What's Next For Sergio Perez?
ICYMI: Sergio Perez has announced he is leaving Racing Point at the end of the 2020 season.
Well, that seemed to drag on didn't it? Ever since Sebastian Vettel announced he was to leave Ferrari at the end of 2020, there were persistent rumours of Vettel to Racing Point (by then Aston Martin) that just would not dissipate and it forever seemed that Sergio Perez was destined to be dropped for the German, despite being contracted until 2022 and denial from Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer even up to a few hours before, however an official announcement has now been made by Perez on his Instagram confirming his departure from Racing Point and whilst there has been no official announcement on who will replace Sergio as of yet, you can take a hazardous guess. Checo has already said there was no "plan B" but would like to stay in F1 as long as the right project comes along, so with that being said, what's next for Sergio Perez?
Legacy At Racing Point
Photo Credits: Sky Sports.
Firstly, lets talk about those seven successful seasons with Racing Point and the legacy he leaves behind. When he signed with then Force India, his stock had fell somewhat having just come off the back of a poor season with a struggling McLaren team, replacing Lewis Hamilton, which entailed zero podiums and just 49 points, so when he joined Force India in 2014 he had a bit of mental rebuilding to do. After 7 seasons, 127 races, 5 podiums, 486 points and an average championship finishing position of 8th, He can be happy with all that he has achieved but might feel a bit aggrieved that he has been with them through the rollercoaster of the last few years, which has seen drama, name changes, ownership changes, administration (which resulted in Perez taking legal action to save the team) and even potential extinction; now they actually have a car capable of competing towards the front of the field and he is being cast away/leaving or however you want to spin it.
Romantic Reunion At Romeo?
Photo Credits: Motorauthority
To those who only started watching or re-watching Formula one over the last few years, Sergio Perez started his F1 career at 21 with Sauber, now Alfa Romeo, back in 2011 replacing the outgoing Nick Heidfeld, and immediately put the whole of F1 on alert with his fast pace and aggressive driving style. After 39 races and 3 podiums, he caught the attention of teams such as Ferrari, however, McLaren won the race for his signature. Now at the age of 30 and in the prime years of his career, could a more experienced and still very pacey Perez be a great ally for the underperforming Alfa Romeo team? Rumours suggest that talks have already taken place between the two parties and with the rumoured retirement of Kimi Raikonnen imminent, there is a spot open at Alfa for Perez's taking, could this be the project he was alluding to?
Photo credits: Racefans.net
Okay this is very unlikely, especially since Pierre Gaslys incredible resurgence, capped off with a win at Monza last week, but hear me out on this; Red Bull did not suit Gasly and despite how brilliant he has been since returning to Alpha Tauri, I don't think going back to Red Bull is the best thing for either party and I believe his long term future lies away from Red Bull. Albon on the other hand, I think is a fantastic driver but has been well off the pace from his teammate, Max Verstappen, in both qualifying and the race, something is not clicking with Albon, the car and the team. So Red Bull need a decent 2nd driver capable of competing at the front, getting podiums and even some wins, as well as having some marketability about him, they could do a whole lot worse than Mexico's Sergio Perez with 8 podiums to his name and millions of fans in Mexico, this could potentially be an ideal scenario for both parties, if I was Red Bull, I would be snapping him up.
Sabbatical For Sergio?
Lets be really pessimistic for a second, There are very few seats available for 2021 and with so many exciting youngsters in F2, those seats might be taken by youngsters like Illott, Schumacher etc, lets also not forget about Nico Hulkenberg who showed that he hasn't missed a beat. With that being said is taking a leaf out of Nico's book and taking a year off a viable option for Checo? A lot can happen in 12 months, who knows what might happen in the transfer merry-go-round and with the new cost caps coming in for 2022 potentially bringing in new teams to the sport opening up more seats and maybe, in turn. a project for Perez to sink his teeth into.
Onto Greener Pastures? (or in this case Greener Motorsports?)
Photo credits: Beyond the flag
Not an uncommon path for former F1 drivers, could a cross over to Formula E be a plausible move for Checo? Formula E has had many former F1 drivers over the years test their skills on the unique street circuits to varying degrees of success. Formula E's popularity has grown tremendously over the last few years with the cars getting quicker every year and with Formula E already holding an E-Prix in Mexico, Sergio's popularity would only increase eyes on the series entering its 8th season. Could be a win-win for both parties, again if maybe a little unlikely.
Where do you think Sergio Perez will end up? Were Racing Point right to drop him? let me know in the comments.
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