Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer has revealed that contrary to a rumor spread in the media last month, the team did not dispose of a right to prematurely terminate Sergio Perez’s contract by July 31.
In the context of the speculation surrounding Sebastian Vettel’s potential move to Racing Point – or Aston Martin Racing – in 2021, it was suggested that Perez’s long-term contract with the pink squad, which covers next year, included an exit clause that would have permitted the team to terminate the Mexican’s deal prematurely if the option was activated by July 31 at the latest.
But Szafnauer set the record straight regarding the veracity of the rumor.
“We usually don’t like to disclose the details of our contracts,” Szafnauer said on Friday at Silverstone.
“But I’ll take this opportunity to tell you that option that you talk about, expiring today, is not true. That’s not the case.”
Both Racing Point and Perez have made clear that a valid contract binds the two parties for 2021, although the Mexican hinted at the existence of termination provisions linked to sponsorship agreements.
Vettel’s options for next year are seen limited to a move to Racing Point or a retreat, perhaps temporary, from F1.
On Thursday at Silverstone, the German said once again that he is no hurry to finalise his plans one way or the other for 2021.
“Nothing has changed to what I mentioned in the last three weeks or prior three races,” he said.
“I’m not in a rush. I want to make sure that I make the right decision for myself, and then take it from there.”