Sergio Perez has made it clear that he would be unlikely to sign a new deal to stay in F1 if he isn’t competing at the front of the grid by 2022.
The Mexican driver is contracted to Racing Point until the end of the 2022 campaign after signing a new three-year extension last season, but has previously been vocal about the lack of opportunities for the midfield drivers to battle with Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull at the top.
But Perez sees the new regulations coming for 2021 as a big opportunity to bridge that gap, though should it fail to do so, then his days in F1 could become numbered.
“What gave me the hope is a change of rules and that I know what’s going on with the team,” he is quoted by Motorsport.com.
“I mean, I have to be also realistic, you know. I cannot be with Mercedes or Ferrari. This is a fantastic place to be. Many drivers would love to be here, especially with what is going on behind the scenes. So it’s a good opportunity.
“But obviously it’s going to be my 10th year in F1 next year. If things keep going the same way I don’t see me extending my career much further than 2022.
“Three years in Formula 1 go by very fast. I’m very optimistic and I’m ready to fight for wins and I’m all for it.”
If Perez was to receive an offer from one of the big teams though, he doesn’t think Racing Point would stand in his way.
“The way I see it is that I’ve been so long in this team, it’s really become like my second family,” he explained.
“So I don’t think there will be anyone more happy if an opportunity comes to me with a top team. They will for sure give me the opportunity.
“But if that’s not the case, it is a fantastic place to be. So why not commit for a good, long-term future and then I’m sure I’m going to be very successful here.”