Formula 1: Timetable on Aston Martin’s 2021 decision revealed

Aston Martin have until Friday, July 31 to trigger a clause in Sergio Perez’s contract that would allow them to release him after the 2020 Formula 1 season.

Last August, Sergio Perez signed a three-year contract with Racing Point to remain with the team, which are set to be rebranded as Aston Martin next year, through the 2022 Formula 1 season.

Entering the offseason between the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Perez was one of only three drivers who were under contract through the 2021 campaign. Williams’ George Russell and Renault’s Esteban Ocon were the only other two with deals confirmed by their respective teams.

However, there is now mounting doubt that the 30-year-old Mexican will be back with the team even next year.

Racing Point’s other driver, Lance Stroll, was signed ahead of the 2019 season to replace Esteban Ocon when his father Lawrence purchased the team.

While the actions of Perez and his backers were what sent the team, then known as Force India, into administration to allow the elder Stroll to lead a consortium and make the purchase, that by no means indicates that he has a long-term future with the team. Being Lawrence’s son, Lance still has quite a leg up on his teammate when it comes to being the organization’s preferred driver, despite the fact that Perez comes with substantial financial backing from his Mexican sponsors.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has been linked to Aston Martin for next season now that it has been confirmed that he will not be back with Ferrari in 2021. These rumors have grown over the last several weeks, and it is looking highly likely that he will be paired with Lance Stroll next season.

But what about Perez’s new three-year contract?

Multiple sources have confirmed that there is an out clause in his deal with Racing Point, but it must be triggered by Friday, July 31 in order for the team to release him after 2020.

If that happens, you can all but pencil in the four-time world champion alongside Stroll at Aston Martin for next season.

With this date now just over a week away, keep an eye out for a major announcement in the coming days.

Perez has already confirmed that he has been contacted by a rival team about a seat next year. While he hasn’t publicly announced which team contacted him, Haas have hinted that they may look to shake up their driver lineup and hire a pay driver.

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Carlos Sainz Jr., who currently competes for McLaren, has already been confirmed as Vettel’s replacement at the Scuderia alongside Charles Leclerc next season. Daniel Ricciardo, who currently competes for Renault, has already been confirmed as Sainz’s replacement alongside Lando Norris. Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso is set to come out of retirement to replace Ricciardo alongside Esteban Ocon.