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Belgian Grand Prix: Sergio Perez to stay at Red Bull for 2022.

Sergio Perez
Radio and text coverage of the Belgian Grand Prix is live on the BBC Sport website

Sergio Perez is to stay at Red Bull for a second season in 2022.

The Mexican’s new contract to partner Max Verstappen was announced at the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday.

Team principal Christian Horner said Red Bull had been impressed since he joined this year and his “experience and race-craft are invaluable”.

Perez said: “I’m really happy to be continuing with a great team like Red Bull into the new era of Formula 1 – it’s a great opportunity for me.”

Perez joined Red Bull this season and won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix following Verstappen’s retirement with a late tyre failure.

But he has had a mixed first half-season with the team and has only occasionally been able to perform the role Red Bull want from their second driver as a spoiler for Mercedes to help Verstappen’s title campaign against Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Perez lies fifth in the championship, the lowest of the four drivers in the top teams. McLaren’s Lando Norris is third, ahead of both Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Perez.

Horner said that Perez’s experience in F1 was a key concern for the team as the sport heads into a 2022 season that will feature the biggest set of rule changes for decades, which introduce an entirely new type of F1 car.

Horner said: “His integration into the wider team has been seamless and we have been impressed by his performances during the first half of the season which demonstrate what he’s capable of in our car.

“Next year we move into a new era of F1 with completely revised regulations and cars and, with over 200 races and a decade of experience under his belt, Checo will play an integral role in helping the team navigate this transition and maximise the RB18 (Red Bull’s 2022 car).”

Perez added: “Everyone starts from zero next year with the new regulations, so my only goal is to go all the way to the top with Red Bull.

“It always takes time to get on top of everything when you join a new team but things have worked well this season and I really enjoy being a part of the Red Bull family.

“We’ve been working hard to deliver results so it’s great to see the team have faith in me for the future.

“We have so much more to achieve together and we still have a great challenge on our hands this season so I really hope we can finish the year on a high and carry that momentum into 2022.”

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