The 30-year-old, who won his first victory at the Sakhir Grand Prix, replaces the British-Thai Alex Albon and stays with the team as reserve driver

“Alex is a valued member of the team and we have thought long and hard about this decision,” said team principal Christian Horner

“After taking the time to evaluate all the relevant data and performance, we decided that Sergio is the right driver to win Max as a partner for 2021

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

Red Bull decided that Albon hadn’t played hard enough in his 18 months with the team to warrant continuing on a racing seat

And Horner said it was “impossible to ignore Sergio’s performance at Racing Point, especially in the second half of the season”

It’s Perez’s first chance in a real front-running car in a decade-long Formula 1 career

He added, “The chance to race for a championship team is something I’ve been hoping for since joining F1 and it will be a proud moment to be next to Max in Red Bull colors Starting grid to join

“You can be sure that for the next season I will give my full focus. The team has the same winning mentality as me and I know that I am here to perform and help the team get another title fight “

Horner said it would have been an “injustice” if Perez had no place in F1 next year after such an impressive 2020, but added that the driver was “realistic” about what to expect against Verstappen would

“He knows the quality of Max,” Horner said. “He’s an experienced racing driver now. He has a lot of experience. He knows what he’s up to and what quality Max has, who has been in immense shape over the last few years I don’t think so that he’s underestimating this challenge in some way, but he’s absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to prove himself “

Perez was in danger of losing his seat in the sport after Racing Point decided to sign four-time champion Sebastian Vettel to partner Lance Stroll, the son of team owner Lawrence Stroll, for three years from 2021

The Red Bull seat provided him with a lifeline that many will find justified

Perez missed two races in the summer after contracting the coronavirus, but was still fourth in the drivers’ standings behind Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas and Verstappen

His win in Bahrain came after an outstanding drive, the last one in the first lap after being overthrown by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc He fought his way back through the field, however, before capitalizing on issues that sparked George Russell’s Mercedes instead of Hamilton and Bottas

Perez made his F1 debut for Sauber in 2011 and finished second for the team at the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix. His performances there earned him a spot at McLaren in 2013, but the team started a competitive decline and he was down after a year dropped, in part due to a political battle between Chairman Ron Dennis and CEO Martin Whitmarsh

Perez joined what was then Force India in 2014 and has stayed there ever since He was instrumental in accelerating the administrative process that ousted the former owner Vijay Mallya and allowed Stroll to buy the team

Although Perez has raced for midfield teams throughout his career, he has achieved a podium in six of his nine seasons in F1

Red Bull gave Albon every opportunity to justify leaving him on the field, but the team wasn’t convinced

He was overqualified by Verstappen in every race in 2020 and averaged 0523 seconds one lap slower

While Verstappen had two wins in races and nine more podiums in 17 races, Albon’s best results were two third places at the Grand Prix of Tuscany and Bahrain

Sergio Perez

World news – GB – Perez will drive for Red Bull in 2021