Taking his pace from qualifying into the main race, Sergio Perez showed that he is a man on a mission. The race in Sochi saw him take P4 only eight seconds behind Hamilton.
And on a day where teammate Lance Stroll secured no points, Perez was left to fend for himself and fend he did. It was the type of drive that showed rival teams that he deserves to stay in the competition.
Having announced that he will leave Racing Point at the end of the season, he is on the lookout for an F1 seat. So far, there have been rumors of links to Haas and Alfa Romeo.
Sergio Perez wants the Red Bull seat alongside Verstappen
But among all the projects, ‘Checo’ Perez is clear of his choice. Speaking in a brief interview, he stated, “I would be convinced without any doubt. It is a team (Red Bull) that is going to fight for championships in the coming years.” (translated from Google Translate)
It would certainly not be the worst idea in the world to pair up Perez with Verstappen. Since Daniel Ricciardo left in 2018, neither Pierre Gasly nor Alex Albon has consistently impressed.
In addition, young drivers, having barely spent any time in F1, should not be expected to fight for the championship right from the get-go. That mantle of pressure only seeks to raise doubts and hit at the self-confidence, as was the case with Pierre Gasly.
With Perez, a driver with experience of 184 GP starts over 10 years, Red Bull is getting the readymade deal. And at the age of 30, Perez is entering his prime where he can deliver the most.
It is the sort of move that can also elevate a competitive sense in Max Verstappen. After all, Perez would be no slouch to back off from challenges and will push the Dutchman to new heights.
All types of options available for Perez
Of course, all talks remain hypothetical – unless Albon were to be released by Red Bull. And seemingly, the stance that the team has taken is to retain Albon for 2021.
If that were to be the case, Perez would have to negotiate with other interested parties in Alfa Romeo and Haas. They are currently the only two teams looking to change drivers. And should F1 not be his focus, then the IndyCar Series could be his next destination.