Sergio Perez recognises he faces "a massive challenge" going up against Max Verstappen after being provided with "a dream-come-true" drive with Red Bull.
After being axed by Racing Point last year, as the team that has since rebranded to Aston Martin opted to sign four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, Perez finally landed a seat for this season just before Christmas.
The team made the rare decision to recruit outside its own ranks, preferring Perez over Alex Albon following a disappointing campaign last year for the Thai-British driver who has since been demoted to the role of reserve for this season.
It now remains to be seen whether Perez can prove himself alongside Verstappen and provide the season-long battle with Mercedes that Red Bull has been lacking over the years.
"It is a big challenge for myself," said Perez, when asked for his thoughts on going up against Verstappen in his first interview with the team.
"We all know Max, how talented, how fast [he is], how much he has grown in the past years, how complete he is by now.
"So he is definitely one of the best and one of the fastest, if not the fastest out there on the current grid. It is a massive challenge.
"In a way, he has been here a long time. He knows what he needs from the car but it is a great challenge and I look forward to working with him and working together to push the team forwards."
Perez has naturally confirmed "it felt great" when he finally received the phone call from Christian Horner confirming he had a deal for this year.
"I was waiting all my career to get an opportunity with a top team and it finally came," added Perez. "I think it came at the right moment for me.
"I am so much looking forward to making it work, to work with the engineers, with Max to push the team forward. It is a great challenge for me and I can't wait to get on track with the team.
"My family are very happy, they're very enthusiastic about this new project we are about to have. I have full support from them and they are looking forward [to me] giving them a lot of happiness and [seeing] that Red Bull car on top."
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