Sergio Perez will leave Racing Point at the end of the 2020 Formula 1 season, with his departure expected to confirm Sebastian Vettel as his replacement.
Perez released a statement across his social media channels on Wednesday night, revealing he wouldn’t be racing for the Silverstone-based outfit next year.
The news spells the end of a six-year partnership, where Perez has claimed five podiums and helped them finish fourth in the constructors’ championship as Force India in 2016 and 2017.
“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 the season,” said Perez. “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.”
Perez’s future at Racing Point has been a doubt since speculation intensified over Sebastian Vettel’s availability following his split from Ferrari in May.
Now a seat is vacant alongside Lance Stroll, son of Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll, it is widely expected Vettel will be announced as its second driver having expressed his desire to remain in F1.
Perez said he has no plans in place for 2021 as of yet, and hinted the few remaining F1 seats do not necessarily appeal to him.
“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% on each lap.
“I hope I can give you some good news real soon, but for now, let’s enjoy together the next races.”