Sergio Perez has been retained by Red Bull Racing for the 2022 season, ensuring an unchanged line-up alongside Max Verstappen.
The Mexican replaced Alex Albon over the winter, and has pulled out some strong results, opening his Red Bull career with four top-five finishes from the first five races before a first win for the team in Azerbaijan. He followed that with an impressive third place that also helped Verstappen win in France, and with Red Bull in the fight for both championships it has opted to hand Perez a one-year contract extension.
“Checo is a highly respected team member and his experience and race craft are invaluable as we fight for the constructors’ championship,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said. “His integration into the wider team has been seamless and we have been impressed by his performances during the first half of the season which demonstrate what he’s capable of in our car.
“Next year we move into a new era of Formula 1 with completely revised regulations and cars, and with over 200 races and a decade of experience under his belt, Checo will play an integral role in helping the team navigate this transition and maximize the RB18. Our current attention is on ending the 2021 season as strongly as possible and we look forward to seeing Checo build on a first successful season with the team.”
Perez is currently fifth in the drivers’ championship and admits it has taken him a while to get up to speed at Red Bull but is confident the new regulations in 2022 will provide a more level playing field for him.
“I’m really happy to be continuing with a great team like Red Bull into the new era of Formula 1 and it’s a great opportunity for me,” Perez said. “Everyone starts from zero next year with the new regulations, so my only goal is to go all the way to the top with Red Bull.
“It always takes time to get on top of everything when you join a new team but things have worked well this season and I really enjoy being a part of the Red Bull family. We’ve been working hard to deliver results so it’s great to see the team have faith in me for the future.
“We have so much more to achieve together and we still have a great challenge on our hands this season, so I really hope we can finish the year on a high and carry that momentum into 2022. I want to thank all my supporters around the world and especially those in Mexico. From my sponsors to my fans, they have been so enthusiastic since I joined Red Bull so I really hope we can reward them by reaching the top and winning the title.”
The confirmation of Perez is likely to lead to an unchanged driver line-up at AlphaTauri as well, with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda expected to stay in place.