F1 boss Ross Brawn says outgoing Racing Point charger Sergio Perez "more than deserves" to remain on Formula 1's grid in 2021.
Perez finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton in last Sunday's challenging Turkish Grand Prix, the Mexican delivering a scintillating drive at Istanbul Park where he briefly led on two occasions before he focused on keeping hold of second by skillfully managing a set of tyres he had taken as early as lap 10.
Brawn saluted the remarkable achievement of a driver whose only chance of remaining in F1 next season rests with Red Bull's decision to retain, or not, incumbent Alex Albon.
"Perez put in a great performance, and I’ve said before in this column, it would be a tragedy if he isn’t in F1 next year," said Brawn in his post-race debrief.
"He more than deserves his place on the grid. If you’re a team wants a competitive driver to maximise every opportunity, Perez is your man."
Also assessing Perez's performance in Turkey, Sky F1's Martin Brundle believes the Mexican was just as impressive in the chaotic race as Hamilton.
The soon to be unemployed Perez showed his class and experience almost as well as Hamilton," said the former F1 driver.
"His pace and racecraft were excellent, and despite being passed by Charles Leclerc four corners from home, he still managed to seize second place back to equal his best-ever result achieved back in 2012, and his ninth podium.
"Surely he's firmly on Red Bull's radar if they decide to change Alex Albon.
"Perez could undoubtedly have had podiums in Austria, Portimao and Imola too but for some bad luck. And he missed two races with Covid."