Sergio Perez has confirmed he will take a full sabbatical from motorsport in 2021 if his sole Formula 1 option in Red Bull opts not to sign him for next season.
Perez has been linked with a number of teams since Racing Point confirmed signing Sebastian Vettel as his replacement when it rebrands as Aston Martin for next year.
But with time and options running out the Mexican has revealed he is now facing up to a life without motorsport.
“I am clear on what I want to do,” said Perez. “Plan A is to carry on. Plan B is stop for a year. If I don’t have F1 next year I don’t see myself doing anything else, so I will take a year to consider what I want to do, if I really miss it.
“There is only one option [in F1 - Red Bull]. I want to keep going, I think I am at the peak of my career but I also must keep going with a reason, with a good project, to give my 100 percent.”
Red Bull has made it clear that current driver Alex Albon is their favourite to continue alongside Max Verstappen next season but that he must prove he is worthy of the seat.
Perez is doing all he can to prove he deserves it more, with his second-place finish at the last race in Turkey that moved him up to fourth in the drivers’ championship helping put his performances in focus.
But asked if he could live without motorsport should that prove to be his route, he said: “Yeah, I can. I have a lot of interest in other stuff away from racing.
“I’ve got my family, and so many other things. I am still very young, I could see myself later on doing other businesses away from motorsport, not in my 30s but if that comes early, I’m happy to pursue that option.
“My whole life I have been into motorsport, so I have to see the life outside the sport, how it is, how it suits me.
“Most of the drivers, they retire and then after six months they go mad and want to do whatever is available.
"I will see how I feel without racing, see if I really need it, if I really want to come back or if there is other series I am interested in doing or if I rather just do something else and stay away from motorsport.”
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