Sergio Perez is entering his tenth season in F1 and his seventh with the same outfit, which is about to endure its second takeover. The Mexican driver previously had a one-year spell at McLaren, after two seasons at Sauber as a Ferrari Driver Academy member. In 2021 iconic British marque Aston Martin will be back in F1 as a full works team and will rely on Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll.
The 30-year-old was pulled out of the drivers’ market until 2022 before Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen’s contractual situations were sealed and sorted between 2019 and early 2020. Perez’s 3-year-deal slipped through the cracks as the real beginning of the ‘silly season’, since locking down a driver until the end of 2022 stands for a strong statement from the team.
In fact, the Mexican has stuck to the same team since 2014 and may go down in history as the driver who silently rebuilt his F1 career through perseverance and loyalty. Owing to the conspicuous financial boost provided by Lawrence Stroll’s consortium taking over, Aston Martin is looking to build a solid foundation for the future of the brand in F1.
SAFEGUARDING TEAM QUINTESSENCE IS VITAL
However, Racing Point CEO Otmar Szafnauer downplayed any chance of early enthusiasm ensuing from the rebrand.
“We are still the smallest F1 team” he stressed.
“Although we’ve got bigger resources now and we can do more, the one thing that we have got to make sure of – and so far so good – is that we don’t lose that efficiency that we had in the past”.
No miracles are expected on the short term as for competitiveness, but Sergio Perez certainly occupies a privileged position within the team, when it comes to long-term projects. Moreover, his 3-year deal extension was signed before the 2021 regs delay occurred, hinting at the possibility of handing the Mexican a more lavish reward.
ANY NEWCOMERS ON THE HORIZON?
Toto Wolff buying a stake at Aston Martin sparked numerous rumours over his future, as he was linked to the role of team principal for 2021. However, the Austrian remains adamant that he is staying at Mercedes and explained his purchase as a merely ‘personal financial investment’.
Vettel’s name soon started circulating along with Aston Martin, as it was announced that the German and Ferrari failed to reach an agreement beyond 2020. However, all the odds are stacked against the arrival of a world champion for the team’s running-in phase. In that sense, having a trustworthy, well-known and less expensive driver as the face of the company sounds more sensible to the Silverstone-based outfit.