Sergio Perez admits grievances over how his Racing Point exit was revealed.
Speculation about the Mexican’s future began a few weeks after it was announced Sebastian Vettel, who is replacing him, would be leaving Ferrari at the end of this year back in May.
It was revealed Perez had options in his contract that allowed it to be bought out by team owner Lawrence Stroll and it was initially rumoured Vettel’s arrival would be made official over the two weekends at Silverstone.
That didn’t happen, with the actual confirmation coming just before the Tuscan GP, although Checo has now confirmed he first heard of his exit after overhearing Stroll discussing Vettel’s contract over the phone with his lawyer in the hotel at Monza.
“It’s true, I found out on Sunday that I was not going to stay,” said Perez. “They still did other things in that regard. So I already knew in advance.
“I’m surprised how things go into the media so easily, I think in a way I’m a bit disappointed in that regard because I feel that those things should stay internally within us.” Perez added.
“We know what happened, what we did and so on.”
While Racing Point has frequently praised the 30-year-old for his contribution over the years, Sergio also revealed his unhappiness at the lack of recognition he’s got for saving the then Force India team from financial collapse back in 2018.
“I was also disappointed that not really pretty much no one has said anything about that,” said Perez.
“I heard that it was not going out in the press release but they were going to mention that, Otmar was going to mention that in interviews and so on. I didn’t see anything.”
“But it’s fine, I never did it for people to give me anything. I guess this is Formula 1, but I just found it a bit difficult that we’ve been together for so many years, I expected a bit more transparency. At the same time I think [team boss] Otmar [Szafnauer] is not in an easy position too,” Perez conceded.
“From Lawrence’s point of view, I understand everything. I’ve got nothing against him.
“And for the team as well, this team is such a big part of me that I want them to do very well in their future. That’s the most important thing for me.”
Perez’s criticism came on the same weekend which he began by suggesting Racing Point had begun to “hide things” from him since his departure was announced.
“Those conversations are for next year’s car, basically,” technical director Andrew Green responded.
“We’re not excluding him from anything we’re doing this year. It’s in our interest to have him as fast as we can get him for the rest of the season. We’re in a fight for the championship. It does us no good at all to start to treat him any differently and we haven’t done, that’s why we were surprised that instead of talking to us about any issues he had, the first we read about it is in the press. So that was a bit strange.”
After talking to the team following his comments to the media, Perez also then confirmed the situation was clear.
“I have known this team for seven years and they are like family,” he wrote on social media.
“I have spoken to the team and they accept my explanation. There’s no way after seven years we can finish in bad terms, the air is totally cleared.
“And we all move forwards now. We all want the same thing: to score as many points and be successful in our remaining races together.”