Sergio Perez says his priority is to remain in Formula 1 next season and wants a project with which he can contest the new cycle of regulations that will begin from 2022.
Perez confirmed on Wednesday that he will be leaving Racing Point at the end of 2020, after his contract was terminated early, and will be replaced by Sebastian Vettel.
Perez’s options to remain in Formula 1 appear limited.
Only Ferrari customer teams Alfa Romeo and Haas – eighth and ninth in the standings – appear to be viable options.
Of the remaining available berths Red Bull is expected to stick with drivers from within its company while Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are set to renew for another spell.
“I think everything is an option right now,” said Perez ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix.
“My main target is to remain in F1, I feel that I am still very young and hungry and I want to carry on in Formula 1.
“But it has to be the right package, a package that really gives me the maximum motivation to give my 100 per cent every single lap.
“I think it’s also going to be a long-term project, targeting 2022, there I expect the rule changing to play a major effect. So that’s the main reason that I want to continue for 2022 because I feel there can be plenty of opportunities.
“I certainly think 2021 can 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 that I require and if I don’t find anything in F1 then I will think about the other series, other things. We’ll see.”
Where could Perez go?
There are only two realistic options for Perez if he wants to remain in Formula 1 into 2021.
They are Alfa Romeo and Haas.
Perez began his Formula 1 career with Alfa Romeo under its Sauber guise in 2011 and scored podiums during a standout 2012 campaign that catapulted him to McLaren.
Alfa Romeo has yet to determine either driver for 2021 though one seat is set to be occupied by a Ferrari junior driver.
The other seat appears to be a choice between incumbent Kimi Raikkonen, the side-lined Nico Hulkenberg – who is strongly supported by Frederic Vasseur – and now surely Perez will enter the frame.
Haas has stuck with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen since 2017 but team boss Guenther Steiner dropped the firmest hint yet at Monza that a change is being considered.
Steiner also suggested that any potential line-up would be carried over for 2021/22, given the new regulations, and Perez echoed such sentiments on Thursday.
If neither Ferrari customer team proves an attractive proposition then it is difficult to see how Perez can remain on the grid.