Perez is staying at Crimson Bull till at the very least the tip of 2024. We analyse how this impacts Jehan Daruvala’s future prospects in F1.
Information of Sergio Perez signing a contract extension with Crimson Bull comes as no shock, given his latest type. The Mexican driver, who just lately received the Monaco GP, has secured himself a spot in one in all F1’s main groups until at the very least the tip of 2024. However it’s additionally a transfer with some vital penalties for the motive force market.
Crimson Bull has an keen line-up of junior drivers ready within the wings for his or her huge F1 break, notably India’s Jehan Daruvala – who can also be at present the main Crimson Bull junior within the F2 championship. We delve into how Perez’s new contract may affect Daruvala’s F1 possibilities.
Perez the proper match for Crimson Bull
It’s been a fairytale F1 journey for Perez, who was on the danger of leaving F1 altogether on the finish of 2020. Since then he’s confirmed to be a reliable factors scorer for Crimson Bull Racing, together with his latest Monaco GP victory solely cementing that standing. In truth, he’s simply 15 factors off championship chief Max Verstappen within the standings, placing him very a lot in title competition.
However extra crucially for Crimson Bull, he’s confirmed to be staff participant. His defence in opposition to Lewis Hamilton performed a pivotal function in Verstappen successful the 2021 title at Abu Dhabi. Extra just lately in Spain, he adopted staff orders and let Verstappen by way of, regardless of calling the order “unfair”.
Daruvala’s F2 type
Crimson Bull has 5 junior drivers competing in F2 proper now, one in all them being Jehan Daruvala.
Talking with Autocar India earlier this 12 months, Daruvala already knew that 2022 could be a make-or-break season for his F1 hopes. “This 12 months might be going to be my final 12 months of F2. So if I wish to go to F1, this needs to be the 12 months that I carry out effectively and present everybody that I’m good,” he’d stated.
He’s delivered a a lot stronger efficiency this season, with 4 podium finishes in 5 rounds and a 3rd place standing within the total order – making him the main Crimson Bull junior within the championship and essentially the most skilled.
Wanting on the different Crimson Bull juniors, there’s Juri Vips, who earned an F1 apply outing with Crimson Bull in Spain. He’s proven promising tempo, however his season to date has been marred by some expensive errors. Liam Lawson had a powerful begin with two podiums in Bahrain and a victory in Saudi Arabia, however he hasn’t been again on the rostrum since then. Reigning F3 champion Dennis Hauger and Honda protégé Ayumu Iwasa are nonetheless too recent within the sport to be in competition for a transfer as much as F1.
Crimson Bull’s received one of many strongest driver growth programmes on the market; you merely want to take a look at the present System 1 grid for proof. Out of 20 drivers, seven are graduates of Crimson Bull’s programme. However that is the place Perez’s contract extension is available in.
With the seats at Crimson Bull stuffed until 2024, the staff is in no hurry to essentially promote a junior driver. Furthermore, robust type in F2 is not any assure of an F1 seat; simply check out reigning F2 champion Oscar Piastri, who’s needed to accept a reserve driver function at Alpine.
What about Crimson Bull’s sister staff AlphaTauri, then?
The Gasly and Albon angle
Because it stands, it doesn’t seem like there can be a spot free at AlphaTauri subsequent 12 months. Pierre Gasly’s contract runs till the tip of 2023 and after a relatively disappointing rookie season, Yuki Tsunoda can also be exhibiting improved type this 12 months. The Japanese driver has outscored his teammate to date in 2022. He’s already proven he has the uncooked expertise, and extra time at AlphaTauri will solely assist additional iron out errors.
However there may very well be an open seat in 2024 as soon as Gasly’s contract is over. AlphaTauri (earlier Toro Rosso) has at all times served as a coaching and testing floor for younger Crimson Bull drivers, and is supposed to filter out one of the best of one of the best for the guardian staff. Crimson Bull signing Perez makes it relatively clear that the possibilities of Gasly graduating to the staff are slim, irrespective of how robust his efficiency is at AlphaTauri.
It will solely make sense for him to search for a seat elsewhere. Daniel Ricciardo’s dismal latest type and long-standing rumours of Sebastian Vettel seeking to retire may very effectively make McLaren or Aston Martin potential choices.
And Crimson Bull has one more ace up its sleeve. Alex Albon returned to the grid this 12 months after a 12 months off, having misplaced his Crimson Bull drive to Perez on the finish of 2020. His type at Williams has been spectacular and he’s been the staff’s solely factors scorer to date in 2022. He’s one other potential candidate, alongside all of the Crimson Bull juniors, ought to there be a vacant AlphaTauri seat.
So whereas Daruvala’s possibilities to maneuver as much as F1 subsequent 12 months seem like slim, there’s hope for 2024. The image will solely turn out to be clearer as soon as extra items of the motive force market fall into place.