Red Bull is something we’ll learn soon, but I don’t think that was an important factor to hire Perez. Red Bull just ran out of talent, and they picked the best outside driver available. Simple.

Give Mercedes their due respect

Shabaka Williams: James Allison identifies some of Mercedes’ champion characteristics: Humility, Togetherness, Commitment, Sacrifice, Consistency, Desire and Unity of Purpose.

The Mercedes F1 team provide an object lesson in world-class leadership and management. Hamilton’s constant referencing of the whole team in Brackley and Brixworth, the retention of virtually all the key management and engineers, plus continuous technological innovations are some of the indicators of this top-class leadership and management.

That Ferrari and Red Bull have failed to match or surpass Mercedes is largely down to those teams having less effective leadership and management regimes.

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