The Mexican driver extends his contract for another year with Red Bull.
Red Bull announced on Thursday that they will continue with their current driver pairing of Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen for the 2022 season, confirming their decision to stick with the Mexican for another season.
Pérez, who joined Red Bull at the end of last season replacing Alex Albon, was in a spot of bother towards the end of the 2020 season when his former employers Racing Point (current guise Aston Martin) had decided to replace the Mexican with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel. Pérez’s spectacular last-to-first maiden career victory at the Sakhir Grand Prix was enough to convince Red Bull and they signed him on the one-year contract at the end of the 2020 season.
Pérez is Verstappen’s third teammate in as many years, since the departure of Daniel Ricciardo at the end of the 2018 season. Red Bull, who are known to be notoriously difficult with their driver pairing stability, have decided to give Pérez another year, after the Mexican has repaid their faith with strong performances in the first half of the season. Pérez has been a critical part of Red Bull’s title challenge and with his 104 points in the championship, he is just four behind Mercedes‘ Valtteri Bottas and mounting the pressure on the second Mercedes driver, and his team are just 12 points behind the defending champions in the Constructors’ Championship.
Pérez has also been crucial to Red Bull’s race day strategies and Max Verstappen’s title challenge. For far too long, Red Bull had just one car fighting the Mercedes and Ferraris and the other teams could easily play around with the strategy to overcome Verstappen’s strategies. Pérez, though, this season has made sure he’s right up at the front of the grid, fighting together with Verstappen, and with Verstappen’s side of the garage having the assurance that Pérez is there have used it to their advantage to take the fight to Mercedes. Red Bull would now hope that Pérez continues to do the same and with already one Red Bull victory under his belt, in what was a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Pérez now has something neither of his predecessors, Alex Albon or Pierre Gasly, could do – a race win with Red Bull. Red Bull know that in Pérez they have a worthy and bankable second driver to help them become a real force to be reckoned with, especially as Formula One enters into a new era.
Speaking about Pérez’s new contract, team boss Christian Horner said, “Checo is a highly respected Team member and his experience and race-craft are invaluable as we fight for the Constructors’ Championship. His integration into the wider Team has been seamless and we have been impressed by his performances during the first half of the season which demonstrate what he’s capable of in our car. Next year we move into a new era of Formula 1 with completely revised regulations and cars, and with over 200 races and a decade of experience under his belt, Checo will play an integral role in helping the Team navigate this transition and maximise the RB18. Our current attention is on ending the 2021 season as strongly as possible and we look forward to seeing Checo build on a first successful season with the team.”
The man himself, Sergio Pérez, who now has a seat confirmed for his 11th season in the sport, also spoke about the goals to be achieved with the Austrian team: “I’m really happy to be continuing with a great team like Red Bull into the new era of Formula 1 and it’s a great opportunity for me. Everyone starts from zero next year with the new regulations, so my only goal is to go all the way to the top with Red Bull. It always takes time to get on top of everything when you join a new team but things have worked well this season and I really enjoy being a part of the Red Bull family. We’ve been working hard to deliver results so it’s great to see the team have faith in me for the future. We have so much more to achieve together and we still have a great challenge on our hands this season so I really hope we can finish the year on a high and carry that momentum into 2022. I want to thank all my supporters around the world and especially those in Mexico. From my sponsors to my fans, they have been so enthusiastic since I joined Red Bull so I really hope we can reward them by reaching the top and winning the title.”
Pérez will hope to repay Red Bull’s faith in him by a strong performance in Spa this weekend as Formula One returns to action after the summer break with the Belgian Grand Prix.