Stroll will be partnered by Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin next season after the team opted to chop Perez, who now has few options to stay in Formula 1.
Pressed to find out why he had previously reiterated that both drivers were under contract before Perez was announced on Wednesday, Szafnauer insisted that “what I said in the past is true”.
He added: “They were hired at that time. Not going into confidential clauses in our driver contracts because we don’t, but exactly what I said in the past was true.
“As you can imagine, there are probably exit clauses on both sides, but anyway, we like not to talk about the details of the driver contracts. ”
When told that Stroll was retained due to his father’s influence on the Silverstone-based team, he expanded upon the details of each driver’s contract as to why Perez was fired.
“Lance has been with us for a few years,” Szafnauer said. “He’s a young man of 21 and his father owns the team.
“When we looked to change riders because Sebastian became available, Checo had options in his contract and those options did not exist for Lance. ”
Perez noted Thursday that he “did not expect” to be exiled, and claimed he had not been kept informed of the proceedings, a comment refuted by Szafnauer.
“We kept Sergio informed as well as his manager Julian [Jakobi], ”He explained.
“When the decision is difficult and it hasn’t been made, there isn’t much to say. We couldn’t have said more, otherwise we would have guessed what the future was. ”
Before you leave…
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