Max Verstappen has spent the past two seasons with relatively “lesser” teammates. Helmut Marko and Christian Horner looked to address that by opting for Sergio Perez for this season.
The Mexican was out of contract following a decade in Formula 1. It goes without saying that perez will have to lift his level to challenge Mercedes. Horner believes he has what it takes.
“It was a very difficult decision and we were lucky enough to be able to think about it for a very long time, actually throughout the season. It’s very strange that a driver of Perez’s calibre is just free on the market,” Horner told Motorsport-Total.com.
The crucial factor behind going for Perez was his experience.
“We felt it would be better to have an experienced driver alongside Max for 2021. I think it was a mature choice to break out of our established routine and give Sergio a chance,” Horner said.
Horner was referring to the options he had in terms of young Red Bull drivers.
It is worth noting that perez is the first in a long time not to have been part of the Red Bull development programme.
What worked in Perez’ favour were his performances in the back-half of 2020.
“Especially in the latter part of the season. In 2020 Perez had his most successful season ever. He managed to win in the last race and eventually finished fourth in the championship. He has ten years of F1 experience, which is going to be valuable,” Horner said.