Sergio Perez

Red Bull reportedly on the verge of announcing Perez for 2021

Sergio Perez

Red Bull are set to reveal they have signed Sergio Perez to race alongside Max Verstappen for the 2021 Formula 1 season, according to Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz.

A subject of immense speculation all season, the fate of incumbent Alexander Albon is set to be decided in the coming days, with Sky’s pit lane reporter indicating he will be replaced by the Mexican, who is himself being replaced by Sebastian Vettel at Racing Point for next season.

“We are expecting an announcement maybe in the next coming week that Sergio Perez has joined the team, and Alex Albon is staying on as a test and reserve driver,” he revealed in his Abu Dhabi Grand Prix notebook.

“It does look like Christian Horner and Helmut Marko have managed to convince [Red Bull owner] Dietrich Mateschitz, who wanted to keep the faith with Alex Albon, to sign Perez.

“It seems like there is nothing to lose. They might as well sign Checo on a one-year deal and see how it goes, and if he can’t do the job that they want him to do, they’ve got Alex Albon in reserve. That seems like what is going to happen.”

A veteran of 195 grands prix, the 30-year-old Perez has long been considered one of the best drivers in the midfield, and has only seen his stock soar even higher after becoming F1’s newest race-winner at last week’s Sakhir GP.

Albon, who joined Red Bull as a mid-season replacement for Pierre Gasly in 2019, has largely struggled alongside Verstappen, with two podiums and 181 points in their 26 races together, compared to three wins, two poles, 11 podiums and 301 points for the Dutchman.

That said, Red Bull boss Christian Horner has often gone out of his way to praise Albon’s performances, and did so again after Sunday’s race, calling the Thai’s P4 “his strongest collective weekend of the season.”

As to Albon’s future with the team, Horner was only willing to say a decision would come soon.

“We now have a complete set of information to analyse and work out what we’ll do,” he said. “It won’t take too long and you guys will be the first to know.”