Sergio Perez says he has been approached by another Formula 1 team this week amid rumors Sebastian Vettel is in talks to join Racing Point next season.
Vettel will leave Ferrari at the end of the year and has made it clear he would like to stay in F1 if given the right opportunity, but Red Bull has ruled out a move while McLaren and Renault have finalized their line-ups for 2021. Media reports this week have claimed Vettel is in talks with Racing Point to join when it becomes Aston Martin next year, and although the team states it is happy with its current line-up, Perez admits it has led to another team getting in touch about a move.
“I think I’m with the team, as far as I know,” Perez said. “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.
“In F1 you never know until you are going to start the race, if you are racing — this is just how things are. I know I’ve got a contract. I know that during the week the rumors came out and we actually got contacted by a team in the paddock — I won’t say names — and also other teams in other categories, which was quite a surprise as we have a contract for the next years here.
“But at the moment they are just rumors. Nothing more to add from my side other than we’ve got a contract in place.”
Perez insists he is not angered by the rumors, as they show how much progress Racing Point has made after starting the season with an extremely competitive car.
“It’s part of the game. The team has taken a good step forward so now… it’s good to have big names related to the team, because that means we are making a good job, we are making progress, and I think the team should be proud of it. And the rest, I’ve been in F1 for 10 years so I’m used to this stuff.”
Teammate Lance Stroll — who is also under contract for next season — was also asked about the potential for Vettel to join and whether he would be willing to vacate his seat for the four-time world champion.
“No, I’m determined to stay here,” Stroll said. “It’s part of the circus I guess. It’s all part of the silly season — rumors and so on — so kind of as expected. But it’s all part of the fun, you know. I think it’s normal and we’re looking really competitive at the moment, so I’m sure there will be a lot to talk about and we’ll have to see what happens down the line.”