Sergio Perez says he’s excited for the challenge of partnering the “mega quick” Max Verstappen at Red Bull in 2021.
The Mexican becomes Verstappen’s third team-mate in three years at Red Bull, as Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon both lost their drives following disappointing performances at the energy drink-backed outfit.
Perez enjoyed a consistent 2020 season and finished fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, taking his first race victory at the Sakhir Grand Prix towards the end of the campaign.
Speaking on the Talking Bull podcast, Perez, who has been paired with respected drivers such as Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg in the past, has pledged to drive to his “maximum potential” against Verstappen.
“I think Max is one of the fastest, if not the fastest at the moment in Formula 1,” Perez said.
“It’s a pretty big challenge, which is very exciting. You can only measure yourself against them in the same car, so let’s see.
“I will tell you after five races how fast Max is, I don’t know right now.
“But I’m sure that he’s a mega quick, mega talented driver. I look forward to that and to make sure I deliver to the maximum potential.”
Perez will have limited opportunities to get up to speed with his new team, as just three days of pre-season testing will occur before the start of the season in Bahrain.
However, the 30-year-old has already spent time at the Milton Keynes factory, sampling the 2021 Red Bull car in the simulator.
“Yes I have [driven the car in the simulator], and it’s pretty different to what I am used to,” Perez admitted. “But at the end of the day it’s a Formula 1 car so no excuses.”
Red Bull ended the 2020 campaign second in the Constructors’ Championship, with Verstappen picking up two race wins across the 17-race schedule.