Red Bull F1 Team, Sergio Perez and his sponsor Telcel have agreed on a one year deal, for the 2021 season, with options of a stronger cooperation starting in 2022. (Update: the German and Red Bull owned website Speedweek reported on Thursday that Red Bull will make the announcement on Friday)
I have independently confirmed with multiple sources working in the paddock, that Sergio Perez, Telcel and Red Bull Formula One Team have agreed to give the second drive of their top team to Sergio Perez, the most sought after free agent driver available for 2021.
So it does mean that even after a resurgence of positive results towards the back end of the season for Alex Albon, he loses his spot on the grid for the 2021 Formula 1 season. He finished just off the podium in Abu Dhabi with a solid fourth place, preceded by a sixth place at the Sakhir Grand Prix. It is expected that Albon will stay as Red Bull’s test, simulator and reserve driver. A role that could even see Albon have a few starts in a shared drive with Perez, if results are not meeting expectations.
Back to Sergio Perez, it is a one year agreement, with options on Red Bulls’ side for the 2022 season. Financial terms have not been disclosed, but it is expected that Telcel, Sergio Perez’s long time sponsor and Mexico’s third biggest communications conglomerate, will sponsor the Red Bull team starting in 2021. Sergio Perez will become Max Verstappen’s fourth teammate at Red Bull Racing team, after Daniel Riccardo, Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon.
An option is also envisioned for a deeper cooperation between the parties starting in 2022, an option that would resolve Red Bull’s biggest problem going forward. As it was announced earlier this year, Honda will be leaving Formula 1 after the 2022 season, and will not supply engines and power units to Red Bull F1 and Alpha Tauri. Red Bull have been exploring over the last few months the option to taking over the Honda Formula 1 engine factory in Milton Keynes, after Honda vacates the facility at the end of the 2021 season. The financial burden of such a venture, building their own Formula 1 engines for two teams, would be greatly reduced by a substantial sponsorship of the Mexican telecom giant in what could be a sponsored engine name, like Tag Heuer did to the Renault engine during a few seasons.
Sergio Perez will bring experience, consistency, and added resources to the Red Bull Formula 1 Team in their quest to beat Mercedes in the Constructor’s Championship in 2021.