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BREAKING: Perez lands 2021 Red Bull drive

BREAKING: Perez lands 2021 Red Bull drive

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BREAKING: Perez lands 2021 Red Bull drive

BREAKING: Perez lands 2021 Red Bull drive

Red Bull has decided to hand Sergio Perez a drive for the 2021 Formula 1 season.

The move follows months of speculation as to who would partner Max Verstappen, with the team going against the grain as for years it has always promoted from within.

Perez replaces Alex Albon who is now without a seat after two years in F1. The Thai-British driver has instead been demoted to the role of test and reserve driver.

A naturally delighted Perez said: "The chance to race for a championship-contending team is something I have been hoping for since I joined F1.

"It will be a proud moment to step onto the grid in Red Bull colours. The team has the same winning mentality as me, and I know I am here to perform."

Explaining the reasoning behind the decision, with Perez signing a one-year deal, team principal Christian Horner said: "Alex is a valued member of the team and we thought long and hard about this decision.

"Having taken our time to evaluate all the relevant data and performances we have decided that Sergio is the right driver to partner Max for 2021 and look forward to welcoming him to Red Bull Racing.

"Alex remains an important part of our team as test and reserve driver with a key focus on 2022 development and we would like to thank him for his hard work and contribution.”

Red Bull's decision comes in the wake of a stunning campaign for Perez, with the Mexican finishing fourth in the drivers' standings and scoring points in 13 of the 15 races in which he competed, including a memorable debut win in the recent Sakhir Grand Prix.

The 30-year-old's form soared after returning from a two-race lay-off after contracting Covid-19, and after former team Racing Point took the decision to dispense with his services in favour of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.

Perez is only the second driver after Mark Webber in 2008 from Williams to sign for Red Bull after not being promoted through the team's young driver programme.

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