Perez confirms Red Bull is an option - but won't be Verstappen's wingman
Sergio Perez has confirmed joining Red Bull for 2021 is “an option” but has warned he is not prepared to serve as number two to Max Verstappen.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner revealed last weekend that Perez is on his list of potential drivers if the team chooses to replace preferred choice Alex Albon, but is still giving him time to fight for his seat.
Asked about a possible Red Bull drive for next season, Perez said: “I don’t rule them out but I think at the moment, until they are not confirmed, they are an option.
"Everything that is not confirmed, as the time is running, there are very few opportunities to remain on the grid for next year.
“I am looking at all my possible options and I can’t take too long any more. “
Perez has confirmed, though, that should Red Bull come calling he wants to prove himself on track alongside Verstappen rather than immediately be designated as a number two driver.
"I think the number two status is given on track," added Perez. "I would be very surprised if there was a team where, when you come they already tell you that you are a number two.
"I would be surprised at that, but obviously, I don’t know how things work at Red Bull."
Perez, who will leave Racing Point to make way for Sebastian Vettel next year, is now at risk of losing his place on the grid after several potential avenues for a drive were closed ahead of this weekend’s race at Imola.
AlphaTauri has confirmed Pierre Gasly will stay with the team for next season while Alfa Romeo and Williams have also both confirmed they are keeping faith with their current line-ups for 2021.
That leaves four unconfirmed places on the grid - two at Haas, where Nikita Mazpein and Michael Schumacher are the favourites; one at AlphaTauri, which appears to be between Albon, Daniil Kvyat and Yuki Tsunoda, and the one at Red Bull.
Perez, who has raced for Sauber, McLaren, Force India and Racing Point since his debut in 2011, confirmed he does not want to take the risk of waiting indefinitely for Red Bull’s decision.
“I think there is a time where you take the risk, wait and see what happens, but I think the decision is coming to an end," said Perez.
"So I think it’s important for teams to know what’s happening going forward, and for divers too.“
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.