Sergio Perez completes Red Bull’s first laps at Silverstone as the team kicks off their 2021 Formula 1 season with the launch of a new car followed by a day of shooting with a new signing in the 2019 car; Perez and Max Verstappen rock the new RB16B on Wednesday
By Matt Morlidge
Last updated: 23/02/21 18:41 pm
Sergio Perez made his track debut for Red Bull after completing his first laps for the team at Silverstone on Tuesday, with the real Mercedes challengers kicking off their 2021 campaign.
Perez, Red Bull’s winter signing with partner Max Verstappen, drove the 2019 RB15 car on a day of filming at the Northamptonshire circuit to acclimate to its new surroundings, hours after his team launched their last challenger.
The first images of the RB16B, which Red Bull hopes to clinch its first title since 2013 this year, were unveiled on Tuesday morning and the new car will be updated at Silverstone on Wednesday.
Perez’s laps in the old car on Tuesday were in preparation for this outing, when he will be joined by Verstappen along with the driver he replaced for F1 2021, Alex Albon, who is now the team’s reserve driver. .
“It was amazing,” Perez said of his first day in the car. “To see my name on the car is something very special. It’s definitely a dream come true.
“Everything in the car is different. It’s still an F1 car in the end, but the seating position is different, the steering wheel, the brakes, the buttons, the procedures, the engine and the power delivered, the torque, so many things are different.
“But I can see there is so much potential with this team.”
Red Bull, aside from being the fourth team to launch their new car, are the latest team to step up their schedule ahead of three days of pre-season testing in Bahrain on March 12-14.
The 2021 season will then begin with a race on the Sakhir track on March 28.
Perez is seen as the key to Red Bull’s title hopes this season, with the team hoping he will help Verstappen fight Mercedes more consistently than Albon was able to.
The 31-year-old Mexican will start the season on the back of his best F1 campaign to date with Racing Point, which was capped with a first win in Bahrain.
Red Bull finished second behind Mercedes in 2020, with two wins – both from Verstappen.
They haven’t won a title or mounted a sustained challenge since 2013.