Sergio Perez will be leaving Racing Point after the season, opening up a potential destination for four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel.
Perez, 30, was in his seventh season with the team known as Force India when he joined in 2014. Perez, who made his debut with Sauber in 2011 and finished second twice in ’12, had five third-place finishes with Racing Point.
In a post on Twitter, Perez said he had no Plan B but hoped to stay in Formula One and “I hope I can give you some good news real soon.
“It hurts a bit as I bet on the team during very rough times,” Perez posted. “We managed to overcome obstacles, and I am very proud of saving the jobs of several of my teammates.”
Tengo algo que anunciarles…
¡Gracias por su apoyo todo este tiempo!
— Sergio Pérez (@SChecoPerez) September 9, 2020
Speculation on the replacement for Perez to team with Lance Stroll undoubtedly will fall on Vettel, who is leaving Ferrari after six seasons.
Vettel has said he is prepared to walk away from F1 if no competitive rides materialized, but Racing Point has emerged as an option with its resurgence this season. Vettel has had informal talks with the team.
Stroll tied a career best with a third place this past Sunday at Monza and has scored points in five of eight races this season.
Perez missed two races after contracting COVID-19, but he also has finished no lower than 10th in his six starts.
”Blisteringly quick on Saturday and Sunday, he’s established his reputation as a tenacious racer and together we have enjoyed some fantastic moments. If there was ever a sniff of a podium, Checo was ready to pounce, and those five podiums represent some of the finest days in the history of this team.
“Outside of the car, Checo is a true character and a good friend, and it’s been a pleasure working with him for such a long time. Although we will say goodbye at the end of the year, there are still nine races to go and plenty of opportunities for Checo to make some more special memories with this team.”