For the first time, Sergio Perez has hinted at a possible end date to his time at Red Bull but where could he go after that?
The subject of Perez’s future at Red Bull has often been one that is talked about but rarely does the Mexican himself comment on it.
Perez has insisted his future until the end of 2024 at least is in Milton Keynes but speaking recently, he opened the door to a possible move.
He told DAZN that if he felt he could not contribute next season, he would look for “alternatives.” However, he did go on to say his main focus is with Red Bull but admitted that his mind was not made up for what comes next after his current deal ends.
So where he could he go? Even if Red Bull are no longer interested in his services, there would be plenty of others who are.
Where could Sergio Perez go after Red Bull?
Lewis Hamilton’s shock departure from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013 left the Woking team with a hole to fill and the 23-year-old Perez was the man they chose.
But things did not go smoothly, in particular when it came to the relationship with Jenson Button who described some of the moves made by Perez as ones that should be left on the karting track.
Things have changed since then though and Perez has become an established F1 driver so could a return to the MTC be on the cards? Timing wise it could make sense with Lando Norris’ deal set to expire at the end of 2025 and no shortage of teams seemingly interested in his signature.
Perhaps then, Perez could take a year off before making the move to McLaren? He will however hope it goes better than the last time he replaced one of McLaren’s biggest stars.
In terms of what McLaren get out of it. Replacing a driver of the calibre of Norris is no easy task but Perez could prove to be a capable pair of hands to ease them through that transition period and as he has shown at Red Bull, the Mexican is okay to play second fiddle should Oscar Piastri be in a position to become the lead driver.
Another option could be another comeback for Perez as he rejoins a team he spent two seasons at.
The Silverstone operation may have changed names since Perez departed in 2021 but many of the same faces continue to work there so they will know how good a driver the Mexican is.
It was at Racing Point that Perez produced some of the finest moments of his career and put in the kind of performances that got Red Bull interested.
Again, the timing would make sense with Fernando Alonso currently contracted until the end of 2024 and hints that he would hang up his gloves then.
Of course, Aston Martin may want to set the bar a little higher than Perez or may opt to bring in youth such as Felipe Drugovich but should they want a driver in the same experienced mould as Alonso, Perez seems an obvious choice.
If Aston Martin are not interested in his services, Perez may well head 40 miles down the road where he would arrive at Williams’ Grove base.
As it stands, Alex Albon will continue into the 2024 season while James Vowles has reassured Logan Sargeant that his place is safe despite some lacklustre performances so far in his F1 career.
But what will the situation be in 2025? Albon’s performances have no doubt ensured he has a place at Williams but could another team come calling? Meanwhile if Sargeant struggles again in 2024, Williams may opt for a change.
That change could be Perez with Williams for the first time since the 2016 partnership of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas having a tried and tested pair of Albon and Perez.
It could also be a great move for Perez with Williams under Vowles’ stewardship appearing to be a team with big plans and one that is no longer happy to settle for the P10 spot.
With Nico Hülkenberg at 36, chances are Haas may be on the lookout for another driver come 2025 and Perez would make a very good option.
The Mexican would be the best driver to have raced for Haas and considering the wealth of knowledge he could bring, he could help elevate the team to a new height.
Whether Perez would want to go from a relative giant in Red Bull to Haas remains to be seen but should he want a new challenge, a link-up with Guenther Steiner and co. could be for him.
Despite their 2026 arrival, the Audi project is one that is looming in the distance with plenty of drivers being linked with a move to the German giants.
Audi have kept their cards pretty close to the chest thus far, hiring just ex-Toro Rosso reserve Neel Jani as a simulator driver, but they will no doubt have a shortlist of drivers they would hope to entice.
Currently, the Alfa/Sauber team is headed up by Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu but while the former has a contract until the end of 2025, there is increasing speculation about the future of the latter.
Sauber junior Theo Pourchaire appearing in Formula 1 appears to be a matter of when not if, but could Perez line up alongside him in 2026?
Bottas has indicated he would like to stay on as the team becomes Audi but his performances in the next few years will dictate if that is a possibility.
But perhaps the most likely move is to nowhere at all. In 2025, Perez will have just turned 35 and having left for Europe in 2005, maybe he fancies some quiet time with his family back in his home country.
He would not be the first either. Sebastian Vettel was 35 when he hung up his gloves. Jenson Button was 36 when he gave up his full-time seat and another of Perez’s old teammates, Massa, retired at the same age.
Having reached the top with Red Bull and won at least two if not three Constructors’ titles, maybe Perez will feel satisfied with the lot he has been given and choose to call it a day.
As of right now, only Perez will know what comes next but even if seats are on offer, he may choose to walk away from the sport has been in for 12 years.