Racing Point boss, Otmar Szafnauer, has said that Sergio Perez’s loyalty to the team will be considered when deciding on their 2021 line-up.
Sebastian Vettel being available on the driver market due to his upcoming release at Ferrari has given teams up and down the paddock something unexpected to think about for their driver line-ups next season.
Mercedes and Red Bull have both said there is no room at the inn for the four-time World Champion, although the calls for Vettel to rejoin his former team are not completely dying down.
Renault overlooked Vettel in favour of Fernando Alonso and McLaren opted for Daniel Ricciardo to replace the Ferrari-bound Carlos Sainz. That paved the way for Racing Point to emerge as the strongest contender to acquire Vettel’s services.
Vettel and Racing Point have held “loose talks” so far as the Silverstone team prepare to rebrand as Aston Martin from the 2021 campaign and beyond.
With Lance Stroll being the son of team owner, Lawrence, it is widely expected that Perez would be the driver to make way if Vettel was to come in.
Perez, is in his seventh season with the team, has stuck with them through thick and thin, even helping save jobs by triggering an administration process in 2018 which kickstarted Stroll’s eventual takeover.
Szafnauer says that will all be taken into account.
“I think the fact that he has got a signed contract will be a key factor that means we keep him,” Szafnauer told Motorsport.com.
“But I know what you’re asking, and Sergio has been loyal to us. He’s been here for a long time. He’s a great racer, works well with the team and he works well with Lance [Stroll] and he helps Lance so I’m sure all those factors do matter.”
Perez has recently said that he is expecting to the driver to make way for Vettel.
“I think [the choice] is obvious if someone has to go,” Autosport quotes the Mexican driver as having told Movistar+ F1.
“I’m a dad, I wouldn’t kick my son out, but there’s not much I can say.
“There are many [rumours] around. From me, nothing – everything remains the same.
“I have a contract with the team.”