Sergio Perez admits that it “hurts a bit” to be leaving the Racing Point F1 Team given his involvement in saving it in 2018.
Perez will depart the squad formerly known as Force India at the end of the current season, a development which raises the probability that Sebastian Vettel will land there.
Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer had said in July that the Mexican’s loyalty would be considered amid talks with Vettel, an apparent reference to the role he played during the team’s financial turmoil two years ago.
Ironically, Perez conceded earlier this year on Spanish television that it was “obvious” who would face the axe if the future Aston Martin team was to sign Vettel, and reasoned, “I’m a dad, I wouldn’t kick my son out.”
Now that very scenario has seemingly come to pass, the 30-year-old has opened up in his own statement.
“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,” he wrote.
“It hurts a bit as I bet on the team during very rough times. We managed to overcome obstacles and I am very proud of saving the jobs of several of my team-mates.
“I’ll keep the memories of the great moments lived together, the friendships and the satisfaction of always giving my all.
“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, especially with the upcoming Aston Martin project.”
Just a handful of seats remain in play for next season, including both at Haas and Alfa Romeo, but Perez gave no indication of where he might end up in 2021.
“I don’t have a plan B,” Perez added.
“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.
“I hope I can give you some good news real soon, but for now, let’s enjoy together the next races.”
Perez is currently 11th in the drivers’ championship after eight rounds, of which he has contested only six due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Round 9 is the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello, where Practice 1 starts tomorrow at 19:00 AEST.