Racing Point F1 driver Sergio Perez has revealed that following his Sakhir win he received congratulatory messages from a number of team bosses… including Helmut Marko. The revelation comes at a time Red Bull – to whom Marko is motor sport consultant and Lord High Executioner – is the Mexican’s only option to remain on the grid in 2021.
“I had congratulations messages pretty much from most of the team bosses in F1, including Helmut, so it was nice to have that,” Perez told reporters in Abu Dhabi.
While Marko and Christian Horner have consistently backed current incumbent Alex Albon, there is a growing feeling that the youngster is unable to offer the support Max Verstappen requires in the battle for the all-important Constructors’ Championship.
Having admitted that it will look beyond its own driver pool, and that Perez is on the radar, the Austrian team intends making its decision once the season ends.
“I think what they say publicly is correct,” said Perez. “They will make decision at some point after the weekend. So I don’t know when that decision will be. So there’s not a lot of hurry anymore.
“It’s the end of the year, and it’s where we are. We waited so long that now one week or two weeks more is to know our decision, it doesn’t change that much.”
However, Perez doesn’t believe last week’s win will influence any decision, instead feeling that it is his consistency that speaks for itself.
“I’m a strong believer that in F1 one race doesn’t really change your life,” he said. “What I’ve shown in the last ten years, weekend after weekend, year by year, always having up and downs, but always coming to a year end with strong results.
“This year, especially you’ve seen, my year has been very, very up and down,” he continued, “missing two races with COVID in such a short championship. And missing an engine, when we had the podium in the pocket.
“So many missed opportunities, and still we’re lying fourth in the drivers’ championship.
“So it’s been a very, very strong year, but also a lot of credit to the team, because they gave me a car this year, what I can show what, what I’m capable of, so that’s something very special.”
Asked, should he not get ‘the call’, if he would walk away from F1 with his head held high, he replied: “All I can say is that I’m in big peace with myself.
“I’m not fully in control of my future at the moment,” he added. “And it’s something that bothers you, obviously, I think any human being in this position, will struggle a bit. But given that it’s not in my hands, given the victory came, I felt that I made the most of my opportunities.
“So if I have a seat for next year it’s great, but if not, I’m willing to come back in ’22.
“I believe that I’m at the peak of my career, and the best years are ahead of me. So even missing a year, next year, I’m determined enough to come back for ’22.
“So if I have to take a year out, I’ll do it. But I am more determined than ever to come back. And I think the victory gave me some peace to myself, but also a lot more hunger. I want more in the sport.
“And after you do the first one, you know that you can do it again. And I want to do it many more times again.”