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Perez says FIVE TIMES he has a contract with Racing Point as Vettel rumours intensify

Perez says FIVE TIMES he has a contract with Racing Point as Vettel rumours intensify

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Perez says FIVE TIMES he has a contract with Racing Point as Vettel rumours intensify

Perez says FIVE TIMES he has a contract with Racing Point as Vettel rumours intensify

Sergio Perez was forced to point out five times he has a contract with Racing Point in defence against a barrage of questions regarding the possibility of Sebastian Vettel replacing him at the team.

Rumours during the week suggested four-time F1 champion Vettel had held talks with Racing Point bosses, and that it would be Perez making way rather than Lance Stroll, son of owner Lawrence.

Perez, though, is contracted through to the end of 2022 - although it has been suggested he has a break clause in the deal - and he brings considerable sponsorship with him from his Mexican backers.

Asked whether he felt threatened by the Vettel links, Perez replied: "I'm with the team as far as I know. I have a contract. The answer to these questions, it will only be time. We will see what happens in the next weeks.

"From my point of view, I've got a contract with the team. I fully believe in the future of the team."

Pressed on whether he could say 100 per cent he is staying, Perez opted not to do so, but he has revealed another F1 team was quickly in touch - along with other series - when the stories emerged he could be departing.

"In Formula 1 you never know. Until you start the race, you don't know if you are racing. This is how things are," added Perez.

"I know I've got a contract, I know that during the week the rumours came out and we actually got contacted by a team in the paddock - I won't say names - and by other teams in other categories, which was quite a surprise because we have a contract for the next years here.

"At the moment they are just rumours. Nothing more to add on my side other than we have a contract in place."

As to whether he was frustrated with the speculation, Perez said: "It's just part of the game.

"The team has taken a good step forward. It's good to have big names related to the team because that means we are doing a good job, making progress, and the team should be proud of it.

"I've been in Formula 1 for 10 years so I'm used to this stuff."

As for Stroll, he appeared the more uncomfortable of the two in answering questions about his future.

Asked if he was determined to stay, or if would step aside for Vettel, the Canadian said: "No! I'm determined to stay here."

Stroll added: "It [the speculation] is part of the circus, it's all part of the silly season, rumours and so on. It's kinda as expected. It's all part of the fun. It's normal.

"We're looking really competitive at the moment, so I'm sure there will be a lot of talk about. We'll just have to see what happens down the line."

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