Brawn: A tragedy if Perez isn't in F1 next season

18/11/2020
NEWS STORY

While it has been revealed that Lance Stroll's Turkish Grand Prix was compromised by damage to the underside of his front wing, we only wonder what might have been had the Canadian been able to battle for the win on Sunday.

With teammate, Sergio Perez insisting that there were no team orders, the battle between the two Racing Point drivers as Lewis Hamilton reeled them in would have been one to behold.

Though assisted by an unforced error from Charles Leclerc, Perez took a convincing second, thereby moving up to fourth in the driver standings while promoting his team back to the number three slot.

However, the Mexican has yet to find a drive for next season, and though he admits that a sabbatical might be necessary many find it hard to believe that such a talented driver could be left on the sidelines.

Among those baffled at the Mexican's difficulty in finding a seat is Ross Brawn.

"Perez put in a great performance," writes the technical guru behind countless titles in his debrief for the official F1 website, "and I’ve said before, it would be a tragedy if he isn’t in F1 next year.

"He more than deserves his place on the grid. If you’re a team wants a competitive driver to maximise every opportunity, Perez is your man."

However, the Mexican's options are strictly limited. The remaining seat at AlphaTauri appears to be reserved for Yuki Tsunoda, though the team could yet give Daniil Kvyat another season.

Then again, Red Bull has yet to decide on Alex Albon, and while there is increasing speculation that the Thai driver has the support from the upper echelons of the Red Bull empire, all will be aware of how valuable Perez has been to Racing Point's season.

Other than one of the Red Bull teams the only other vacancy would appear to be at Haas, however we hear from a reliable source that the American team has already been sold and that the line-up - Nikita Mazepin, son of the team's new owner, and Mick Schumacher - is already settled.

While singing the praises of Hamilton, Perez and Vettel in Turkey, Brawn was less than impressed by Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

"In contrast, the younger drivers – such as Charles and Max – made mistakes," says Brawn. "They wouldn’t have experienced a race like this before.

"It was a real challenge to judge how the tyres would behave, how they would evolve and anticipating where the tyres will be in 10 or 20 laps time – this was where experience came in. But this will be another reference point in these young drivers’ data bank.

"If we did another race in Turkey tomorrow, I’m sure a lot of them would approach it differently.

"Lance falls in category of drivers who learned a lot on Sunday," adds Brawn. "He was brilliant in the race, didn’t make a mistake and was driving well. He seemed to be caught out in the way the conditions and tyres evolved – though the team have since discovered he also had front wing damage. That may have been why he fell behind.

"Lance demonstrated that he can confidently lead a race, which is a great feather in his cap. This was a positive learning experience for him."

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Published: 18/11/2020
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