Sergio Perez is no ruling out sabbatical as Daniil Kvyat already thinking of F1 2022 and Romain Grosjean & Kevin Magnussen on IndyCar.
With just a month left for the 2020 F1 season to end, Racing Point’s to-be discard, Perez, doesn’t have time and also F1 seats left to get in, apart from Red Bull, AlphaTauri, Mercedes and Haas – the only outfits remaining to confirm its full line-up.
Among those, Mercedes is a natural no with Lewis Hamilton likely to stick around, while chances at Haas is limited as well. It only leaves him with Red Bull and or AlphaTauri, where the former is more in the game than the latter at this juncture.
He has Nico Hulkenberg and Alexander Albon to beat to get the seat but with time running out, it maybe over for Perez, for now. It is something that he is thinking about, whether with his own intentions or being forced to do so due to the circumstances.
“At the moment we just have to wait and see,” said Perez to media including F1 website, Motorsport Network, Racefans.net, AMuS, BBC and more. “The season is coming soon to an end and as I’ve said before until the teams announce the driver everything is an option.
“Every team that hasn’t announced their line-up, it’s an option. So we’ll see. We are not that far from the season to end, so definitely I have to know my plans. I need to know what will happen on my side to be able to plan everything.
“It’s happening now too late, so we’re already close to December. There is not a lot more to add in that regard. Everything is so late now, and it looks like I will know whether I continue in Formula 1 or not quite late in the year.
“So I think a sabbatical, it’s an option. But we’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks,” summed up Perez, while admitting that talks with Williams did take place but it wasn’t much to discuss. “I’ve always kept my talks private.
“I think it’s the way it always should be. More than that, there’s not a lot of point. Nothing happened, so I think there’s not a lot of point of discussing. There were some talks, but nothing more than that,” summed up Perez.
With his future now looking bleak, Perez did not have bad thoughts about it coming to end just yet, as the decade long experience has helped him learn that this is part of F1. “There have been things that could have been better in 2020,” he said.
“I should have two podiums already this season, I should have a lot more points. Missing two races is not ideal in such a short championship but overall I am pleased, especially with the level of consistency throughout the years.
“If it’s an injustice on missing out? I think it’s part of F1. I always knew this is how it is. I can call myself privileged. I’ve had a great career, 10 years in F1 up until now. If that was the case that I have to leave the sport I can leave with a lot of pride.
“It is because I’ve delivered with the material I’ve had and not many people can have such a career. We will see what happens but I am in peace with myself,” summed up Perez, who has certainly achieved a lot in F1, even though the elusive win remains a big goal.
While Perez is looking at which way Red Bull goes, Albon sounds positive still, as he also spoke about having support from his family all-through his career. “Obviously Mugello was the last race that I had a good result on really but it hasn’t been terrible,” he said. I think qualifying hasn’t really changed too much.
“It’s been more or less the same, if not, sometimes a bit better. It’s more or a less losing a little bit of time at the start of the races and once you’re in the trains it’s really hard to overtake. I think Mugello was a nice one because you can overtake but it has been quite tricky once the leading car in the group let’s say dictates the rest.
“I would say that’s probably more of a reason for it. Of course, here Turkey it’s a good track for overtaking and you can do different lines. Firstly, I want to qualify higher and have a smoother race,” summed up Albon.
Daniil Kvyat eyeing 2022 already:
It is not just Perez with the idea of losing out as AlphaTauri’s Kvyat is preparing for a similar future, at least in 2021. The Russian may lose out yet again with Yuki Tsunoda knocking on the doors, along with a possibility of Juri Vips and even Albon.
For the Thai, it will depend on his future at Red Bull, though, but Kvyat is being realistic about his chances as he is open to try his luck back in F1 for 2022, if he misses out next year. “I think it’s never really out of your hands,” said Kvyat. “I think it is important.
“My philosophy is always important to keep pushing, no matter what. The better you do, the better there are the chances, if not for 2021 then for 2022. So you know, it’s always best to do races like in Imola, whenever you can. Of course, I always try my best.
“In Imola it just came very well together, the car performed very well and that’s the aim, just to try and do as many good races as this one in Imola and things will be looking good anyway then. Some things are in my control, which is driving, and other things are not.”
Haas duo looking at IndyCar:
With Perez and Kvyat still banking on a F1 stay or return, the Haas duo Grosjean and Magnussen, are fine to look outside and both have IndyCar on their mind. The Frenchman initially thought against it but is slowly skewing towards it.
In fact, he has spoken to Simon Pagenaud and Marcus Ericsson about it and is trying to do away with his fear of ovals to perhaps make the jump. “I thought that IndyCar has more ovals that it actually does,” said Grosjean.
“Ovals are something that I’m not necessarily a huge fan of, but looking at the calendar there are basically three ovals, Texas, which is fast, the Indy 500, and one other short track, I don’t remember the name. Obviously racing the Indy 500 is something unique.
“It’s one of the top three races in the world with Le Mans and Monaco. I think you can put your fear aside a little bit and go for it, and accept that the cars are much safer, the walls are safer, it’s just all moved in the right direction.
“It’s gone in a way that I can accept that it can be a good opportunity and a fun experience, and hopefully a successful experience. There are opportunities left and looking at what we can do and how we can do it. There are some wishes from both sides to make it happen, which is nice, and some good challenges.
“If you look at Penske and Chip Ganassi, which I guess are the two top teams in IndyCar, they are fully booked. But you would not necessarily expect to land on one of those seats when you go to IndyCar, you need to prove that you can race in that series. I spoke with Simon Pagenaud recently, and also Marcus Ericsson.
“Marcus has been really helpful, because he knows Europe, he knows GP2, he knows F1, and he knows the US as well. Let’s see what coming, I’m hoping in the next few days, and then we can look at details and so on,” summed up Grosjean, before adding on about generating sponsors to find a drive in IndyCar and also on moving to USA if needed.
“I think motorsports is changing generally,” said Grosjean. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if now drivers around the world need to have sponsors that want to follow them. Jimmie Johnson is a good example in IndyCar, but also some others, where you present an image, and the companies behind the image are happy that you represent it, and you move forward.
“Regarding something certain, I definitely need to have something done in IndyCar and I have to decide if I’m going to travel back and forth or completely go there. I’ve got a wife and kids, it’s not like I’m a youngster who can jump in a plane with a backpack and not look behind me. Obviously there are some considerations.
“Looking at the good points of IndyCar, everyone has got the same car, apart from dampers and two types of engine. The races are pretty fun. There are good opportunities to win the race, or to be on the podium but realistically I don’t really know much about motorsport in the US. The tracks look cool, it’s a very good championship, and I think there are more pros than cons. The lifestyle, where we live and what we do with the kids and their education and their future is very high on the priority list,” summed up Grosjean.
On the other hand, his current teammate, Magnussen, had good things to speak about IndyCar too. “IndyCar is something very high on my list and I’ve always been a fan,” he said. “I’d love to try it, it’s a challenge that I’d really get really excited about.
“A lot of new things but I’ve always found oval tracks to be something that I think is spectacular, very different to what I’ve ever done in my career, we don’t really do ovals in Europe. The road courses out there are fantastic as well, really old school, and the thing about the cars being very similar is also a very good thing.
“That means you can make a bigger difference as a driver, my dad has been racing in America for about 20 years and I’ve spent a lot of time there, I really like being in America, I think that would suit me pretty well. I’ve been speaking to teams and seeing what is possible.
“We’re a little bit late in the year, a lot of teams have already got drivers for the future. I don’t think it looks likely for next year, for sure. I don’t see any reason to tell you who I’m talking to, but some good ones,” summed up Magnussen.
Here’s details about Turkish GP plus Juri Vips