Sergio Perez could take a sabbatical from racing in 2021 if he cannot find a Formula 1 seat as he runs short on options to stay on the grid.
The Mexican will leave the Racing Point team at the end of the season after it opted to trigger an exit clause in his contract, paving the way for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel to join in his place.
Perez had been linked with drives at a number of teams, including Alfa Romeo, Williams and Haas, but appears only to have an option at Red Bull remaining for next year.
Red Bull is considering whether to replace Alexander Albon with a more experienced driver for next year, with Perez appearing to be the leading candidate.
Asked for an update on his future ahead of this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix, Perez said there was “nothing yet” to report.
“We just have to wait and see, the season is coming soon to an end,” Perez said.
“As I’ve said before, until the teams announce their drivers, everything is an option. Every team that hasn’t announced their line-up, it’s an option. So we will see.”
But with time ticking for Perez to land a seat, the Mexican conceded that he could take a break from racing completely next year if he does not get confirmation of his plans soon.
“We are not that far from the season to end, so definitely I have to know my plans,” Perez said.
“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.”
Perez was most strongly linked with a move to Williams in recent weeks, only for the team to confirm it would be retaining George Russell and Nicholas Latifi as planned for next year.
Asked by Autosport how far advanced talks were with Williams, Perez replied: “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.”
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