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Perez to leave Racing Point, Vettel now almost certain to sign

Perez to leave Racing Point, Vettel now almost certain to sign

F1 News


Perez to leave Racing Point, Vettel now almost certain to sign

Perez to leave Racing Point, Vettel now almost certain to sign

Sergio Perez has confirmed he is to leave Racing Point at the end of the season, paving the way for Sebastian Vettel to join the team.

Perez has announced via a lengthy statement on his Twitter account that the last nine races of this campaign will be his last with the team, ending what will be a seven-year association after he signed from McLaren in 2014.

The announcement now means it is almost certain Vettel will join a team that next year is to be rebranded as Aston Martin.

The four-time F1 champion has long been linked with Racing Point over these past few weeks in light of his own departure from Ferrari at the end of the season.

In a heartfelt statement, Perez said: “Everything in life always has a beginning and an end, and after seven years together, my time with the team will come to an end after this season

“It hurts a bit as I bet on the team during very rough times; we managed to overcome obstacles and I am very proud of saving the jobs of several of my teammates.

“I’ll keep the memories of the great moments lived together, the friendships and the satisfaction of always giving my all.

“I will always be grateful for the opportunity given to me by Vijay Mallya, who believed in me in 2014 and allowed me to continue my F1 career with Force India.

“To the current administration, led by Lawrence Stroll, I wish nothing but the best in the future, specially with the upcoming Aston Martin project.

“I don’t have a plan B. My intention is to continue racing here, but that would depend on finding a project that motivates me to continue giving my 100 percent in each lap.

“I want to thank each one of you who have been with me throughout these 10 years. To my family, who has always been there to support me despite anything.

“To all the sponsors who believed in my project, to my staff, and mainly God, who blessed me with the opportunity to live this incredible adventure called F1.

“I hope I can give you some good news real soon, but for now, let’s enjoy together the next races. I carry you in my heart!”

Given Perez's comments about motivation, it now remains to be seen what his next move will be, particularly with the only seats realistically available are at Haas and Alfa Romeo.

Perez scored five podium finishes with the team - all third place - and helped it claim consecutive fourth-place finishes in the constructors’ championship in 2016 and 2017.

CEO and team principal Otmar Szafnauer feels Perez has "become one of the most complete drivers on the grid" during his time with the team.

He added: "Blisteringly quick on Saturday and Sunday, he’s established his reputation as a tenacious racer and together we have enjoyed some fantastic moments.

"If there was ever a sniff of a podium, Checo was ready to pounce, and those five podiums represent some of the finest days in the history of this team.

"Outside of the car, Checo is a true character and a good friend, and it’s been a pleasure working with him for such a long time.

"Although we will say goodbye at the end of the year, there are still nine races to go and plenty of opportunities for Checo to make some more special memories with this team.”

What do you think?

Ahh, drat. I put Perez on a par with Hulkenberg - two fast, consistent drivers who could have won in the right car. And the sad irony of Racing Point dumping him just as their car was getting competitive.

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