Although Max Verstappen is synonymous with Red Bull, team principal Christian Horner insists Sergio Perez hasn't been brought in to the team to simply make up the numbers.
The Dutchman has been with the Milton Keynes outfit since 2016, taking the chequered flag in his maiden race in Spain to become the youngest F1 winner. With Red Bull putting in such a strong performance during winter testing in Bahrain, many have tipped the 23-year-old as the favourite heading into the season. However Horner has made it clear that Perez hasn't been brought in to play sidekick to Verstappen.
"The one who drives at the front is the number one driver," Horner told Dutch outlet Ziggo. "That has been the case for years. They get the same car and the same opportunities.
"Checo's signing is nice as he's experienced and a great guy. The two drivers get along well and I think he adds something to the team, which is a positive. He and Max work well together, they make a good combination."
Although F1 teams are for the most part running modified cars from 2020, Horner believes the rule changes are bigger than people think, meaning cars are quite different in 2021.
"It's never easy and the rules changes are bigger than you would expect," Horner continued. "The team has worked hard and it's fascinating to see the different interpretations [of the rules] from the other teams.
"In order to do better than in 2020 we are building on the positives of 2020, continuing on from the victory in the last race and maintaining the momentum that came with it. That was positive, hopefully we can perform strongly this year."