Horner expects big Perez impact

19 February 2021 03:48:50 GMTPlus10
Sergio Perez's experience is going to be "valuable" as Red Bull prepare to put down a challenge to Formula 1 superpowers Mercedes, according to team boss Christian Horner.

The 31-year-old Mexican teams up with Max Verstappen in an eye-catching pairing which Red Bull bosses hope will make them even more competitive.

Perez became available after leaving Racing Point where he had spent the previous two years, and Red Bull couldn't wait to snap him up.

He has ten years of F1 experience which is going to be valuable.

Christian Horner

And Perez arrives at Red Bull full of confidence after signing off the 2020 season with his maiden win at the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain, making him the first Mexican to win a Formula 1 race for 50 years.

That brilliant drive coupled with another podium finish in Turkey helped Perez to a respectable fourth place in the Drivers' Championship – and put him right on Red Bull's radar.

Perez's appointment – he replaces Alex Albon – is a departure from Red Bull policy where they have tended to draw their second drivers from their own junior ranks.

But Horner believes that in Verstappen and Perez they have a duo who can help to close the gap on the all-conquering Mercedes, who are odds-on to rack up an eighth straight Constructors' Championship.

"I think it was a mature choice to break out of our established routine and give Sergio a chance," Horner told Motorsport-Total.com. "We felt it would be better to have an experienced driver alongside Max for 2021.

"In 2020 Perez had his most successful season ever. He has ten years of F1 experience which is going to be valuable."

Red Bull, a remote second behind Mercedes last season, are 2.50 to eclipse their great rivals this year.

Mercedes, with seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton signed up again, are 1.50 to win the title once more.

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