Racing Point deny July exit clause in Perez deal

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez

Although coy on his talks with Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel, Otmar Szafnauer has denied reports that Perez had a July 31st exit clause in his contract.

Earlier this month German publication Bild reported that Vettel was being lined up to replace Perez at Racing Point in 2021.

According to the report, team owner Lawrence Stroll was set to trigger an exit clause in Perez’s contract, which had to be done before July 31st.

That date, though, has come and gone with no news about whether Perez will hold onto his race seat for next season or if Vettel will be taking his place.

Racing Point team boss Szafnauer hasn’t given much away, saying several times that both Perez and Lance Stroll have contracts for 2021.

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He did, however, add earlier this month that it is “tough to predict the future”.

He continued: “Like I said, what they need to do is do the best they can. They are contracted and watch this space, we’ll see where we go. But our intention is never to not honour our contracts.”

The Romanian-born boss was again asked about the Perez situation on Friday, the date of the alleged exit clause.

But while Szafnauer refused to give too much away, he did deny that there was a July exit clause in Perez’s contract.

“We usually don’t like to disclose the details of our contracts,” he said via Autosport.

“But I’ll take this opportunity to tell you that option that you talk about expiring today is not true.

“That’s not the case.”

Perez is currently in self-isolation, forced to miss this weekend’s British GP after testing positive on Wednesday.

The Mexican’s race seat has, at least for the British Grand Prix, gone to former driver Nico Hulkenberg, who was seventh fastest in Friday’s practice.

At this moment, though, Racing Point is unsure as to which of the two drivers will be in the car at next weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, also at the Silverstone circuit.

“If it’s certain that [Perez] is out for two, then Nico will drive in both races,” Szafnauer explained to

“But the reason for it there is a bit of uncertainty, and we’re still not sure if it is seven or 10 days.

“He tested positive on Wednesday. I believe, but I am not a 100 percent sure, that on Wednesday the restriction set by England was seven days of quarantine, not 10.

“I guess I am still unsure. If it’s 10 days, then Nico will drive both [races]. If it’s seven days, that’s only one of the hurdles.

“The other hurdle is he’s got to have negative test as well. So if the virus is still in the system and he tests positive, then Nico again will be driving in the second Silverstone race.”

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