As the 2023 season unfolds, there is growing speculation surrounding the future of Sergio Perez at Red Bull Racing. Amidst the scrutiny and uncertainty, Nico Rosberg, the 2016 F1 World Champion, has weighed in on the matter, declaring that Alex Albon would be a “dream candidate” to fill Perez’s shoes at Red Bull next season.
Perez’s Red Bull journey has been nothing short of a rollercoaster, marred by a mid-season slump. From Monaco to Silverstone, the Mexican driver struggled to make it into Q3 for five consecutive races. The woes continued as he suffered his first retirement of the year in Japan and endured a tumultuous weekend in Qatar, where he crashed out of the sprint race and only managed a 10th-place finish in the grand prix. Meanwhile, his teammate, Max Verstappen, clinched his third consecutive World Championship.
Despite having a contract in place until the end of 2024, persistent rumors suggest that Perez’s seat may not be secure, with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner issuing a stern warning to the underperforming driver in Qatar.
Nico Rosberg, known for his astute insights, believes that Alex Albon is the standout choice to replace Perez in 2024. Albon, who has been rebuilding his career at Williams following a challenging 18-month tenure as Verstappen’s teammate in 2019 and 2020, has been making a strong case for himself. Rosberg, while acknowledging the hurdle of Albon’s existing contract with Williams, stated, “Albon would also be a dream candidate actually for the Red Bull mother team for next year to replace Sergio Perez, but unfortunately, as Helmut Marko was saying, Albon is locked in with a long-term contract there at Williams.”
Albon’s journey in Formula 1 has been noteworthy. He started with the Red Bull junior team, Toro Rosso, in 2019, and was promoted to the senior Red Bull team midway through his debut season. However, he struggled to match the pace and consistency of Verstappen, securing only two podium finishes in 2020. As a result, he was demoted to a reserve role to make way for Perez, who had been released by Racing Point (now Aston Martin) despite securing his first grand prix victory at the penultimate race in Sakhir.