Mercedes-AMG announce Project ONE with Lewis Hamilton
Seven-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton believes that Red Bull’s decision to replace Alex Albon with Sergio Perez will strengthen their ability to compete with Mercedes. It was announced on Friday that the Mexican will line up alongside Max Verstappen for Red Bull next season, while Albon takes up the role of test and reserve driver after a difficult year.
The British-born Thai racer struggled to compete with his team-mate throughout the 2020 campaign, claiming just two podium finishes and ending the season more than 100 points adrift of the Dutchman in the driver’s standings.
In contrast, Perez enjoyed a strong year with Racing Point, taking fourth overall and earning a surprise victory in the penultimate race of the season at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
Hamilton has revealed his belief that Perez will pose a greater threat than Albon at the front of the grid next season, as Red Bull aim to end his own team’s dominance of the sport and secure their first constructors’ title since 2013.
“With all due respect to Alex, in the races that we’ve had, it’s been me and Valtteri [Bottas] against Max,” Hamilton told motorsport.com.
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“Now I’ve been in the position that Max is in, where once, particularly when I was at McLaren, where I was the lead car, and then the second car wasn’t in the fight.
“So, when we’re fighting against Ferrari, they could really move around with the strategy, and make it a lot harder for us. So, I think naturally, this makes Red Bull stronger, particularly with the way Sergio is performing.”
Hamilton also praised Perez’s impressive performances with Racing Point, claiming that his move to a team with championship-winning ambitions was fully deserved.
“I think Sergio has driven incredibly well this year, and truly deserved a drive,” he continued. “So I was so happy to hear that he’s been taken on by one of the top teams, and given this opportunity.
“I think it’s going to be an exciting battle to watch him up against Max. And that’s going to make it much harder for us as a team.
“So, we’re going to have to really step up our game, because that’s going to be a battle we’ve not seen for some time, in terms of having the two drivers there, fighting against us.
“But we relish that as a team, that’s what we work towards. We love the challenge, and it’s gonna make it that much more exciting.”
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