Sergio Perez has expressed his pride at landing the prized second seat at Red Bull Racing for the 2021 F1 World Championship season, replacing Alex Albon and joining Max Verstappen in the team.

The deal means the Mexican driver skirts the prospect of spending a year on the sidelines after losing his spot in the Racing Point team despite enjoying his best-ever season of F1 almost a decade on from his debut in 2011.

While his appointment comes at the behest of Alex Albon, who has been demoted to test and reserve driver with Red Bull Racing in 2021, Perez’s performances in 2020 at the wheel of a Racing Point that took a big stride forward in competitiveness ultimately made him too irresistible a free agent to pass up for Red Bull.

 

 

Despite missing two races after contracting the coronavirus, Perez claimed fourth in the drivers’ standings courtesy of seven top six results, two podiums and a long-awaited maiden win in Bahrain after 190 attempts.

After seven seasons with Racing Point (and Force India), Perez is delighted to be getting arguably his best opportunity at a title tilt after such a long time in the sport.

“I am incredibly grateful to Red Bull for giving me the opportunity to race for Red Bull Racing in 2021. The chance to race for a championship contending team is something I have been hoping for since I joined Formula One and it will be a proud moment to step onto the grid in Red Bull colours alongside Max.

“You can be sure that I will give next season my full focus. The Team has the same winning mentality as me and I know I am here to perform and help the Team fight for another title.”

Despite his long tenure in F1, this will only be Perez’s fourth different team in more than a decade having made his debut with Sauber in 2011, before being snapped up by McLaren in 2013, where a disappointing campaign - considered the beginning of the team’s decline in form - led to his switch to Force India.

Despite his strong 2020 F1 form, Racing Point - which will be rebranded as Aston Martin Racing for 2021 - opted to sign Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari, while retaining Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence.

To date he has achieved one win and ten podium results.