Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko says Red Bull would have opted for Sebastian Vettel for 2021 instead of Sergio Perez had the German not already signed for Aston Martin, and that they didn’t want to sign him at an early stage because they still believed in Alexander Albon.
Vettel’s breakup with Ferrari ahead of the start of the F1 2020 season caused a series of events that began with Sainz’s move to Ferrari, followed by Ricciardo's move to McLaren and Alonso’s return to Renault.
The four-time world champion managed to arrange a transfer to Aston Martin, which is Perez without a driver's seat for 2021, and only after the end of the season, when Red Bull was convinced that Albon was not ready for the first team, Perez's arrival in the second team was confirmed.
Marko revealed that he suggested to Vettel not to hurry with signing a new contract in order to be free for the best possible offer. "It was clear that Sebastian would have another difficult season with Ferrari," Marko told F1-Insider.
"I didn't want him to rush the decision but to wait because it was clear that significant things were going to happen in the driver market in 2022." “For example, I was sure there would be a vacancy in the Mercedes.
But not just there. ” "In general, I advised him to take his time. But that included Red Bull, I wanted it to continue to be on the market at the right time so that it could accept the best possible offer. ” “On top of all that, as his friend and man from Red Bull, I didn’t want the four-time world champion to say goodbye to Formula 1 that way.
” Marko says that they would have opted for Vettel instead of Perez, but that the German had already signed for Aston Martin because he did not want to risk a one-year break. And in Red Bull they certainly regret such a mistake, because Vettel would be an ideal driver for them, but the situation is not well assessed “When Ferrari informed him of breaking up, we had no place for 2021,” he said.
"At the time, we firmly believed that Albon would develop positively and be able to ride with Max 2021. I told Sebastian that." "Unfortunately, we were wrong. When we had to react, Sebastian was no longer on the list because he had already signed a multi-year contract with Aston Martin. That's why Sergio Perez was a logical choice for us. "