Marc Surer would take Valtteri Bottas as wingman over Sergio Perez

Former Formula 1 driver Marc Surer said if he needed to choose a ‘wingman’ in his team, he’d have Valtteri Bottas over Sergio Perez.

The statistics in this regard favour the Mercedes driver heavily, with the Finn having taken eight podium finishes compared to two for his Red Bull rival so far this season.

Both drivers are well behind the points tallies amassed by team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, but the 31 extra points gained by Bottas in comparison to the Mexican has helped Mercedes lead the Constructors’ Championship.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said recently that Perez knew he would arrive at the team to support Verstappen in the best way he can, but several poor qualifying sessions have left the Mexican out of position in the race.

Rather than allowing Perez to have a say in the outcome of a race in the same way Bottas often does for Mercedes, Surer said the Red Bull driver needs to be further forward to start with, instead of having to focus on recovery drives.

When it comes to both World Championship battles too, Surer thinks that having the Finn in closer quarters to the front of the field will only serve to favour Hamilton in his defence of the title, as Verstappen does not currently have that crucial rear gunner behind him on a regular basis.

#F1 podium finishes in 2021:
11: Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen
8: Valtteri Bottas
4: Lando Norris
3: Carlos Sainz
2: Sergio Perez
1: Pierre Gasly, Charles Leclerc, Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo, George Russell, Sebastian Vettel

60% of drivers have had a top three finish 🤯 pic.twitter.com/D8YpBVmURI

— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) October 2, 2021

View the latest Valtteri Bottas merchandise via the official Formula 1 store

According to Surer, Perez needs to get “closer so that he can influence Mercedes’ strategy”, he said in an analysis video on the YouTube channel of Formel1.de.

“You can assume that: Bottas is usually there and can influence Red Bull’s strategy in each case, simply because he is there.

 

“Because he’s up front and maybe with a good start he can block your opponent. If the other guy comes from way behind, you never know if he’ll ever manage to get up there in front to have any influence at all.

“We usually only have one pit stop. So the second driver has to be in a window before the pit stop so that the others come out behind him when they pit and then get stuck and can’t use the fresh tyres. […] To prevent the other team’s undercut, that’s the job of the ‘wingman’. And Perez can’t do that.”

 

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