Red Bull driver Sergio Perez revealed his retirement plans in 2020, saying that he would have said goodbye to the sport if his current team hadn’t signed him.
It was announced midway through the 2020 season that Perez would be replaced by Sebastian Vettel at Racing Point (now Aston Martin). With no team looking to sign him, the veteran was fighting for his F1 career the second the announcement dropped.
For a while, it looked like it would be for a lost cause. However, the Mexican defied all the odds and won the 2020 Sakhir GP in grand fashion. After being tagged on the opening lap and being sent all the way back to last place, Perez completed a stunning comeback to take his first F1 victory.
Red Bull signed him at the last minute, securing his seat for 2021. Reflecting on that time, Perez revealed the retirement plans he made in 2020, saying that he might have gone through with it had Milton-Keynes not come calling.
Speaking on Tag Heuer’s ‘The Edge’ podcast as quoted by GP Fans, when asked about his podium finish at the 2021 Mexican GP, Perez said, “That was a very nice moment for myself and for my career because I had all of the people that had been with me since day one.
“And you cannot forget the fact that in November 2020, I didn’t have a drive. I would probably have ended my career in Formula 1 if Red Bull didn’t give me the opportunity.”
“Just to have all my fans, my crowd, my family, all of the people that had been with me since day one, Carlos Slim, the main supporter of my career since day one, gave me the trophy,” he recalled.
“So it was (a) very unique and a very special moment for both of us. It was great but it is not enough. I want to win my home grand prix one day.”