The Belgian Grand Prix is proving a busy event for 2020 driver announcements, with Racing Point confirming that it has retained Sergio Pérez’s services for a further three years.
The 29-year-old has been a stalwart with the Silverstone outfit since its Force India guise when he joined the team in 2014. The Mexican has been a key player behind the Silverstone-based team’s success as a midfield outfit, claiming four podium finishes in his five seasons to-date with the team.
He was also a critical figure in saving the team from being shutdown last year, filing a claim to put the team – then Force India – into administration to help secure a buyout by the team’s new owners headed by Lawrence Stroll.
Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer hinted at a forthcoming announcement in Friday’s FIA Press Conference, and just a few hours later after FP2 – where Pérez finished a superb fifth-fastest – the deal was announced confirming that Pérez will remain with the team until the end of 2022.
“I’ve been working together with this group of people for a long time now and they have become my second family,” said Pérez. “Together we have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success and we share the same passion for racing.
“I have been impressed with the direction the team has taken over the last 12 months and that gives me confidence for the future. I believe the best times are still to come and I look forward to celebrating plenty of podiums in the years ahead.”
Szafnauer added: “We know Sergio very well and it’s great to confirm him on a long-term deal. Over the last six years we have seen him become a very complete driver with excellent qualifying speed and exceptional race craft.
“Sergio believes in the long-term vision of this project and getting his commitment until the end of 2022 gives us valuable consistency going forward.
“As the team continues to grow and develop it’s important to have a driver with Sergio’s level of experience, especially with new regulations on the horizon. The whole team is thrilled to continue working with Sergio and I believe we can enjoy great success together in the coming years.”
Pérez’s contract extension finalises Racing Point’s driving line-up for the 2019 season, with Lance Stroll already locked in as his teammate after joining the outfit from Williams following his father’s acquisition of the team.
Pérez is the third driver whose future has been confirmed this weekend, following separate announcements by Mercedes that it has re-signed Valtteri Bottas for a further season, while Renault also secured Esteban Ocon’s services on a multi-year deal.
The remaining unconfirmed seats on the 2020 grid are at Red Bull Racing, Haas, Alfa Romeo and Williams (which each have one seat to be confirmed), along with Scuderia Toro Rosso (both seats to be confirmed).
|2020 Formula 1 World Championship – Provisional Entry List (to-date)|
|Mercedes-AMG Petronas||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas|
||Sebastian Vettel||Charles Leclerc|
|Red Bull Racing||Max Verstappen||TBA|
||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Lando Norris|
|Scuderia Toro Rosso
|Renault F1 Team
||Daniel Ricciardo||Esteban Ocon|
|Alfa Romeo Racing
|Racing Point BWT Mercedes
||Sergio Pérez||Lance Stroll|
|Haas F1 Team
|Williams Racing||George Russell||TBA|
Image via Racing Point