December 3, 2021

Perez confirms sabbatical plan if no Red Bull offer

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A year out from racing awaits Sergio Perez if he isn’t handed the chance to be Max Verstappen’s team-mate at Red Bull; Perez confirms there are already “options” for F1 2022

By James Galloway

Last Updated: 26/11/20 3:52pm

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Sergio Perez says he can take a lot of pride if he finishes fourth and will not race anyway in 2020 if he doesn’t get an F1 drive.

Sergio Perez says he can take a lot of pride if he finishes fourth and will not race anyway in 2020 if he doesn’t get an F1 drive.

Sergio Perez has said he will take a complete sabbatical from racing in 2021 if he is not signed by Red Bull to continue in Formula 1 for next season.

The Mexican, being let go by Racing Point at the end of the year in favour of Sebastian Vettel, remains without a drive for next season despite a strong campaign in which he currently sits fourth in the Drivers’ Championship with three races to go.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain GP, Perez confirmed again “there’s one option” to stay on the grid – universally known to be Red Bull, if they decide to drop Alex Albon. But should that front-running chance not materialise, then the nine-time podium finisher says he won’t be racing elsewhere in motorsport next year instead.

“At the moment the short-term plan is I want to continue in the sport,” Perez told Sky Sports F1.

“I think I’m at the peak of my career, I’m 30 years old, so I think I have my best years ahead of me.

“But it’s not in my hands. So if I’m not here next year I will be at home taking a year out and seeing if I really miss this life and the racing and so on, then take a decision on what I’m going to do next.”

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Simon Lazenby and Martin Brundle look ahead to this weekend’s Bahrain GP.

Simon Lazenby and Martin Brundle look ahead to this weekend’s Bahrain GP.

Speaking in the press conference, Perez said: “We’re just waiting on the decision and what they decide to do.”

Red Bull are known to be keen to retain Albon, the 24-year-old London-born Thai driver, and appear set to give him the final three races before making a final decision on Max Verstappen’s team-mate.

Two other seats remain on the grid at Haas, but the American-owned team are set to race with two rookies next season.

Perez, a mainstay on the F1 grid since 2011, says he already has an early idea of where their might be chances to return in 2022 if he misses out for next season.

“There are options out there already for 2022 but obviously it’s early to commit to them or to think on them,” he added.