Sergio Perez has announced that he is to depart Racing Point at the end of the 2020 Formula One season after seven seasons with the team formerly known as Force India.
In an open letter to fans, Perez said; “Everything in life always has a beginning and an end, and after seven years together, my time with the team will come to an end after this season.
“It hurts a bit as I bet on the team during very rough times; we managed to overcome obstacles and I am very proud to of saving the jobs of several of my teammates.
“I’ll keep the memories of the great moments lived together, the friendships and the satisfaction of always giving my all.
Perez also paid tribute to Vijay Mallya for giving him a seat in 2014 at the team then branded Force India after leaving McLaren after 2013 season, whilst wishing the current owner – Lawrence Stroll well, saying; “I will always be grateful for the opportunity given to me by Vijay Mallya, who believed in me in 2014 and allowed me to continue my F1 career with Force India.
“To the current administration, led by Lawrence Stroll, I wish nothing but the best in the future, specially with the upcoming Aston Martin project.”
Perez has openly admitted that he could well depart F1 as a whole, saying “I don’t have a plan B. My intention is to continue racing here, but that would depend on finding a project that motivates me to continue giving my 100 percent in each lap.”
Racing Point CEO and Team Principal, Otmar Szafnauer has paid tribute to Perez, describing the Mexican as “one of the most complete drivers on the grid.”
Commenting on Perez’s character inside and outside of the car, Szafnauer said; “Blisteringly quick on Saturday and Sunday, he’s established his reputation as a tenacious racer and together we have enjoyed some fantastic moments.
“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.”
This announcement therefore paves the way for Sebastian Vettel to potentially join the team as heavily rumoured in recent months following confirmation in May that his time at Ferrari was to end at conclusion of this season.
We meanwhile exclusively spoke to Lance Stroll recently courtesy of Racing Point and on the topic of the Aston Martin project commencing next season, Stroll made no reference to Perez or any potential new teammate, saying; “I see a big opportunity with Aston Martin to bring this team to an even higher level and I cannot wait…”