[UPDATE] After coming up with a bigger check to buy his ride, Sergio Perez has revealed that he is now confident he will not be replaced by Sebastian Vettel at the Racing Point team for the 2021 Formula 1 season. He was rumored to be paying the team $15 per year for his seat and the rumor now is he came up with an extra $5 million when he went back to Mexico to ask Carlos Slim to cough up more money. It was on that trip that Perez caught the Covid-19 virus.
Perez and Lance Stroll are both under contract for another year but should Vettel be brought in, it would be the Mexican who would be the “obvious” choice to make way despite his greater financial clout through sponsorship, given his teammate’s father owns the team.
“I’m not making way either! I hope not,” he told Sky Sports. “At the moment everything is looking as if we’re going to carry on with the team. So we’ll see.
“The feedback I’ve got from the team is we are going to carry on.”
“I believe it’s just a matter of time before those rumors can go away.”August 16, 2020
Rumor has it that Sergio Perez’s sponsors (led by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim) are trying to stop the Mexican losing his seat to Sebastian Vettel in 2021 by throwing millions more dollars to the Racing Point Team.
Racing Point has emerged as the strongest candidate to sign Vettel as they prepare to relaunch as the Aston Martin F1 team in 2021 and Vettel’s popular name brings much value to Racing Point from a marketing standpoint.
Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll both have long-term deals currently in place with Racing Point and, with Lance’s seat safe as his father, Lawrence, owns the team, it is Perez who would be the one to make way for Vettel.
“It’s clear who would have to go,” Perez said back in July. “I’m a father too. I would certainly not kick my own son out of the house. But I can’t say much more about it.
“There are so many rumors swirling around at the moment. It doesn’t change anything for me. I have a contract.”
However, at the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, Perez appeared to be a little more confident about his chances of keeping his seat.
“I can’t do anything about the rumors about Vettel,” He told reporters. “The team has told me that we want to continue. My place seems safe.”
German publication SpeedWeek are reporting that this is because Perez’s sponsors are willing to pay even more money for the Mexican to keep his seat.
However, Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport believe that Vettel has already been offered a contract with an annual salary of $15m and the four-time World Champion is expected to sign it at the end of the August at the Belgian Grand Prix weekend.
Meanwhile, Vettel’s former boss Christian Horner thinks his ex-driver would still be a “very attractive” choice within the Formula 1 paddock if he chose to take a year out.
“If he chose to take a year out, he would still be very attractive to teams should he wish to come back in 12 months’ time,” Horner told PA.
“He doesn’t need to be in Formula One for the sake of being there next year.
“What he has achieved in this sport is quite phenomenal, and I am sure he is thinking hard about his next move.
“He is carrying a lot of weight on his shoulders at the moment and that must be very tough for him.”