Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Mugello, 2020

Perez didn’t expect call from Stroll saying he’d lost Racing Point seat

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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Sergio Perez says he was not expecting to be told by Racing Point yesterday he will not be kept by the team for next year.

The 30-year-old signed a three-year deal with the team last season. However the team’s owner Lawrence Stroll called him yesterday to tell him the contract was being cut short.

“I got a call from Lawrence,” said Perez. “He called me yesterday, that they were going into another direction.”

Despite weeks of speculation the team was seeking to replace him with Sebastian Vettel, until recently Perez said he was expecting to stay at Racing Point.

“That was the feedback that I was getting, that everything was looking that the team wanted to keep me and so on,” he said.

“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’s how it is.”

Racing Point confirmed this morning Perez’s place will be taken by Vettel next year. Perez admitted the timing of the decision limits his options to join another team for 2021.

“I wouldn’t say [I was] disappointed in that regard because I understand also the team has the negotiations going on and they took probably longer than I thought.

“Probably a bit more clarity would have helped regarding my future as well because then I would have looked for a Plan B. Which probably wouldn’t have changed anything, I’ve been long enough in this business. It’s party of this crazy world called F1.”

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Dieter Rencken
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57 comments on “Perez didn’t expect call from Stroll saying he’d lost Racing Point seat”

  1. This doesnt reflect too well on the team.

    1. Stroll didn’t become a billionaire by being nice, Checco is better of out of RP, Vettel is past his sell by anyway so Stroll has probbly shot himself in the foot.

      1. I agree with most of that other than Perez being better out of RP.

        There isn’t a better car available on the grid, unless Red Bull finally get their heads in the game and try to hire the best available driver for their second car (not necessarily Perez, but he’d be on the list surely) rather than simply trying to justify the existence of their junior programme.

        All Perez’s options are worse from here. Haas is a possibility, but that team have very much found their level after an impressive debut season.

    2. The team has a new owner and the actions of the owner is not a reflection of the team personnel.

      1. That new owner is oficially named Lawrence Sheldon Strulovitch, but aka Lawrence Stroll. Canadian born, made his fortune selling French and Italian fashion, collector of rare Italian Ferrari’s, buyer of British Aston Martin. So he dumps the Mexican Perez in favour of the German Vettel, to race a German car painted British Racing Green next year.
        How’s that for reflection?

        1. Sounds just about right.

  2. Ok.

    So he probably felt he (his manager / his team / his backers) had made a good offer for how to continue with what they talked about internally and with Slim in Mexico earlier this year. And maybe the team had not gotten the yes from Vettel until monday or tuesday (since Vettel will have been waiting for the end of the car copying stuff first). Overall making him feel like he would probably stay put.

    But in the background it is pretty much a sure thing that his team/management had been negotiating on being bought out of the contract early for the last 2 months now. And knew (or at least had been as aware as the well informed journalists) that it was more or less up to Vettel to say yes or no. So it cannot really have come as a surprise. Even if he was only told yesterday evening.

    Stroll himself calling shows that they had a good line talking to each other. Beats finding out from the press or by press release about your replacement!

    1. I read the settlement was for 9 million. That will buy him his feet solidly under the table at either Haas or Alfa.

      Sure, neither of them are as good places to be as RP. But hey, with extra money they might become good! They just have to start copying something else than the Ferrari!

  3. I suppose it’s no nepotism when you own the team……

  4. Tough one – obviously, 1 seat is reserved for Lance. Racing Point is obviously trying to make a leap into becoming a top team. Having a top driver will definitely make the team much more appealing and would be a huge boost for Aston Martin’s image.

    Whether they will manage to become a top team is a question mark but it does appear that Lawrence understands what it takes to make a top team. They have a manager who’s proven he can get the most out of the least in Ottmar which already gives them a good chance to succeed at the top. If Toto joins at some point, this duo could be devastating with Ottmar being freed up to head operations and performance while Toto leads as principal. It’s obvious from Christian and Toto that the manager makes a huge difference.

  5. I do find this very interesting, but to be honest we have no way to know what Perez signed. When things are reduced to the phrase ‘3 year contract’ it definitely doesn’t encapsulate what the team might feel about it in terms of commitment and what get-out clauses were made clear to the driver before they signed. Shame for Perez, I hope he can secure a drive maybe at Haas but that is such a backwards step. If I were Perez, I would definitely rather go to Williams at the moment if there’s a seat at some point (probably not).

    1. Funny how this whole vettel-sainz-ricciardo-perez deal seems to turn out a backwards step for just about everyone, maybe except for Ricciardo

  6. Give them the middle finger and try to get a seat in IndyCar next year.

    1. Agreed! Checo would be awesome in Indycar

  7. Would love to know those unmentionables in the contract, whether he would be getting paid out or short changed due to some well lawyered clause.

    Either way, best of luck to him, deserves the seat more than the favoured son.

    1. I saw mentions of him getting 9 million for the early termination @skipgamer. Not sure that is accurate, but it does show that Perez is probably far better prepared for this moment than he makes it seem. I don’t doubt his management already has the options lined up for him him to decide on what to go for with Slim.

      1. Yes, you have already said…

  8. Few thoughts:
    #1 Doesnt Perez bring bags of millions from bis Mexican sponsors? If yes, them maybe Stroll is soooo rich he doesn’t care or with Vettel few sponsors are booked?
    #2 I am a Vettel fan but I have to admit that Perez is a fantastic driver, a guy who can win races with a slightly better car. One thing I dont want to see: Lance to be faster than Vettel and that can happen because I rate Perez as fast as Vettel and recently Lance has improved massively, from the below average performance of his first 2 years. If Lance is faster than Seb, then Vettel needs to spontaneously walk out, after he’s been beaten by Ricciardo and Leclerc and being equalized by my 40 years old legend who races F1 as a hobby (Kimi).
    #3 Where is Perez going? Is Red Bull going to give him a seat? Maybe Albon is kicked out and Gasly will be promoted again? Bottas is going to probably stay forever, as along as Lewis can beat him regularly without any fight. Giovinazzi should leave and maybe Perez will go back there? Renault is locked and so it’s Macca. Where? He’s bloody excellent. He deserves a seat!

    1. @nuvolari71 – Yes, Perez brings a lot of millions, and it will have cost Stroll somewhere between 6-12 million to end the contract, on top of not receiving any more of their money for next season.

      But the rise of the Aston Martin stocks yesterday evening (before losing most of that today again when reality settled down) shows that having Vettel there to add to the lustre of the brand, to be able to get Middle eastern princes, Russian olicharchs, Chinese party bigwigs & industrialists introduced to their new toy by a 4 time world champion like Vettel is worth far more to the brand (if they succeed to deliver on their promises, not like the Lotus bubble that ultimately burst) than even tens of millions they get from Perez and his backers.

      I don’t expect Lance to be faster than Seb. And he showed last sunday that he does not quite have the killer mentality to bring the win home when it gets offered to him (compare Gasly, who’se tough year made him better able to grab that opportunity when it was on the table), something Vettel would surely bring to the team. Vettel will help the team build on the concept they now have of the car, to be able to build a good car for the future too. And he can coach Lance to grow into a winner in F1 too.

      Perez will most likely buy a place at Haas, or maybe at Alfa Romeo. He has experience, he brings money and he has shown he can bring the results home in a midfield car. That clearly beats what Grosjan offers nowadays, and probably what Magnussen does too.

      Alfa could do worse than replace Kimi with Perez, and they know eachother from earlier years too. And I am sure Ferrari would be happy to have Perez there to mentor Mick Schumacher at the team (since it seems they are still backing Mick far more than Shwarzman and Illot who would deserve that step up as much IMO).

      1. The Haas and Alfa Romeo seats are going to be interesting for next season. You’ve got Grosjean, Magnussen, Giovinazzi, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Perez, Schumacher, Illot and Shwartzman all fighting over four seats. If I had to guess, I’d go for:

        Haas: Perez/Shwartzman
        Alfa: Hulkenberg/Schumacher

        Which might be harsh on the current incumbents… I think of the four of them, only Magnussen might be lucky enough to stay.

        1. I agree that those 4 names are the most likely, although I think maybe Perez might go with Alfa instead because he still knows a lot of people there @ben-n

          I think that Magnussen actually brings some money from Denmark for Haas, that might convince them to keep him. Maybe depending on how much Ferrari are willing to offer to get Shwarzman in. Or Illot?

          1. Yeah K-Mag brings Jack & Jones sponsorship

        2. You might have to add Kvyat to the available list.
          @ben-n

      2. I agree with you bud. Surely Haas is a perspective. And I would like to still see Magnussen, whom I value quite a lot, at least in comparison to Gro. At Alfa, they need to reshufle their line up too. Kimi will leave and Gio is very average to my eyes. I would like to see another young gun on the grid. I cant see any change at Williams as of today.

      3. Yesterdays stock price had nothing to so with Vettel. The market was closed way before Checo’s announcement.

      4. @bascb

        So it’s 9, then 9, now 6-12 million? What’ll it be in 3 hours time? 5-10 million?

        1. Just like antiques roadshow: 7.5-10.5

  9. This is an example of what is so wrong with F1. Clearly, and I mean clearly, SV has been on the slippery slope for the last three seasons. He was one of the best, but the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates he no longer is on that form, and hasn’t for some time. Perez would very likely out perform SV in the same team. Perez is consistent, great race craft and very fast, a top driver now and if the sports has any honor, deserves to be driving a top car.

    Racing Point senior management are a poor example of a great sporting team.

    1. It’s a strange choice that’s for sure, seemingly based on a drivers performance from 6+ years ago. Red Bull Seb is so long gone he could be a different driver altogether.

      Although I quite like Vettel, it would serve the team right if Stroll destroyed him and give Perez a small piece of satisfaction.

    2. It doesn’t appear to be about the team it’s about the brand. To me, much the same as Ferrari’s choice of Sainz over Ricciardo.

  10. How about the second Williams seat? That has been a pay seat for some time now, and whilst Latifi isn’t doing badly at all, I’m sure the new Williams management would jump at the chance of getting a very experienced driver who also happens to bring in the money as well. Perez is exactly what they need for their rebuilding mission.

    1. The team has Latifi because he brings money and they have Russel as the super talented kid of the future who maybe also brings some goodies with him from his ties to Mercedes. Sure, Perez might bring more than Latifi, but can the team get out of that contract? And what would the lure be for Perez to go from the front of the midfield to the team that finished last in the last two years and is still without points this year @sbewers

      1. @bascb – Well Perez’s options are between Alfa, Haas or Williams. All three are pretty much at the same level of pace this season and it switches from race to race which one of those teams is ahead of the other. And that’s reflected in the Constructors’ championship too with Alfa on 2 points, Haas on 1, Williams on 0.

        So I would say that all of his options involve going from the front of the midfield to a team towards the back of the pack. But actually, if we look at where Williams was last season compared to the other two teams, and where they are now, Williams is actually the team on the upwards trajectory whilst both Alfa and Haas seem to be making backwards steps. Under new ownership, with new money coming in, and with the project of rebuilding a historic brand and taking them back to the midfield, I would personally consider Williams to be the most attractive of those three options at this moment in time.

        Having said all of that, I hadn’t realised that Latifi actually has a multi-year contract so is already booked into the seat for next season. So actually, it’s very unlikely Williams is even an option as I can’t see them buying out Latifi’s contract when he brings money in too.

        1. @sbewers, yeah, the reason I took Williams out of the equasion was Latifi unlikely to make room. I can see how they might otherwise be a solid bet (altough Perez would clearly want to get some more info from the new owners on their plans, money coming in etc).

          I think that Haas would be the most likely pick, since Gene seems to have the option to chose his own drivers, while Alfa Romeo has to take a Ferrari driver (Mick Schumacher, most likely now, although Shwarzman or Illot could be the ones Ferrari promotes too).
          On the other hand Perez knows a lot of people in Hinwill which might make it the better pick for him. Also, Sauber has a well established base themselves while Haas has to relie on Ferrari and Dallara for a lot.

  11. It’s hard on Perez, but if management get the opportunity to sign a 4 time WDC and multiple race winner, they’ll take it. Vettel-Perez is clearly a better line-up than Vettel-Stroll, but that’s a discussion for another time. If the choice was between Vettel and Perez, I can understand why they chose Vettel.

    1. Yeah, signing Vettel is a bit of a PR dream for a team + luxury sportscar manufacturer starting out on a run of building up the brand again. A bit like Genii hoped to realise with Kimi on board when they took on Lotus.

      I guess we can hope Vettel does at least as well at Aston Martin as Kimi managed with “Lotus”. And that Aston Martin with Stroll do a better job of building up the car production and introducing a successful line of cars than Genii/Lopez did at Lotus!

  12. Cry me a river.

    He’s just received a massive pay out.

    The team hasn’t tried to hold out on him with a settlement.

    It would be absolutely daft of the new Aston Martin to not have a marquee driver like Vettel if he’s available and willing to drive for you because of supposed loyalty to Perez.

    I guarantee if Merecedes offered Perez a drive in 2021 he’d move heaven and earth to break his contract.

    1. Perez got used and he shouldn’t cry about it.
      This is business.

      1. I guess it’s difficult to assume the tone when it’s written in text, but he didn’t sound at all like he was crying about it.

  13. Does mr. Stroll have another son (and how old)? It’s a shame to have a non-Stroll driver in a team, so I hope this is not a long term situation.

    1. Does mr. Stroll have another son

      Daughter: Chloe Stroll
      Not sure if she’s LDL or HDL though.

        1. @coldfly that took me far too long to get.

          1. automatic reply to @gongtong: I cannot reply as I saw myself out after my previous comment.

  14. What’s going on? In an article next to this Ricciardo says “I saw him Sunday after the race and I had a bit of an idea that this was going to be announced soon.”

    Now Perez says he had no idea and was only informed yesterday, three days after Sunday when Ricciardo had a bit of an idea from Perez…

    1. Must be all that money making things blurry for Checo.

  15. The team has a new owner and the actions of the owner is not a reflection of the team personnel.

  16. “In the end they just officially told me yesterday that I am not continuing. I didn’t expect that. But it’s how it is.”

    Somebody should get his representation fee cut, then.

  17. Lol cant wait for vettel to get a taste of his own medicine number 2 status

  18. And in ten years people will think Stroll is a good driver. “He evolved into a decent driver and prove himself despite the claims that he’s there only because of his father.”

    When in fact he was so slow and took so long to achieve an average level that if we weren’t so rich he would already be last year’s news at best.

  19. This was the worst kept secret in Formula 1. Perez must have been high on petrol fumes to believe whatever Lawrence Stroll and Otmar Szafnauer were telling him to the contrary.

    Never ever trust an employer. Hopefully lesson learnt.

    1. Especially if he’s a billionaire globalist.

  20. BasCB you only responded SEVEN times on this single comment. You must have a lot to say.

  21. Can someone explain this move to me like I’m 5?

    Is Perez just done with RP? Why would Boss Stroll want to buy out his contract? Make way for Seb?

    I come back from a day of work, check the web and BAM I feel lost!

    1. Reading the news didn’t make anything clear? :-)

  22. In the cold hard light of day, Perez really has no one to blame but himself.

    If he’d completely dominated his team mate, or previous team mates, I doubt he’d have been given his marching orders. I actually believe that had he completely dominated Lance, then Lance May well have been the one making room for Seb.

    From a marketing perspective – Seb as their new driver makes sense. I doubt other teams will be clamouring to get Perez as much as they’d all have been looking at Seb.

  23. This is what could’ve seriously happened after Belgium 2017.

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