Sergio Perez is likely out of Formula 1 at the end of this season, with former driver Max Chilton saying he “can’t see” him racing for Red Bull.
Despite entering this season thinking he was one of the most secure drivers on the grid with a long-term Racing Point contract, it was Perez who found himself without a job when the driver market played out.
First Ferrari announced in May that Sebastian Vettel would be leaving the team at the end of this year which was followed by confirmation that Carlos Sainz would take his Ferrari seat, Daniel Ricciardo would be heading to McLaren and Vettel is off to Aston Martin.
Perez, despite that contract, was left out in the cold.
The Mexican racer has since been linked to a move to Red Bull where he would replace the under-fire Alexander Albon.
But with Red Bull pushing back the deadline for Albon to save his seat and saying repeatedly that they want the driver to stay on, Chilton believes Perez won’t be on next year’s grid.
“The sad thing is what is going to happen with Pérez,” the Brit told GQ Magazine.
“He is a fantastic driver – as he showed at the weekend – but I cannot see him staying in F1.
“The place that would make most sense would be replacing Alex Albon at Red Bull, but it’s just not the Red Bull way – they like to promote their development drivers, so I just can’t see it happening.”
Perez is fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, best of the rest, despite having sat out two races when he tested positive for Covid-19.
That, though, doesn’t mean Perez won’t be racing.
Chilton revealed there are rumours that the 30-year-old could head to IndyCars along with soon-to-be-former Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
“There are stories doing the rounds that him, Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen may well end up racing in IndyCar, which would be fantastic.
“They better be quick, however, as a lot of the seats are taken, certainly the ones in the quickest cars, which I imagine they would want so they can show off how good they are.”
Chilton joined IndyCars when he left Formula 1, racing for Carlin Motorsport and Chip Ganassi Racing.