Sergio Perez says “nobody told me anything” about his impending exit from the Racing Point Formula 1 team until Wednesday, the day he announced his departure.

Perez will leave Racing Point at the end of the season and be replaced by four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who will join from Ferrari when the team rebrands to Racing Point.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Tuscan Grand Prix, Perez admitted he “didn’t expect” a phone call from Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll informing him that his contract was being cut short.

"I got the information yesterday, nobody told me anything but I already knew and figured out a couple of things. The final confirmation came yesterday," Perez said.

“I got the call from Lawrence yesterday and he told me that they are going in another direction.”

The Mexican was contracted to the Silverstone outfit until 2022 and had recently insisted he was confident of staying with the team for next year.

“The feedback I was getting was that everything was looking that the team wanted to keep me,” he explained.

“There were some discussions in the background about contracts and so on which I am not willing to disclose because I think that those things should remain between the team and myself.

“But there were a couple of things in the contract that we went through but in the end they officially told me yesterday that we were not continuing.

“I didn’t expect that but it is how it is.”

Perez now faces an uncertain future with limited seats remaining on the grid for 2021. His best options appear to be at either Alfa Romeo or Haas.

The Mexican said he would “rather retire” than take a sabbatical because “once you go out, you may never come back”.

“I think everything is an option right now,” he replied when asked if a switch to IndyCar or even Formula E would be of interest to him.

“My main target is to remain in F1. I feel that I am still very young and hungry. I want to carry on in F1 but it has to be the right package that really gives me the maximum motivation to give my hundred percent every lap.

“It’s also going to be a long-term project, targeting 2022 because I expect the rule changes to have a major effect.

“That’s the main reason I want to continue for 2022 because I feel that there will be plenty of opportunities. I certainly think that 2021 could be a difficult year in that regard but you never know.

“There certainly are options out there and I don’t expect to make a decision any time soon. I will take the time required and if I don’t find anything attractive in F1 I will look at other series and other things.”

 

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