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Perez and Hülkenberg could handle Verstappen at Red Bull – Szafnauer

Perez and Hülkenberg could handle Verstappen at Red Bull – Szafnauer

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Perez and Hülkenberg could handle Verstappen at Red Bull – Szafnauer

Perez and Hülkenberg could handle Verstappen at Red Bull – Szafnauer

Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer believes Sergio Perez and Nico Hülkenberg could handle racing alongside Red Bull number one Max Verstappen if either are drafted in to replace Alex Albon next season.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner revealed at the weekend both drivers are on his list, should Albon fail to put in performances for the rest of this year deserving of a seat in the team for 2021.

Asked if they could handle stepping up against Verstappen, Szafnauer said: “Sure. Both of them have the mental capacity and the mental toughness to fit in alongside Max. Both of them have that.”

Albon has the remaining five races of the season to stake his claim, and despite Pierre Gasly putting in some impressive performances at sister team AlphaTauri, it seems Horner no longer sees potential to hire from within.

After flipping several drivers between lead and junior teams in recent years, Red Bull’s preference is still Albon and Horner who added: “We want Alex to claim that seat and justify that there is no need to look at any other alternative.”

Perez, however, is not only a top talent but also comes with a sizeable budget via his array of sponsors which could be key to Red Bull given its desire to take over the Honda engine project at the end of next year.

Hülkenberg, meanwhile, is one of the most highly rated drivers never to get his big break and many fans would love to see the German facing up to Dutchman Verstappen in front-end machinery next season.

But there is no room for either at Racing Point next year, when the team will be re-named Aston Martin, as Sebastian Vettel joins from Ferrari and Lance Stroll is the son of team owner Lawrence.

Szafnauer rates both drivers very highly, and added: “I think in the past, and hopefully in the future too, including Lance and Seb, we pride ourselves in picking good drivers.“

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