Sergio Perez says he only learned yesterday of Racing Point’s decision to part with his services and hire Sebastian Vettel, insisting “nobody told me anything”.
Perez announced on Wednesday he would be leaving Racing Point at the end of this season, which was followed on Thursday by the team confirming Sebastian Vettel would be his replacement from 2021 when it is rebranded as Aston Martin.
The Mexican explained he “got a call from Lawrence [Stroll] and he told me yesterday [Wednesday] they were going into another direction”.
Pointed out to Perez that only recently he had said that he felt his seat was not under threat, he added: “That was the feedback I was getting, that everything was looking [good] that the team wanted to keep me.
“There were some discussions in the background about contracts and so on that I’m not willing to disclose because I think those things should remain between the team and myself. There were a couple of things in the contract that we went through.
“In the end, they just officially told me yesterday that I am not continuing. I didn’t expect that. But it is how it is.”
With the team improving its competitiveness and starting to push the front-running teams, Perez is naturally gutted to be leaving at such a promising time.
“I know that I am leaving a great car,” said Perez. “They are looking great for next year. Definitely the team will be stronger next year than this year.
“In that regard, it hurts a bit more knowing you are leaving a good car but you never know in the future. Things in Formula 1 change so quickly, let’s see what the future holds for both of us.”
In his announcement on social media, Perez said he “didn’t have a plan B,” but he will only return to the F1 grid if he has “the right package” available.
Addressing his future further, he said: “I think everything is an option right now. My main target is to stay in Formula 1.
“I feel I am still very young and hungry and I want to carry on in Formula 1 but it has to be the right package, a package that gives me the maximum motivation to give 100% every single lap and I think it is also got to be a long-term project targeting 2022.”
PEREZ REACTS TO DEPARTURE AT RACING POINT PEREZ REACTS TO DEPARTURE AT RACING POINT
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|Russia ||27 Sep|
|10h00 - 11h30||Free practice 1|
|14h00 - 15h30||Free practice 2|
|11h00 - 12h00||Free practice 3|
|14h00 - 15h00||Qualification|
|14h10 - 16h10||Race|