Two seats on the 2021 Formulation 1 grid opened up on Thursday morning with information that Haas will not retain Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen previous the tip of this season – however does that make any distinction to Sergio Perez’s possibilities of sticking round? Lawrence Barretto assesses the choices…
Are Haas now an possibility?
Perez was left in a little bit of a pickle when Racing Level determined to finish his contract early and replace him with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel for subsequent yr – and the timing leaves him with slim pickings.
Grosjean and Magnussen’s departure means Perez may theoretically find yourself there, nonetheless my info suggests Haas are getting into a special route close to drivers, wanting to bring in emerging talent that brings financial support.
Although he held talks with the outfit in years passed by, Perez and his group are conscious that door isn’t open this time.
Sergio Perez insists he needs to remain in Formulation 1
What concerning the Williams rumours?
It has emerged that Williams and Perez have held talks concerning the Mexican driving for the group subsequent yr, which might be rather than George Russell (with Nicholas Latifi additionally below contract and bringing funding to the group).
This might be a step down for Perez, nonetheless, given he’s after a medium to long-term undertaking, such a tie-up ought to pay dividends come the 2022 guidelines change for each driver and group.
Russell was requested about it within the press convention, to which he replied: “I’ve a contract for subsequent yr. With the brand new house owners coming in, nothing has modified in any respect, let’s say, from a contractual perspective, below the brand new possession.”
“I’ve really not spoken to the brand new house owners about it as a result of from my facet there’s no concern. They’ll all be right here this weekend – I’m positive the air will probably be cleared – however I’m not involved and I’ll be on the grid subsequent yr with Williams,” he added.
Because it stands, Russell does have a contract with Williams (and is tied to their engine accomplice Mercedes), and new house owners Dorilton approaching board doesn’t change something. And the probabilities are excessive that Russell will nonetheless be in that seat come subsequent yr.
Nevertheless, it’s additionally true that Dorilton took the assembly with Perez so there may be no less than some curiosity – whereas Perez and his group should contemplate whether or not they wish to be part of F1’s lowest-ranked group and take their important backing with them.
It must also be famous that a number of different drivers, in accordance with my info, have expressed their curiosity to Dorilton about driving for Williams past this yr. That doesn’t imply Williams are wanting, as they’ve two drivers below contract, but it surely additionally doesn’t imply they aren’t open to prospects.
2020 Eifel Grand Prix: Perez rues missed podium alternative
The place else may he go?
If Williams doesn’t occur, Alfa Romeo are technically on the desk, however the feeling is that Kimi Raikkonen will keep on for an additional yr, whereas the opposite seat will go the way in which of a Ferrari junior.
And that simply leaves Purple Bull.
My info means that Perez and his group have held a number of talks with Purple Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko relating to a seat on the group, and it appears that evidently the door has been left ajar. Perez alongside Max Verstappen could be a formidable line-up.
Nevertheless, they’re in completely no rush to decide, and sources say incumbant Alex Albon will probably be given time to show he deserves to remain subsequent yr.
Sadly, time isn’t one thing Perez has. In an effort to be certain he has one thing for subsequent yr, ideally in F1 but when not elsewhere, he can’t afford to attend till the tip of the yr, which is why he’s spoken about making a name “fairly quickly” on his future.
“As I’ve mentioned earlier than, I have not signed something so I believe in the meanwhile, there’s not rather a lot that I’ve to report, or say,” he mentioned on Thursday in Portugal. “I believe the choice is coming to an finish, so it is getting shut and I needs to be ready to say one thing fairly quickly, I believe.
“However to date, I do not assume there’s plenty of level on making a gift of something, as a result of I additionally wish to preserve my negotiations non-public. I believe that we have got to be respectful of all of the groups that we’re speaking to and so there isn’t any level to debate something in the meanwhile.”
It is clear Perez needs to remain in F1, the Mexican feeling he has unfinished enterprise with the game, however his future is in different folks’s palms. Let’s see what the following few weeks carry.