Following the announcement on Wednesday evening that Sergio Perez will no longer be competing for Racing Point after 2020, the Mexican was asked about this at the press conference on Thursday afternoon. Here Perez told that he wasn’t informed until Wednesday and he hinted a bit that they hadn’t kept him informed. Team boss Otmar Szafnauer, however, tells a different story.
His manager was informed
In Sky Sport F1, Szafnauer appeared just after the first free practice to shed more light on the situation. The team boss at Racing Point said, “He did have an inkling and he did know. We kept his manager, Julian Jakobi, informed of the process all the way through. Perez was kept aware of what was going on with us.”
With the process, Szafnauer refers to the conversations that were held with Sebastian Vettel. Szafnauer continues: “What he didn’t know, because the decision wasn’t made, was what the definite action was going to be.” And that ‘final action’ only became known on Wednesday and afterwards Perez was informed as well.
Perez has meant a lot to the team, both from a sporting and business point of view. Therefore, the choice to replace him was very difficult, says Szafnauer. “It wasn’t easy, the final decision. Sergio’s served us well. He’s a great racer, he’s a quick driver. He’s a safe pair of hands on a Sunday especially, he doesn’t make many mistakes, he brings the points in. So it wasn’t that easy.”
“I think it’s a compliment to Sergio for us to deliberate so long whether to take a four-time world champion with all the experience said Sebastian brings or stay with stay with Sergio”, because yes, the rumors are from a couple of months back that have finally been confirmed.
The right decision
But the team also has to look ahead and with Lance Stroll as the son of the owner there was only one option and that is to let Perez go. Vettel with his experience can add a lot to the team and so Szafnauer sees it as the right choice in the end. “Ultimately with Aston Martin coming in I think it’s the right decision to get the experience that Sebastian brings with the experience of a top team. That’s where Aston Martin aspires to be. So I think we did the right thing”, said Racing Point’s team boss.
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|Bahrain ||26 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|