Motor racing: Perez to replace Albon at Red Bull

Sergio Perez (left) and Alexander Albon. PHOTOS: REUTERS

(AFP) - Mexican driver Sergio Perez will replace Alexander Albon at Red Bull next season, the Formula One outfit announced on Friday (Dec 18).

Perez, who was out of contract with Racing Point, will race alongside Max Verstappen for the Red Bull team in 2021.

The popular driver put himself in the frame to replace the inconsistent Albon with a stirring first ever F1 win at the 190th attempt at Sakhir in Bahrain in the penultimate race of the season just ended.

"The chance to race for a championship contending team is something I have been hoping for since I joined Formula One and it will be a proud moment to step onto the grid in Red Bull colours alongside Max," Perez said.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reckoned they had picked the perfect partner for Verstappen.

"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."

Albon has had an up-and-down first full season in the role but Horner said the London-born Thai would remain a valuable part of the Red Bull set-up.

"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," he said.

Before the call from Red Bull, Perez was eyeing a season off after his seat at Racing Point was handed to Sebastian Vettel, the four-time former world champion let go by Ferrari.

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