marko horner perez

Christian Horner believes that Red Bull‘s decision to look externally to find a replacement for the struggling Alex Albon was a “grown-up” call.

For the first time since 2007, the Milton Keynes outfit took a driver from outside their academy in Sergio Perez, who will partner Max Verstappen during the 2021 Formula 1 season.

The team consistently restated their belief in Albon throughout last year, but it seems that a seventh-place finish in the constructors’ championship did not meet their expectations.

Perez has been a very consistent presence in the sport since his debut in 2011, picking up numerous podiums in lesser machinery and finally earning his first win at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix.

Reflecting on the choice between the two drivers, Horner said that the decision to move away from their academy was a “tremendously difficult” one, but praised Perez’s ability as a racer.

“It was a tremendously difficult decision, and one that we were fortunate to have time to be able to fully consider – the whole season in fact,” he told Autosport. “And it’s highly unusual for a driver of Sergio’s quality and ability to be on the market.

“So, we just felt that we would be better placed putting in a more experienced driver alongside Max as we head into 2021.

“I think it was a grown-up view that we took to go outside of the scheme. And to give Sergio a chance.

“Obviously he drove so well last year – particularly in the in the last third of the season.”

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