Perez contacted by rival team as Racing Point/Aston Martin rumours grow

Sergio Perez, Racing Point, 2020 Hungarian GP

Speculation over Sergio Perez's F1 future continues as Vettel rumours continue

Laurent Charniaux/Pool via Getty Images

Sergio Perez says he was contacted by another team on the Formula 1 grid after rumours that Sebastian Vettel would replace him at Racing Point for 2021 emerged.

The Mexican driver faced questions for the first time since rumours broke that the four-time world champion is the candidate to replace him at the team that will become Aston Martin next season.

He reaffirmed ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix that while he has a contract with the team for the next two years, anything can happen in Formula 1, and added that a rival team had approached him following the rumours breaking.

“In Formula 1 you never know until the start of the race, you don’t know if you’re racing. This is how things are,” he told media in Hungary.

“I know I’ve got a contract, I know that during the week obviously the rumours came out and we actually got contacted by a team in the paddock – I won’t say names – and other teams in other categories which was quite a surprise because we have a contract for next year here.

“I’m with the team as far as I know. I think the answer to these questions, it will only be time. We will see what happens in the next weeks. At the moment, there are just rumours around.”

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Perez helped guide the team under its former guise as Force India through a controlled administration that saw it taken over by a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll.

This season, Racing Point has enjoyed a surge in competitiveness with its RP20 heavily influenced by the 2019 Mercedes W10. The team looked to be the third-quickest car at points during both weekends at the Red Bull Ring.

Perez echoed the viewpoint of the team that having a driver like Vettel associated with the team speaks to how it has improved in recent seasons.

“This team has taken a good step forward. It’s good to have big names related to the team because that means that we are making a good job, we’re making progress and I think the team should be proud of it. I’ve been in Formula 1 for 10 years so I’m used to this stuff.

“I think he is obviously a big name in the sport, he has done a lot during his career.

“There is no secret that he’s been extremely lucky as well to have great machinery throughout his career. But no one can take any credit from the successful career he’s had. So I think he’s definitely a good name to have in a team.”

Team-mate Lance Stroll was sat alongside Perez facing the media at the Hungaroring, and was fairly dismissive of the speculation surrounding the team and its driver line-up for next season.

“It’s part of the circus I guess. It’s all part of the silly season rumours and so on, kind of as expected,” Stroll said.

“It’s all part of the fun. I think it’s normal and we’re looking really competitive at the moment, so I’m sure there will be a lot to talk about. We’ll just have to see what happens down the line.”