Sergio Pérez has announced that he will depart the Racing Point Formula One Team at the end of the 2020 season.
Concluding a partnership which started back in 2014, when Perez joined the team under the Force India name.
“Everything in life always has a beginning and an end, and after seven years together, my time with the team will come to an end after the season.” stated Pérez.
He also referenced the troublesome 2018 campaign, where himself and a Lawrence Stroll-led consortium kept the team afloat:
“It hurts a bit as I bet on the team during very rough times. We managed to overcome obstacles and I am very proud of saving the jobs of several of my team-mates.”
“I’ll keep the memories of the great moments lived together, the friendships and the satisfaction of always giving my all.”
“I will always be grateful for the opportunity given to me by Vijay Mallya, who believed in me in 2014 and allowed me to continue my F1 career with Force India.”
“To the current administration, led by Lawrence Stroll, I wish nothing but the best in the future, especially with the upcoming Aston Martin project.”
“My intention is to continue racing here, but that would depend on finding a project that motivates me to continue giving my 100 percent on each lap.”
“I hope I can give you some good news real soon, but for now, let’s enjoy together the next races.”
Speculation of Pérez leaving has consumed the paddock in the previous months.
However, this came to an abrupt halt as senior management assured the team’s line-up was stagnant beyond 2020.
Speaking to AMuS earlier today, Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer said: “There is nothing more to confirm. We did that two years ago.”
When asked about the option of Sebastian Vettel joining, Szafnauer added:
“It was never there.”
As for Perez’s options, both Haas & Alfa Romeo are the most plausible candidates, should he wish to remain in Formula 1.
Given Pérez started his F1 career with Sauber – now under it’s Alfa Romeo guise – It wouldn’t be unexpected to see the Mexican go back to his former team.
New Team, New Challenge for Vettel?
With Racing Point’s FIA investigation now dropped, Perez’s exit now leaves one of the most sought after seats on the grid.
Sebastian Vettel, who will leave Ferrari at the end of 2020, has been heavily linked with the team’s Aston Martin re-brand around the corner.
As the Tuscan GP in Mugello approaches, marking Ferrari’s 1000th GP.
Although nothing has been confirmed, it’s expected that Vettel will head the Aston Martin squad alongside Lance Stroll in 2021.