Istanbul: Sergio Perez fears he may have to “take a sabbatical” and sit out the 2021 Formula One season, he told reporters on Thursday.
Perez learned earlier this season that he was to be replaced at Racing Point, which becomes Aston Martin with new branding next year, by four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.
And speaking at a virtual news conference ahead of this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix, the Mexican driver said Red Bull’s delayed and late decision on their line-up next year suggested he would not be involved.
“Everything is so late now,” he said. “It looks like I will know whether I continue in Formula One or not quite late in the year.
“So I think a sabbatical is an option. We’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks. I’ll either be in the car next year in F1 or on the couch at home so I will find out very late in the year. There are not a lot of options anymore.”
Vettel replaces Perez after being told he would not be retained by Ferrari where he is to be succeeded by Carlos Sainz next season.
Perez is sixth in this year’s drivers’ championship after scoring in every race that he started this season.
He was closely linked with a possible switch to Williams until they announced recently that they will retain their current line-up.
The inconsistent form of London-born Thai driver Alex Albon has undermined his position with Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen and encouraged the team to consider replacing him.
He was warned to raise his game last month and has been told he has until the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to produce convincing and reliable form and save his seat.
If he does that, Perez and his chief rival for the seat, Nico Hulkenberg, will be out of consideration.