After a brilliant performance at Sakhir last weekend, Sergio Perez harbored high hopes for his climax at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. However, these hopes were shattered when his car screeched to a halt on Lap 10, thus ending his seven-year-long career with Force India/Racing Point.
Ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix earlier this month, Perez had announced that he would be leaving Racing Point at the end of the year.
Perez had expected a grand finale to his Racing Point career. Perez advanced to P14 in just seven laps, just as he had progressed from last to first in the Sakhir race. However, his RP20 suddenly lost power in Sector 3, with the message ‘P Oil Kill’ showing on his dashboard. He alighted from the car with his hands thrown aloft in frustration while heading to face the paparazzi for the last time this year.
Despite failing to achieve the third position in the constructors’ championship, Perez appreciated the work of his rivals. He said, “McLaren did a tremendous job with the car that they had, and both drivers always in the points strongly. They’ve done a great job, so well done on that.”
Saying Goodbye to the Team
Perez still has plenty of room for positivity as he leaves with a heavy but happy heart for his Silverstone squad members. “It’s a bit sad leaving the team this way but I told my boys-some of them were crying-you just have to remember last weekend, what happened in the entire season,” Perez acclaimed.
As Perez had played a crucial role in making his squad survive during the legal proceedings in 2018, his absence will be a painful one for the rest of the team. “The team will always be my favorite team in Formula 1 because they gave me all and I gave them back everything and I look forward to seeing them very successful.”
The 30-year old racer claimed that he is leaving Race Point a “very happy” man. “I am and always will be very proud of my boys. I think saving their jobs at the time was one of the best decisions I’ve taken in my life.”
A New Road Ahead
Perez is looking forward to new challenges ahead while looking back on 2020 as a glittering year. “From my side I’m just extremely happy with my season, with what I’ve achieved-having COVID-19, missing two races, the massive reliability issues I’ve had,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to whatever happens next in my career. I don’t know what it might be, I’m just looking forward to it.”