F1

Sebastian Vettel twist as F1 move to replace Sergio Perez at Racing Point put in jeopardy

Sebastian Vettel might find himself left out in the cold after Sergio Perez’s sponsors offered to stump up more cash to keep the Mexican in his seat at Racing Point. The Silverstone-based team are understood to be interested in signing up departing Ferrari driver Vettel.

Investor Lawrence Stroll wants a big name to lead Racing Point into a new era when they’re rebranded as Aston Martin next year.

And Perez would have to be the man to make way with Stroll highly unlikely to show the door to his son, Lance, after pumping millions into his racing career.

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Vettel and Stroll were spotted elbow-bumping in the pit lane before last weekend’s British Grand Prix and the German has since confirmed he had a post-race chat with team principal Otmar Szafnauer.

However, it seems the 33-year-old’s move across the F1 paddock might not be as cut and dry as everyone was expecting it to be.

F1-Insider.com report telecommunications giants Telmex, who sponsor Perez, are offering a considerable amount of cash to keep the Mexican at Racing Point.

Stroll is said to have responded by asking for more time to mull over his decision, which has put Vettel’s potential switch in jeopardy.

The Canadian billionaire knows all too well the value of having generous sponsors and, with Perez a more-than-capable driver, he’s got some serious thinking to do.

Perez recently admitted his backers would have a bearing on his future when he said: “It’s up to my sponsors whether I can stay or not”.

In comparison to Perez, Vettel would expect to pick up a considerable pay packet, even if moving from F1 big guns Ferrari to Racing Point.

The four-time champion still carries plenty of prestige, despite his struggles at Ferrari, and might be a useful tool for Aston Martin as they look to increase business in his homeland of Germany.

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On Thursday, Vettel admitted he had shared a car journey with Szafnauer following last weekend’s British Grand Prix.

However, he was eager to stress people should not read too much into the encounter with the Racing Point chief.

“It’s correct,” said Vettel. “We were heading to a fuel station. After the fuel station, he continued home and I was going somewhere else.

“[He has] a nice car – a Ferrari Pista – and I remember years ago he was talking about that car and he obviously got one and he said that it was running out of fuel.

“So I said: ‘Where are you going?’ and we were heading in the same direction, so I was going with him to the fuel station and then went somewhere else.

“I find it a bit awkward nowadays that people make a fuss out of everything and actually I don’t see the news in that.”

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