Verstappen: Perez will help Red Bull put 'pressure' on Mercedes

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Max Verstappen believes his new Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez will help the Milton Keynes team pressure rival Mercedes more consistently next year.

Red Bull confirmed on Friday Alex Albon's replacement by Perez for 2021, with the former remaining the team's reserve and test driver.

After conducting a thorough analysis of Albon's performance relative to Verstappen, and assessing Perez's strong form with Racing Point, especially in the back half of the year, Red Bull decided that its interests in the championship as a team would be better served with the Mexican racing alongside its star driver.

"It's more that we'll have a second car which is capable of being up there as well the whole race and trying to put a bit of pressure [on]," Verstappen said.

"For example, like in Abu Dhabi, at the end, Alex was quite close. Most of the time, Mercedes try to go for an extra stop or whatever, and then I'm in more difficulties, because most of the time when we were quite competitive this year, I was the only car trying to beat them, and tried to do something different.

"But they can always do the right strategy with one of them, because they will always cover me with one car, so it was always a bit difficult to fight them.

"I just hope that Checo will be the one to first of all push the whole team forward, but also keep me on my toes, which is always nice. To have a teammate pushing you, it's exciting.

"Hopefully we can, with a bit more of a competitive car from the start, make it just a bit more interesting and difficult for them to make decisions."

Verstappen said he spoke with Red Bull's management about its driver choice for 2021, revealing that he offered his "honest opinion" on the team's options.

"Of course, we spoke about it, and I just give my honest opinion," said the Dutchman.

"I think it was quite clear that throughout the whole year, it was sometimes quite a bit tricky for Alex. He is a great guy, honestly, and I'm happy that he's part of the team still.

"But at the end of the day, of course it's Helmut [Marko] and Christian and of course Dietrich [Mateschitz] making the decisions.

"Of course I knew a bit before. But at the end of the day that doesn't matter."

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