It was not until recently that Red Bull officially announced the signing of Sergio Perez. The team have employed the services of the Mexican driver on an initial one-year deal and will drive alongside Max Verstappen for 2021.
Team principal Christian Horner had earlier stated that the drivers’ decision was taken a few weeks back on Friday. However, there were a few theories that the popular photo of Perez, Horner, and Dr. Marko together on Instagram had been captured prior to the official date on Friday.
The Red Bull motorsport advisor touches upon this topic during an interview. He insists that the photo taken had more to do with a sociable get-together rather than the signing of a contract.
Perez signing Red Bull contract and the photo taken were unrelated, says Dr. Marko
Dr. Marko stated, “That is detective work that was done there (laughs; editor’s note)! A photo has nothing to do with signing a contract. It was a sociable get-together.” (translated via Google Translate)
“At the time nothing was 100% fixed and we took the photo in case it was fixed. Nowadays, electronic signatures are also possible. I’m also wearing a thick jacket. So it could have been in the far north …”
Rumors suggest that the date of that photo coincides with Perez posting about his helmet exchange with Sebastian Vettel on Instagram on December 15. That incidentally also happened to be just a couple of days after the season finale race in Abu Dhabi.
“To be honest, I don’t remember exactly. It was a turbulent weekend. And the opportunities were there because we weren’t allowed to leave the hotel because of the corona regulations,” concluded Dr. Marko.
The Austrian outfit have a solid chance to get closer to Mercedes in the 2021 title race
Regardless of when Perez signed for the team, the important aspect is his presence bolsters the Red Bull line-up for 2021. This season’s runners-up last won a Constructors’ title in 2013, and they will believe they have a genuine shot at silverware next year.
The impressive form of the 30-year-old in 2020 led him to fourth place in the Drivers’ standings. Naturally, Red Bull will expect him to keep that place or improve on that next season.