F1: Sergio Perez reacts to Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin 2021 rumours
Perez wants to drive for 2021 but admits: "I understand that this is a business"; Vettel in talks with Aston Martin, say Sky in Germany
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 16/07/20 5:49pm
Sergio Perez has reiterated he has a contract in place for 2021 amid reports that Sebastian Vettel could replace him at Aston Martin, but admits Formula 1 is a "business" - while also revealing that he has already been approached by another team.
According to Sky in Germany, Vettel is in talks with Racing Point and has been offered a drive for 2021, when they will be rebranded as Aston Martin.
That is despite both Perez and team-mate Lance Stroll being on long contracts with the team, who have enjoyed a leap in performance this year.
"I'm with the team, and as far as I know I have a contract," said Perez, who signed a new three-year deal last season, ahead of the Hungarian GP.
"We will see what happens in the next weeks, but from my point of view I've got a contract with the team and I fully believe in the future of the team."
Stroll also insisted he was "determined" to stay but it is thought that Perez, who has raced for the Silverstone-based outfit since 2014, would be most likely to make way for Vettel given Stroll's father, Lawrence, owns the team, with Racing Point having the option to buy the Mexican's contract early.
"I've been in the sport for 10 years so I understand at the end of the day that this is a business," added Perez to Sky F1. "To go forward everyone has to be happy."
And Perez revealed he has already been contacted by an F1 rival, within days of the Vettel-Aston Martin rumours emerging.
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"I know I've got a contract, and I know that during the week the rumours came out we actually got contacted by a team in the paddock," he said. "I won't say names.
"And also other teams in other categories, which was quite a surprise because we have a contract for the next years here. At the moment there are just rumours around."
He continued to Sky F1: "It was a very surprising week because we got some phone calls from some teams, and I'm like, what can I say? I've got a contract, I cannot say anything more.
"I think the answer for everything will just be time."
Perez famously helped the former Force India team in 2018 when he triggered administration proceedings, saving hundreds of jobs, with the outfit eventually bought and renamed by Lawrence Stroll.
"The reason we saved the team is not for later on, it has nothing to do with other things, we did it to save the jobs," Perez insisted to Ted Kravitz.
"That will always remain with me, whatever happens.
"I didn't do it for people to thank me, the team don't owe me anything."
Perez: Vettel certainly a 'good name to have in a team'
While he was surprised by the rumours, Perez also said he understood them.
"It's just part of the game," he stated. "The team have taken a good step forward. It's good to have big names related to the team because that means we are making a good job, making progress and I think the team should be proud of it."
On four-time champion Vettel, he added: "He's obviously a big name in the sport, he has done a lot during his career.
"There is no secret that he has been extremely lucky as well to have the great machinery throughout his career. But no one can take any credit away from the successful career he's had.
"He's certainly a good name to have in a team."
When asked if he would welcome Vettel as a team-mate for 2021, Stroll responded: "It's not really for me to decide. I don't mind whoever I have as a team-mate as long they're a team player. That's all you really ask from a team-mate.
"I'm really just focused on this weekend and the rest of the season. I'm enjoying driving this new car and that's what on mind, to get the most out of this season and we'll see what happens next season."
Watch the Hungarian GP live only on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Sunday's race begins at 2.10pm. Get Sky F1 for an extra £10 a month now.