While several fans and analysts have been discussing whether Red Bull and Max Verstappen can challenge Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton for the F1 title, one name seems to have been forgotten. Sergio Perez, who was brought in by Red Bull as a replacement for Alex Albon, has challenged the duo this season. Perez's future was salvaged by the Red Bull team at the end of last season after Racing Point (now Aston Martin) brought in four-time Driver's Champion Sebastian Vettel to replace the Mexican driver.
With a seat at Red Bull this season, this is undoubtedly Sergio Perez's best chance to prove his mettle. However, if he is to challenge for the Driver's Championship, he will have to beat seven-time Driver's Champion Lewis Hamilton and his own impressive teammate Max Verstappen, around whom the team has revolved in the past few seasons. But the Mexican has insisted that 'winning is everything' for him.
Perez said, "Winning is everything. You come into F1 with ambition to become a world champion but very early on I realised you have to be in the right spot at the right time to be able to contend for the title. Hopefully this year I am and I can fight for it." After taking his first win at the Sakhir GP in Bahrain last year, the Mexican seems to have the best opportunity to win his maiden F1 title this season.
When asked about whether he could challenge his teammate, Sergio Perez confidently responded that he would have never joined Red Bull if he did not believe so. "If I wasn’t that confident I would not be here. I am confident in myself, confident with my capabilities, my strengths, my weaknesses," said the Mexican.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has insisted that Sergio Perez is the man who they believe can push Max Verstappen in their pursuit to challenge Mercedes this season. "We saw what he did last year, he got his hands on a competitive car and he made good use of it. His racecraft, his ability to nurture the tyres stand out, real positives and his wealth of experience," said Horner.
With the 2021 F1 season set to begin this weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Sergio Perez will have to find his form quickly if he is to challenge the mighty Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. The Bahrain Grand Prix is from March 26-28 with the race set to begin on Sunday, March 28 at 8:30 PM IST. In India, the Bahrain Grand Prix will be shown live on the Star Sports Network. The Bahrain Grand Prix live stream is available on Disney+ Hotstar VIP. Live standings and updates of the race can be found on the social media of F1 and the respected teams.