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Sergio Perez

Doornbos believes Perez is key to helping Reb Bull beat Mercedes

Ex-Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos believes that Sergio Perez could prove to be the difference as Red Bull hunt down Mercedes in 2021.

Former Red Bull Formula 1 team driver Robert Doornbos says Sergio Perez will definitely help Red Bull close the gap to Mercedes.

Red Bull finished a distant second to Mercedes in 2020, with their Achilles heel proving to be the team's inability to get their second car further up the pack. With Sergio Perez, the team has an experienced campaigner who is coming off his best season in the sport to date.

"With Perez there a world will open up for them," said Doornbos to Motorsport.com.

"I'm not saying he'll be bloody fast right away - I don't think qualifying is necessarily Perez's strongest point either - but with ten years of experience with different teams, he has developed a knack for peaking on Sundays when he has to.

"That is also what Red Bull was looking for, so that they can play a game with Mercedes, instead of being the plaything of Mercedes. So you will notice the difference there."

Doornbos also offers a contradictory view citing that the Mexican may struggle to adapt the Red Bull car much like Pierre Glasly and Alex Albon before him.

"On the other hand, you can also get a situation where he gets in and thinks, 'Gosh, this thing is hard to control!'Just like his predecessors had problems with that," Doornbos said.

"But in that case he can fall back on his expertise and I think he will still be able to adjust the car very quickly. So I expect a lot from him."

Doornbos is also not entirely convinced that Perez will have to play the role of a second driver.

“He will never admit it like that and I think that's very good," said Doornbos.

"An athlete has to be selfish to make it to the top. You always have to think that you are the best.

"As flashy as Rubens Barrichello at Ferrari, who was happy to settle for second place behind Michael Schumacher, you actually see very little in the sport that someone signs a contract as second driver so clearly.

"But that's also the sport. You may want to put so much on paper, but show it on the track. If Perez and Verstappen both have two or three strong weekends at the start of the season,then Red Bull will be the last team to say there is a clear first and second driver.

"When a talent peaks, Red Bull will only support it. Let them fight it out on the court among themselves. Without touching each other, of course."

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