Sergio Perez has something that no other F-1 driver has now — a contract to race in 2022.
The other drivers have contracts that expire at the end of 2019, ’20 or ’21. But Perez’s new three-year deal with Racing Point means he will be with the team through 2022.
“I am happy about it,” the Mexican driver said. “I see this team has a big potential. I really believe in the plans that we have for the coming years.”
The team has been going through a period of transition this season and the latter part of last year as the new owners – a consortium put together by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll – have been investing heavily in the entire operation.
“It’s a massive opportunity for us to grow together for the future,” Perez said, “and obviously there is a big change in rules coming up ion 2021 so hopefully this team can be in place for that.”
Because of the team’s previous shaky finances, Perez had been signing one-year deals prior to this new three-year contract.
“It’s been a while since I’ve signed a long-term deal,” he said. “There was a lot of uncertainty on the team as well. I think only time will tell, but I’m happy with that decision, and optimistic for the future.”
Was Perez tempted to only do a one-year deal so that he could stay free to look at other team options for 2021?
“I know that there might be some movement around in 2021,” he said. “But I think I’ve been so long in this team that if a big opportunity came up then definitely the team will be happy to consider releasing me. That for me is not a concern. It’s more to work together for the next three years, and we have big targets to achieve.”
Racing Point has been able to bring updates to the car throughout the season, something it could not afford to do when it was Force India and owned by Vijay Mallya. The team is planning to build an entire new factory at its base across the road from the Silverstone circuit.
“I think what the team is doing, and how hard they’re pushing, and the investment is a massive opportunity,” Perez said. “I wanted a project that motivated me, and it’s what I have here. I see a good future. Only time will tell if it’s right or not, but I’m optimistic for it.”