New Red Bull signing Sergio Perez has promised he will “overdeliver” in his first Formula 1 season with the team in 2021.

Racing Point’s decision to sign Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari to lead it into its new era as Aston Martin had left Perez without a drive for the 2021 season.

But an outstanding 2020 campaign, in which the Mexican claimed a shock maiden victory in the Sakhir Grand Prix on his way to a career-best fourth place in the championship, prompted Red Bull to offer him a seat to become Max Verstappen’s new teammate, replacing the underperforming Alex Albon.

Having finally earned his long-awaited chance to drive front-running machinery, Perez, who visited Red Bull’s Milton Keynes headquarters for the first time last week to get accustomed to his new team and have a seat fit in the RB16-B, is determined to make the most of the opportunity.

“I am always pushing to the maximum and last year I finally had a car that I could show a bit more and people saw what I am capable of, but now is my big opportunity,” Perez said in his first interview since joining Red Bull.

“I have to go onto the next step in all aspects and I think I’m ready for it. The only thing I was lacking was the opportunity. Now I have it, it’s up to me to make it work.

“I’m going to make sure I overdeliver. If we have a car that can win the championship, I’ll make sure we win it. And if not, and we only have a car that’s good enough for third I will make sure that we finish second.

“I hope we’re going to have a really good season and it’s the only way I can repay Mr Mateschitz, Dr Marko, Christian, Adrian and all the team,” he added.

“Nobody before has given me the chance to be in a big team. We’re going to hear the Mexican national anthem many times next year I hope.”

After turning in the best season of his F1 career to date, Perez, who turns 31 later this month, is confident his “dream” move has come at the perfect time.

“Of all the teams in Formula 1, I thought there was no chance for me to join it because I wasn’t part of the junior programme, but when the opportunity came I took it,” he explained.

“It’s a dream come true. When I put my Red Bull shirt on or drink a can, I think ‘wow, this is the brand I drive for!’ It’s amazing and hard to imagine.

“It’s an opportunity that I have worked so hard for – for more than 15 years. I think it’s come at the right time, I’m ready for that and I will grab it with both hands.”