Perez learned of his new Red Bull deal ‘a couple of races ago’

2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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Sergio Perez’s Red Bull contract extension was signed well before its announcement at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, the driver has revealed.

Team principal Christian Horner and motorsport consultant Helmut Marko told the driver he would remain alongside Max Verstappen next year last month, Perez indicated.

“I went into the summer break knowing what I was going to do,” he said. “But obviously everyone went on holiday, so it took us longer to get it ready. I signed on Friday once everyone was back.

“We committed a long time ago. It was a couple of races already ago that Helmut and Christian told me that they’re very happy to keep me and that I shouldn’t be looking anywhere else, they wanted to continue with me and vice-versa. So it was just clear for both sides that we wanted to continue.”

Since joining Red Bull from Racing Point, Perez has scored his second career victory in Azerbaijan and took another podium finish for the team in France. Red Bull announced his new deal on Friday at Spa-Francorchamps.

Perez said he’s eager to drive next year’s car, which will be produced to a drastically different set of technical regulations.

“It’s a massive opportunity,” he said. “Next year everyone starts from zero.

“There’s no secret that I’ve been struggling with the car at times to get the maximum. So right now I can also think in the bigger picture, testing some of the things that can influence next year’s car. So definitely a big opportunity.”

“Given that it is going to be such a different concept of car with my experience there’s a lot I can influence I can bring to the team,” Perez added.

“I think coming into a project at the end of the year, at the end of an era, I don’t think the team can see much of a benefit in bringing an experienced driver. But I think going forwards for next year it will be very important having stability and experience across the team.”

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2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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12 comments on “Perez learned of his new Red Bull deal ‘a couple of races ago’”

  1. I wonder if he would have been resigned if there were no regulation changes next year

  2. So, the signing itself occurred last Friday, i.e., the announcement day as I interpreted when I first read his quoted words elsewhere, but he knew pre-Hungarian GP he’d continue.

  3. According to this German site the Russell > Merc / Bottas > Alfa deal is done too. To be announced in Monza.
    https://www.sport1.de/news/motorsport/formel1/2021/08/formel-1-george-russell-zu-mercedes-valtteri-bottas-zu-alfa-romeo

    1. And Toto wants De Vries to Williams while Horner wants Alex Albon there. Would RedBull giving Williams a better engine deal?

  4. I’m glad they gave SP that peace of mind ahead of the summer break and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if TW and VB and GR did something similar so that they could all have a chance to recharge a bit during the break and ahead of the second half.

  5. perez is a useless clown of a driver. He did not deserve to tie Kamui Kobayoshi’s shoelaces when they was in the same team a decade ago. Only reason he still has a seat and Koba does not is because of Mexican billionaire carlos slim and Liberty wanting a driver of his demographic to help F1 grow in Hispanic markets.

    Also rebull are happy because he isn’t a talentless hack like flag of convenience driver alex albon but not good enough to be a threat to chosen one Max the’Wunderkind’ either.

    1. He’s not useless at all. In fact, I argue that he might be the ideal number two for RB’s driver championship aspirations. For their Constructor’s, on the other hand, he’s proven so far to be a poor choice (though likely still better than Albon). He’s the driver who will happily run an inferior race setup (going one stop when others are doing two and vice versa) just to be in a possible position to help Max at some point in the race. Better drivers like Gasly, Ricciardo, and Sainz won’t do this for very long without complaining or quitting.

      If RB really cared about the Constructor’s first, Gasly would have been promoted back to the main team.

    2. I call that an own goal.

    3. Perez can win races. None of the other red bull #2’s can. The clown car is full and Perez is the best of them.

      1. I’m just not satisfied of what perez is doing: yes, he’s better than his 2 predecessors but he’s clearly worse than bottas so far, bottas is, according to the rumors, being replaced, I think red bull need better than perez, and alonso would be an example, he’s better even if he’s older.

      2. @darryn Oh come on, you know that is BS. They can all pick up a fluke win. Gasly won a race in a Torro Rosso and Albon had a good shot at winning in Austria.

        Perez is driving the fastest car of the field and he’s doing no better than Gasly or Albon were doing when it was still the second or third fastest car.

        Red Bull management will know the situation though. They realize the #2 car is a hopeless situation with no say in development direction to make the car fit better with their driving preferences, new parts always going to the designated #1 driver first, strategy always fully focused on the #1 driver. They know that costs a lot of time. So they are not worried if indeed Perez is 5 to 8 tenths slower than Verstappen as that is the understandable result of all these disadvantages.

    4. @ccpbioweapon Pretty much the same happened when Stroll sr was forced to keep Perez after Perez force Force India into receivership and handed Stroll the assets for a fraction of it’s value. Ocon was the better driver, but they kept Perez because of the dirty dealings.

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