'Smart' for Red Bull to sign Perez alongside Verstappen for 2021

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Red Bull would be "smart" to put Sergio Perez alongside Max Verstappen next season, according to Giedo van der Garde.

Currently, the Mexican's future in Formula 1 is looking uncertain with Sebastian Vettel heavily linked to his seat at Racing Point for 2021, when the team is rebranded as Aston Martin.

But at a time when Red Bull appears to be unable to find a junior who can strongly challenge their Dutch superstar, the former Caterham driver thinks Checo would be a very good option.

“If Red Bull is smart, they’ll put Perez in the second car next to Max Verstappen,” Van der Garde told Racingnews365.

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“He’s better than Alexander Albon. We expected him to do better this year than last year, but he’s just too slow.

“You can see that in qualifying, in which he invariably admits himself he is half a second behind compared to Verstappen.

"However, I think Perez is someone who has the speed to chase Verstappen. Max could use someone like that, you saw that in the years when Daniel Ricciardo was his teammate.”

As for whether that would mean a quick end to Albon's F1 career, the Dutchman replied: “That may not even be necessary.

“Last year he performed quite well at AlphaTauri, perhaps he can return to that team but it’s up to Red Bull to find out.”

And as for the prospect of Vettel replacing Perez at the Silverstone-based team, Van der Garde sees it as a win-win.

“Racing Point would be a great team for him," he declared.

“Vettel is someone who needs confidence to perform really well and Racing Point, which of course will be Aston Martin next year, can give him that by offering him a seat.

“For a brand like Aston Martin, the name Vettel can also be a great PR.”