Sergio Perez is under pressure to perform according to Red Bull's Hemut Marko after the recent announcement of a flurry of Red Bull junior drivers competing in Formula 2 and Formula 3 this year.
Red Bull and Perez signed a one-year contract in December 2020, the first time the team have gone outside the Red Bull stable since Mark Webber in 2007. In an interview with Motorsport Total, Marko explains the reasoning to replace Alexander Albon with Perez.
He said: "There's no shame we don't have two Red Bull juniors in the team.
"We didn't have anyone who qualified for the second Red Bull seat. In order to achieve our goal of becoming world champion, we chose Perez."
Marko insists that Red Bull will not abandon their philosophy of using Red Bull junior drivers and promoting them into the main team.
The Red Bull advisor did not mention Pierre Gasly when discussing potential replacements for Perez: "Juri Vips and Liam Lawson are two great talents that we have in house, as is Jehan Daruvala. The successes we have achieved with our own juniors is still unprecedented.
"With Yuki Tsunoda, we have taken a Japanese driver to Formula 1 for the first time in a long time."