Perez hopes talks over new Red Bull F1 contract ‘don’t take too long’

by Jun 24, 20210 comments

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Perez joined Red Bull on an initial one-year contract for the 2021 season after being drafted in as a replacement for Alexander Albon.

Perez had been set to race for Aston Martin this year before the team triggered an exit clause in his contract so it could sign Sebastian Vettel, after a dragged-out saga that saw Perez face regular questions about his future.

The Mexican driver was ultimately snapped up by Red Bull to partner Max Verstappen, and has repaid Red Bull’s faith by winning the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and scoring a podium in France, helping the team forge a 37-point lead at the top of the constructors’ championship.

The fashion in which Perez has settled at Red Bull after seeing both Albon and Pierre Gasly struggle alongside Verstappen has already led to suggestions he will remain beyond the end of the year.

Perez felt that it was not the right time currently to discuss a new contract given the busy schedule, but said talks would come naturally and that he hoped they would not take long.

“Right now, we are so busy with the races, three-in-a-row, but there will be some downtime where we can speak about it,” Perez said.

“Hopefully [it doesn’t] take too long, because I don’t have good experience when you take that long.

“But I see it as a natural thing. Once you’re comfortable in a team, working with them and the team working with you, it’s something that naturally should happen very smoothly.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, and Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 3rd position, arrive in Parc Ferme

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, and Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 3rd position, arrive in Parc Ferme

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

“We should just take it out of the season and focus on the right stuff.”

Perez played a crucial role in helping Verstappen win last Sunday’s French Grand Prix, preventing Mercedes from splitting its strategies in a bid to cover off the Dutchman.

Verstappen has got on well with Perez throughout their time working together, and would be happy to see him continue at Red Bull.

“Everything is going really well,” Verstappen said.

“Of course I knew Checo before, but not as a team-mate. So of course it’s always a little bit different.

“So far, it’s been great, to be able to now work together up front, to get the best results for the team, is what you want. For sure, I would want that to continue. He’s a great team-mate, and we can have a lot of fun.”

Perez sits third in the F1 drivers’ championship with 84 points after seven races this year. By comparison, Albon scored 105 points across the entire 17-round season in 2020.

Verstappen felt Red Bull’s more competitive car was also a key factor in its improved showings and greater threat to Mercedes this year, but highlighted the importance of having two drivers fighting at the front.

“Before we also didn’t have the car to fight them, so you could do what you want,” Verstappen said.

“You could make a three-stop, or put the rear tyres on the front – nothing is going to change.

“Now, we have the car to really fight them, then of course it’s super important to be up there with two cars, and that’s exactly what we have been doing now, in Baku and Paul Ricard.

“It’s going to be crucial for the constructors’ as well to keep this up until the end of the year.”

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