Sergio Perez Becomes Sacrificial Lamb For A 2021 Aston Martin & Sebastian Vettel Union
In Formula One signed and sealed contracts have little to no value. This is demonstrated with Sergio Perez who had his contract with Force India effectively ripped up and replaced with a removal order. Perez had, last year, signed a three-year extension with Force India. But the Mexican driver became surplus to requirements after Sebastian Vettel became surplus to requirements over at Ferrari. Such contractual backtracking and bouncing is normal in Formula One. There is simply so much money and alpha-male testosterone that contracts can simply be rewritten, purchased or compensated.
And so it is for Sergio Perez, more a victim of circumstance than lack of ability. Lance Stroll should have become the Force India sacrificial lamb. However his father (the world’s poorest billionaire) Lawrence Stroll happens to own the entire team. Stroll senior also owns Aston Martin, and guess what? Yes, that’s correct Force India will be re-branded Aston Martin in 2021.
Indeed the tie-up with Sebastian Vettel and Force India-Aston Martin is not unsurprising. The link has been rumored for months ever since Ferrari ditched Vettel. Force India is currently a customer team with Mercedes F1. Mercedes supply the engine and even last years 2019-spec chassis, at a price of course. Speculation is mounting that Aston Martin F1 will share the 2021-spec Mercedes F1 chassis.
What next for Perez? In the short-term at least, he will be compensated for having his contract terminated early. Perez is a solid and quick driver and highly regarded in F1 so he services will still be of appeal. Although a younger generation is coming through and teams are always looking to the future, not least because it is the less expensive option.
Haas F1 is rumored to be a possible next destination for Perez. He may well leave Formula One and go state-side to compete in the Indycar Series. Nevertheless, a sporting career at the top is short-lived at some point it will end. But it is not yet over for Perez.