Sergio Perez says he is now open to taking a “year out” of Formula 1 and see what options become available for the 2022 season.
Informed by Racing Point that his services would not be required in 2021, dropped in favour of Sebastian Vettel, Perez has been looking at his options.
The Mexican driver is said to have signed a preliminary deal with Haas while Alfa Romeo is also a possibility.
A sabbatical could also be on the cards.
Although Perez said weeks ago that “once you go out, you might never come back”, the 30-year-old has changed his tune on that one.
But, whatever he decided to do, he says he is excited for the future.
“I have no idea [what happens next] but I’m very excited,” he told Sky F1.
“After 10 years in the sport I want a challenge that motivates me to give my 100 per cent on every single lap, every single morning to go and train and travel around the world. I need that.
“If I don’t find that, I won’t stay in the sport.
“I might take a year out, see what options come in a year after, or I might look for another series. Or retire. Every scenario, none of them are bad options.”
First prize, though, would be staying in Formula 1.
Perez entered the sport in 2011 with Sauber before moving to McLaren and then onto Force India, now known as Racing Point, where he spent eight seasons.
“My priority is to continue in the sport,” he continued. “I’m only 30 and I feel I have so much to give, and I’m in the prime of my career. But it’s not up to me, it’s up to the options.
“Nothing is signed yet but there has been some progress so we will see in the coming weeks.
“As I said before, I think at this stage no one is in any hurry. Not the teams, not me so, let’s wait.
“There’s a long way to go.”