Sergio Perez will take a sabbatical from racing if he doesn’t get a drive at Red Bull in 2021.
The Mexican is without a seat for next year after being replaced by Sebastian Vettel ahead of Racing Point’s rebranding as Aston Martin, and was not seriously in the frame for vacancies at Haas and Alfa Romeo. After discussions with Williams, Perez has been focused on the potential drive at Red Bull – where Alex Albon has yet to be confirmed – and said that if he drops off the grid, he won’t race elsewhere next year.
“There’s only one, one option, I’ve said it before,” Perez said. “I’ve been here so many years. I want to keep going, I think I’m at the peak of my career, but also want to keep going with a reason, with a plan, with a good project. I think if there’s not a good project that keeps my motivation, to give my 100%, I rather not take it.
“I’m clear on what I want to do. Plan A is obviously to carry on, Plan B will be to stop for a year, see how I feel without racing, see if I really miss it, if I really want to come back, or if there’s other series I’m interested in doing, or if I’d rather just do something else and stay away from motorsport. I will have a year to think about what I really want to do ahead of that.”
Despite being an attractive proposition for a number of teams and categories outside of F1 – including IndyCar – Perez wants to know if he would miss the sport enough to want to return, or retire after a year out.
“If I don’t have Formula 1 next year I don’t see myself doing anything else,” he said. “I will take a year to consider what I want to do, if I really miss it. Most of the drivers, they retire, then six months they come back and want to do whatever is available. I have to see. I’ve never experienced that. My whole life I’ve been into it, so I have to see also life out of the sport, how it is, how it suits me, then see if I miss it or if I want to carry on with that life.”
However, Perez said he can see himself enjoying a life away from motorsport, as it is not his only interest.
“I have a lot of interest in other stuff, away from racing,” he said. “Obviously I’m still young, I could see myself later on doing other businesses away from motorsport, not at my 30s, but if that comes early I’m happy to consider that option as well. I have my family, I want to see my kids growing, other things you know, I can imagine a life without motorsport.”