Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is hoping to be consistently challenged by Sergio Perez in 2021 when the Mexican becomes his third team-mate in two years.
Verstappen led Red Bull’s charge in 2019 and 2020, with former partners Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon failing to keep up with him across race weekends.
Red Bull opted to bring Perez onboard for 2021, who arrives at the energy drink-backed squad with his experience of 191 races and a strong reputation.
The move has left Verstappen “excited”, as he looks to be pushed by a team-mate more than he has been since the departure of Daniel Ricciardo at the end of 2018.
“I hope that Checo will be the one, first of all of course, to push the team forward, but also to keep me on my toes – it’s always nice to have a team-mate pushing you, it’s exciting,” Verstappen said.
“I think he had a great season. He did a really good job with the car he had. It brings a bit more experience to the team.
“I’m excited to work together, he’s a nice guy so I’m sure we’ll get along very well. I hope with the two cars we can make it a bit more difficult for Mercedes next year.”
With Red Bull being the second-fastest team behind Mercedes this year, Verstappen was often the only driver from the outfit to get close to the World Champions.
Albon was often out of Mercedes’ strategy window during races, something Verstappen is hopeful will change with Perez in the second seat.
“It’s more we’re going to have a second car which is capable of being up there, the whole race, trying to put a bit of pressure [on],” Verstappen commented.
“For example in Abu Dhabi, at the end Alex was quite close and it just prevents, most of the time, Mercedes trying to go for an extra stop of whatever, and I’m in more difficulty.
“Most of the time when we were competitive this year, I was the only car trying to beat them and trying to do something different.
“But they can always do the right strategy with one of them, because they will cover me with one car.
“It was always a little bit difficult to fight them. Hopefully with a bit more of a competitive start, hopefully make it just more interesting and difficult for them to make decisions.”