Red Bull is yet to finalise the teammate for Max Verstappen for the 2021 season and with Pierre Gasly been re-signed for the 2021 season at sister team AlphaTauri, there is one lesser option for Red Bull. It seems like Max Verstappen has reportedly told his bosses at Red Bull that he would prefer Nico Hülkenberg who is out of seat right now. According to German website De Telegraaf and F1 Insider, the Red Bull management asked Verstappen of his preference for a teammate and he voiced his opinion in favour of Hulkenberg.
“F1-Insider.com knows: Verstappen [is] also making a policy [pushing] for Hülkenberg internally,” De Telegraaf reported. “The fact that the two get along well is partly due to Hülkenberg's origins. His home town Emmerich is located on the Dutch border, and the German even speaks Dutch well. But more importantly, Verstappen knows that he needs support in his own camp for 2021 in the duel against the dominant Mercedes.And Verstappen knows: you need [a team-mate with] healthy self-confidence and stable mental strength. His former teammate Daniel Ricciardo had that, and so does Nico Hülkenberg,” the publication reported.
Christian Horner, Red Bull's team principal has already started that if Alex Albon is not able to make the second Red Bull seat his own, the team will look externally towards some of the drivers available. This includes the likes of Hülkenberg and Sergio Perez.
Reports have suggested Perez to be one of the top contenders for the seat considering he comes with financial backing but Verstappen's opinion could be the clincher as Red Bull doesn't exactly need sponsors unlike teams like Haas and Williams.
Red Bull's Helmut Marko also confirmed that Max Verstappen has made his choice well known to the team, without revealing who was the name.
“We also ask Max for his opinion on the driver question. We know his opinion too. But whether a driver can speak Dutch is not decisive, because the team language is English,” said the Austrian.
Verstappen for his part has also voiced his preference for Hülkenberg joining and has revealed that he doesn't make the decision.
Hülkenberg has been considered to be one of the most gifted drivers on the grid with him pulling two amazing performances at Silverstone and Nurburgring substituting Racing Point drivers Perez and Stroll who fell ill because of COVID19.