Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Perez had approach from rival F1 team following Vettel-to-Aston Martin rumours

2020 F1 season

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Sergio Perez confirms he’s had an approach from a rival team following rumours he could lose his seat at Racing Point to Sebastian Vettel next year.

However he repeatedly pointed out he has a contract to remain with his current team next year, when it will be rebranded as Aston Martin.

“I’m with the team as far as I know,” said Perez in response to a question from RaceFans. “I have a contract.

“I think the answer to these questions, it will only be time. We will see what happens in the next weeks. From my point of view I’ve got a contract with the team, I fully believe in the future of the team.”

The speculation linking four-times champion Vettel to his seat is “just part of the game,” said Perez.

“This team has taken a good step forward. It’s good to have big names related to the team because that means that we are making a good job, we’re making progress and I think the team should be proud of it. I’ve been in Formula 1 for 10 years so I’m used to this stuff.”

Asked whether a driver with Vettel’s pedigree would be attractive to Aston Martin, Perez said: “I think he is obviously a big name in the sport, he has done a lot during his career.

“There is no secret that he’s been extremely lucky as well to have great machinery throughout his career. But no one can take any credit from the successful career he’s had. So I think he’s definitely a good name to have in a team.”

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The Vettel rumours have led prompted other teams, including some outside Formula 1, to contact Perez about his plans for 2021.

“In Formula 1 you never know,” he said. “Until even the start of the race, you don’t know if you’re racing. This is how things are.

“I know I’ve got a contract, I know that during the week obviously the rumours came out and we actually got contacted by a team in the paddock. I won’t say obviously names. Also other teams in other categories which was quite a surprise because we have a contract for next year.

“At the moment there are just rumours around. Nothing more to add from my side other than that we’ve got a contract in place.”

One rumoured potential destination for Perez in 2021 is Red Bull, as a replacement for Alexander Albon.

Asked by RaceFans whether he would be prepared to go up against Max Verstappen at the team, Perez said: “I believe in this business you are prepared to go up against anybody. You believe that you are the best, one of the best out there. So why not?”

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2020 F1 season

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 61 comments on “Perez had approach from rival F1 team following Vettel-to-Aston Martin rumours”

    1. it’s got to be Haas or AlfaRomeo for when Raikkonen retires. Have Perez as reserve until that moment, which could be as soon as next year. Red Bull and others make no sense to me

      1. Ambrogio Isgro
        16th July 2020, 17:09

        Haas and Williams make also sense

        1. let’s see if Haas will still be around in F1 next year, or just a haas-been

        2. Williams need a pay driver, Perez is not a pay driver.

          1. He is though. He brings some big sponsors

            1. Perez to Grosjean’s seat and Schumacher Jr. to Raikkonen’s seat. Book it.

            2. @Postreader I really haven’t seen enough from Mick Schumacher to suggest he’s good enough for F1.

            3. Mick is just on the edge in f2 if he even has enough superlicense points for f1. I think he needs to be in top10 in f2 although I don’t know if the covid has changed any of that. He is 10th in points so atm. it is going to be close.

    2. So the question would be……

      Is 2020 Sergio Perez better than 2020 Sebastian Vettel?

      Its not like Racing Point/Aston Martin need the big bucks that Sergio’s sponsors bring to the table (anymore)

      And there is no way Lance will get dropped

      So who do you pick………

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        16th July 2020, 14:54

        It’s a real shame because a Vettel Perez line up would be extremely strong. If it was one or the other I can’t help but think building a team around Seb is the best option.

      2. Paul Villanueva
        16th July 2020, 14:55

        I Believe Sergio can take the best out of a midfield car, and that doesn’t neccesary means he’s better than Seb, but in this exact moment, I don’t see Vettel motivated in F1. I think Sergio would do better.

        1. And yes, obviously, a Seb/Sergio line up would be the best to take the team forward, but I think we have more chance of Williams winning the crown this year than that happening

        2. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
          16th July 2020, 15:20

          I think the right atmosphere could nurture Seb’s confidence back

          1. @rdotquestionmark On a couch watching Netflix having a beer?

      3. If Racing Point/Aston Martin believe they can build a car within 0.1-0.2s of the quickest out there in the next 2 years, then they should go with Seb. For all his faults Vettel can be very quick and in this scenario would be able to occasionally put the car on pole and drive in clear air to a win.

        In all other scenarios I believe Perez is the better option and would bring in more points/podiums. Perez was honestly my pick for replacing Vettel at Ferrari, he’s not the best in terms of speed, race craft or leadership but he is very solid in all of them and possibly the best on the grid for making tyres last and doing the contra-strategy to everyone else.

        And all this is before taking into consideration the fact Perez brings money and Seb would be looking for a big salary.

      4. If I’m Stroll Sr, I definitely prefer Vettel than Perez. Vettel maybe far more costly and not better than Perez, but pairing to a ‘world champion’ is good for Stroll Jr mentally.

        1. I actually think Perez would have won or at least gotten closer in the 2017 and 2018 Ferraris. It not unrealistic to think he could be just as good if not better than Vettel over a season.

      5. Actually Gubstar, there is not much that points to Aston Martin being much better off financially next year then they are now. The car company is more or less balancing on bancruptcy, so it won’t be able to put in a huge amount of money, since it doesn’t have that money lying around.

        1. @bascb Lawrence Stroll gave them a much needed injection of liquidity, so I think they’ll be fine. They should be as fine as McLaren, at least, if we’re weighting all teams in the same scale.

          Also, as to the original post, Vettel was withing a few points of Leclerc and beat him 10 – 7 in qualifying last year. Perez has been a chronic midfield driver even though he had the opportunity to prove something in McLaren. It’s not even a question in my book.

          1. Leclerc beat Vettel 10-8 in qualifying, counting Leclerc’s crash in Baku as a defeat. I did not count Vettel’s failures in Spielberg and Hockenheim (where CL had an issue too) and Ferrari messing up CL’s quali in Monaco.

    3. Contracts doesn’t mean much these days.

      How many times did we see driver leaving early?
      I can’t even name all McLaren drivers losing their seats during multi-yrar contracts (Perez was one if them, I think), but I can name Alonso leaving, Montoya, Mansell, Rosberg…

      Where there is money, there’s always a way.

    4. Seb to AMR, Sergio to RBR, Albon relegated to AT, and Gasly/ Kvyat dropped. Seems very logical, but the situation in RBR is always 50/50. Love to see how these plays out.

      1. If indeed the rumours are true!

      2. Perez should of been in RBR this season

      3. It’s possible that Kvyat/Gasly head to Haas or Alfa too. I have no clue if Kimi will renew or not, so there should be a free seat there. Having someone like Kvyat is probably better than a rookie and Giovinazzi. If all this is true of course…

    5. Perez to Red Bull would be very unexpected. But then, so would Vettel to RP / AM.

      Vettel to Aston Martin is akin to bringing Schumacher out of retirement for Mercedes’ formal launch into F1 as a constructor. It won’t bring any points but just marketing hype.

      Good for F1 if AM is showing commitment by getting a 4-time WDC. But frankly, a spinning Vettel and Slow Stroll would probably mean Aston Martin leaves within a year.

    6. At the moment I’d rate Perez higher than Vettel… Not that I’ve ever really rated Vettel very highly. But he seems to have completely lost any special ability he may occasionally have had in the past. I don’t think it would be a good move for AM, in performance terms, to sign Vettel, and he’d be expensive too. Would rather he retired to be honest.

      And people have said and will continue to say ‘Vettel can build the team around him at AM and recover’ – well, he’s had years at Ferrari to build a team around him, and how has that gone? Not very well…

      1. Ambrogio Isgro
        16th July 2020, 17:16

        One thing is to go against Hamilton and Mercedes, another to compete in the midfield. Perez is solid, but no top team material

        1. And how would you know? You’ve never seen him race in a top class racing car now, have you?

          1. Ambrogio Isgro
            16th July 2020, 23:27

            Well, just to say, he was in Ferrari circle and drove one year for McLaren. So, already someone in the top teams have an idea about his potential and how he cope with the pressure.
            I guess that is the same story that we saw with Hulkenberg (the german was a bit faster in qualify, the mexican is better to get the good opportunity to deliver during races), top teams think they don’t have any hidden potential to become a star. So they prefer to take a risk with younger ones like Leclerc, Gasly, Albon, Sainz, Norris, Russell, Ocon…

            1. Perez was not treated well at McLaren and he still managed to outqualify Button and run him close. Keep in Mind Perez was in his third year in Formula 1!! And he had podiums to his name at that point too.

            2. @david-beau Button outqualified Perez 10-9 and qualifying is hardly Button’s strong suit. He obliterated Perez in finishing ahead 11 times vs 5 for Perez. How on earth is that “running him close”?

              The only thing Perez had going was that he looked to have improved somewhat at last few races of the season.

            3. @f1osaurus Actually Perez outqualified Button 10-9. Just went back and double-checked in case I was recalling incorrectly, and I wasn’t. @david-beau got it right.

    7. he repeatedly pointed out he has a contract to remain with his current team

      One line to confirm he’s officially out. I just hope Perez to RBR is possible.

      1. A contract means the team has to pay for you to leave, which would come out of the budget for Sebastian. Presumably Sergio’s redundancy payout is sufficient to discourage such a thing. One obvious question is what sort of contract does Lance have? As I understand it he doesn’t have a contract for next year, so he’s the obvious person to replace if Racing Point – Aston Martin are serious about employing Sebastian.

        1. I think bail Perez out and paying Seb salary would cost less than buying Force India. The things you do for love.

        2. Lance’s cobtract is one of blood not paper.

      2. There could be a line in the contract requiring both parties to agree on such matters. If Sergio doesn’t want to leave, I’m not convinced they can force him.

    8. I hope Perez will stay.
      Vettel was lucky to drive the best car of the field when He wins championships. When Ricciardo joined the team he finish second to him.
      Vettel was probably not able to made Ferrari better and Leclerc already prove to be faster.
      I think Perez will do a better job for the car and the team because he has a lot of expérience in the team and a team that is not a current tread to Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari on the long therm, also to made the car better and he his faster than Lance, a lot.
      If Vettel goes with Racing Point; it is because he like the sport, not to help a team at some point. I understand that he will accept a contract but Racing Point would made a step back.

    9. I’d love to see Checo in a top car, like a Red Bull. I doubt that’ll happen, but it’d be great to see what he can do given a proper chance.

      It’s a shame a Vettel-Perez partnership isn’t on the table, because of Lance being the owner’s son. That’d be a superb line-up for a midfield team that wants a bit more than just finish inside the top ten.

      1. @fer-no65 I’m pretty sure he is in a top car, probably as quick as the red bull. I think any deficit is down to the team. They’re not so familiar with being at the front, more small mistakes that should be resolved fairly quickly.

        And who says we won’t see vet and perez? I think it’s quite likely and lance gets a seat at Haas. It’s not only daddy stroll that had put a ton money into AM so I can’t see any guarantee that lance gets to stay.

    10. I think that Vettel could do well in a new team, rejuvenated and eager, however I just see no reason for Perez to be replaced, not only did his actions allow force india to be bought but he is also a solid, dependable and the right mix of fast and aggressive. Personally I think he is extremely underrated and despite damaging his wing last time out he is massively consistent.

    11. Perez to RedBull makes the most sense. Their young driver program clearly works, but it isn’t fool proof and having to drop drivers back down to Toro Rosso proves that. We all know Max is something special, but surely there’s someone out there who can match him or at least be in the same ball park. Albon and Gasly are on average just too far off the pace. I’m not sure the answer is Perez, but who else do RedBull Promote? They won’t want Gasly back, Kyvat has already been dropped once meaning there’s no one with F1 experience in their junior program. I can’t see them bringing someone from F2 straight into RedBull without a test year at Alpha Tauri first. Albon isn’t cutting it this year so they may have to step outside of their usual driver pool. Of the current F1 grid I see Perez as the best fit.

      1. Paul Villanueva
        16th July 2020, 19:07

        I know it is very dificult Checo to RBR, but it would be more than deserved for Checo, and interesting to watch.

    12. Racing Point is the best option for Vettel. Less pressure and an easy teammate to beat.

      An undermotivated Vettel is also a good option for the Strolls, I’m pretty sure it will be easier for Lance to shine against him than against a Perez, and beating a four time champion will be great for his reputation.

      Unfortunately a Perez-Vettel team is out of contention.

    13. Horner has appeared a number of times on Sky commenting on the performance of the Mercedes drivers based on Red Bull’s analysis of GPS data. I wonder if they keep tabs on other drivers and, if it was indeed Red Bull who approached Perez, whether that means his driving abilities is what they’re looking for.

      1. Also, since Red Bull is losing Aston Martin as their title sponsor, it would make sense for both one of the Carso Group brands to be associated with a more visible advertising vehicle such as the Exxxtreme Red Bull can and for RBR to get some of Carlos Slim’s monies.

    14. In my personal opinion, it could almost seem like a betrayal towards Pérez drying him out of the team that way, Sergio is practically finding out through the press that he is out of the team,… it is unfortunate, it would be a shame in the person of Stroll Sr.

      1. Paul Villanueva
        16th July 2020, 19:10

        +1

    15. Part of me thinks that Lance Stroll still keeping the seat is not an absolute done deal. It is a fair assertion to say that it would be odd for AMR to drop Lance due to the immediate family connection to the ownership.

      However if I remember correctly, Lawrence leads a consortium rather than being the sole owner and with possibly over $100m+ being invested then family connections could easily be tossed aside. The share price needs to move upwards and as they say “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” and a Vettel / Perez combination will probably be a better bet to deliver on that.

      I still think that on the balance of probability it will be Vettel and Stroll driving for AMR in 2021 but it may not be absolutely cast iron.

    16. I would love to see Perez in a top-tier car. For my money he’s the most underrated driver on the grid and Red Bull need two consistently solid drivers if they want to compete properly. Not a knock on Albon, or Gasly for that matter, but they would do better to season their young talent longer before calling them up, Verstappen notwithstanding.

      1. Perez to RedBull would make excellent sense.

    17. I think its not fair on Perez if he loses his drive but when is F1 ever fair?

      Also don’t forget that Vettel has booked an interview with Martin Brundle over the race weekend, some say it will be on that platform that he announces his retirement. Lets see in the next few days or so whats what with it all.

    18. Sush Meerkat
      16th July 2020, 20:08

      If current Vettel goes to Aston Martin I fully expect Lance Stroll to dominate him.

      1. Right. Like every younger teammate he has faced.

    19. Maybe now that the team is very serius, they need a driver above Lance level, and can only have two top drivers?

      Who is faster in 2021, Perez or Vettel?

      Perez is remarkably good at racing to the finish and bagging points he should have no business scoring.

      Vettel potentially would be blistering in a correct supportive environment.

      Both are sensitive to a good car, so it is an interesting debate.

      Granted Vettel has more brand value.

    20. Perez has carried this team for years, it would be a shame to see him ejected right when they seem to be getting good. I can see him replacing either Grosjean or Raikkonen though.

    21. *Plot Twist*

      1. What Sebastian Vettel really wants is a seat at Red Bull Racing, but he wants to extract the best deal possible for him. He is a 4 times world champion after all…
      2. Red Bull really wants Seb back, however they are not willing to spend big money for him. After all, whats the point of having the Dr Marko’s drivers’ academy?
      3. Seb, knowing all this, engages in parallel in conversations with RP about a potential drive for AM. He receives a fair offer from them.
      4. Vettel filters to the Media that he received an offer and is about to sign with RP. This would be used as a bargaining card to put pressure on Red Bull into getting him the best deal possible. Vettel doesnt have anything to lose, if all goes to the can, he would always have that RP seat to fall back into.
      5. Checo in the meantime is having difficulties to sleep at night…

      To be continued…

      1. The only issue with this is that RB don’t want Seb. So once again, he has to take what Alonso didn’t want.

    22. Tracing point = Stroll, Vettel
      Merc = Perez, Bottas
      Hamilton out…LOL

    23. I’ve followed Racing Point ever since the Jordan days, but if they kick Perez out for Vettel, my affection for this team will be gone.

      Perez has delivered all these years, and if the opportunity for him to prove himself with a competitive car is taken away, it can only be considered a kick in the teeth.

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