The announcement a lot of people had seen coming has now come true. Formula One driver Sergio Perez of Racing Point F1 announced via Twitter that he would not return to the British outlet in 2021, despite signing a contract extension in 2019. The 30-year-old Mexican has spent the last 10 years in Formula One, making his debut in 2011 for Sauber.
He joined Racing Point in 2014 back when it was known as Sahara Force India, and since then has stayed loyal and competitive among the series vets.
Although Perez hasn’t had much of a chance to drive in top tired equipment, he has still managed 8 podium finishes with a best finish of second place. Earlier in 2020, rumors had circulated that Perez would be getting the boot at the end of 2020 in hopes Aston Martin could entice Sebastian Vettel to join the team. With Perez’s teammate Lance Stroll being locked into a seat by virtue of his father, Perez leaving the team comes as a bit of a surprise but not a complete shock.
In a statement released on Perez’s twitter, Perez said:
“Everything in life always has a beginning and an end, and after seven years together, my time with the team [Racing Point] will come to an end after this season. It hurts a bit as I bet on the team during rough times; we managed to overcome obstacles and I am very proud of saving the jobs of several of my teammates. I’ll keep the memories of the great moments lived together, the friendships and satisfaction of giving it my all.”
Perez concluded the statement by saying he doesn’t have a plan B at the moment, but says his goal in to “100% be in F1 next year and he hopes to have some good news soon.
Tengo algo que anunciarles…
¡Gracias por su apoyo todo este tiempo!
— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) September 9, 2020
While this announcement may serve as a kick in face to Checo’s fanbase, there are a lot of positives as well. Currently, there are spots open at Haas, AlphaTauri, Red Bull, Mercedes and Alfa Romeo. This means that Perez has eight opportunities to find a new job somewhere else. While he stated he might not take a job at a lower team, the real possibility of Perez finding his way into Mercedes or the Red Bull Racing camp via AlphaTauri shouldn’t be counted out either.
F1 is a business and a tough business at that. Perez and his fans can rest slightly better knowing that no matter where he ends up, his talent and skill will surely keep him in F1 for the near future.
They say it’s never good bye, but a see you later. Looking at driver like Nico Hulkenburg, who got forced out of his ride at the end of 2019, could serve as a benchmark that no matter what hand fate deals you, it’s always possible to bounce back.
As a member of the F1 reporting staff here at Frontstretch, in my professional opinion I see Perez either sitting out a year or joining AlphaTauri to replace Daniil Kvyat. However, no matter what only time will tell where Perez will take his talents and who will replace him at Aston Martin in 2021.