‘Sergio Perez knows what’s in store for him’

Date published: February 25 2021 - Michelle Foster

Sergio Perez Red Bull

Despite having to look outside the Red Bull family for a new team-mate for Max Verstappen, Franz Tost says Red Bull have made “good” choices in its young drivers.

This season, for the first time since Mark Webber, Red Bull will be fielding a driver not from its junior programme.

The team has signed Sergio Perez as Verstappen’s 2021 team-mate, the Mexican driver replacing Alex Albon.

It has raised questions about Red Bull’s junior programme and whether it has the legs to continue.

Tost says they have made “good” choices in the past when it comes to their youngsters, and they will do so again.

“I think we have chosen good drivers,” the AlphaTauri team boss said in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport.

“If you just look at Carlos Sainz, who now drives for Ferrari. Or Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren. Pierre Gasly also won a race. In the end, it was a decision made by Red Bull.”

This year is Perez’s 11th season in Formula 1, the 31-year-old having made his debut with Sauber in 2011 before moving onto McLaren and then Force India, which became known as Racing Point.

It was last season, racing as Racing Point, that he took the team’s first victory, taking the chequered flag at the Sakhir Grand Prix.

Tost continued: “Perez is an experienced driver who knows what is in store for him at Verstappen’s side.

“So maybe he will handle the situation a little better.”

Max Verstappen Alex Albon and Sergio Perez press conference

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But while Perez is delighted with a move to Red Bull, the team’s decision not only left Albon out in the cold but also meant another season at AlphaTauri for Pierre Gasly.

Having won the 2020 Italian Grand Prix with the junior team, the Frenchman had hoped that he would be first in line for a promotion. It was not to be.

Tost says that doesn’t mean it won’t happen next season.

“Believing does not mean knowing,” he said, “that’s why I’m careful there.

“Pierre is definitely a super good driver. At the moment I’m just glad that it wasn’t taken away from us. We are very well positioned with our pairing.”

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