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Sunday's Formula 1 news roundup

Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest Formula 1 news on Sunday, November 29.

Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Sunday, November 29.

Sunday morning's Formula 1 news roundup

Perez tipped to announce sabbatical on Monday

Sergio Perez pictured on April 11, 2019© Reuters

Big rumours are swirling in the Bahrain paddock about Sergio Perez's future.

The Mexican, who is being replaced by Racing Point by Sebastian Vettel for the Aston Martin re-branding, hinted on Thursday that Red Bull is his "only one option" to keep racing in 2021.

"I only want to keep going with a reason, with a plan, with a good project," Perez said.

However, it is believed that if the struggling Alex Albon is ousted by Red Bull, it is Nico Hulkenberg rather than Perez who is the frontrunner for the seat.

So it is fascinating that the media has been called by Perez's management to attend a press conference in Bahrain on the day after Sunday's grand prix.

The topic of the press conference is not known, but it is believed the 30-year-old could announce that he will take a sabbatical next year.

As for Albon, he is having another mixed weekend in Bahrain, including a heavy crash on Saturday but then a strong fourth place in qualifying just behind his teammate Max Verstappen.

"Nothing has changed," Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told Auto Bild.

"After the last race of the season we will sit down in peace and analyse everything. Then we will decide who will drive for Red Bull," he added.

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher explained: "At Red Bull, only one person decides and his name is Dietrich Mateschitz. And it is very difficult to predict what he is thinking."

Red Bull engine program 'looks good' for 2022

Red Bull's Helmut Marko pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Red Bull can afford to operate its own engine program in 2022, according to Dr Helmut Marko.

The team's top Austrian official travelled directly from Istanbul recently to Japan for talks with Honda, who are pulling out of Formula 1 after next year.

Red Bull wants to take over the Honda IP and operations and run the engine program for itself from 2022 until the start of the all-new regulations in 2025 or 2026.

"I was in Japan to draw up a financial concept as to whether and how we can use the engine on our own from 2022," Marko confirmed to Auto Bild.

"It looks good that we can manage that. But the decisive factor is whether engine development will be frozen from 2022. Otherwise we will not have the capacity to operate these highly complicated power units.

"That is not blackmail - it's a fact."

Renault is less enthused but willing to "compromise", while Mercedes has already agreed to the 2022 freeze and Ferrari is now following suit.

However, Ferrari's Mattia Binotto said part of the 2022 freeze would be a mechanism of "engine convergence", allowing struggling manufacturers to develop in order to catch up with more powerful rivals.

"Certainly the easiest way is by managing or adapting the fuel flow but I don't think there is a conclusion yet, it is all part of the discussion we are having," he said.

Mercedes' Wolff is horrified at the prospect of that, insisting it would be "the beginning of the end for Formula 1".

"I've seen similar things in DTM and the only thing I heard after the races was 'Well, I would have won if I didn't have 5kg of ballast in my car'.

"So no, Formula 1 should stay as far away from such things as possible," Wolff added.

However, Marko insists that Red Bull is not the only stakeholder pushing for new ways to deal with the engine manufacturers going forward.

"It wasn't just us doing the lobbying work," he said.

"The FIA and Liberty are also interested. A freeze would also drastically cut costs so in the end there would only be winners."

More news from Formula 1:

Result: Lewis Hamilton tops Bahrain qualifying
This marked Mercedes' 11th front-row lockout of the campaign. Read more.

Result: Max Verstappen fastest in final Bahrain practice, Hamilton second
The Red Bull driver finished 0.263 seconds quicker than world champion Lewis Hamilton. Read more.

Kvyat unsure he will be offered reserve role
Daniil Kvyat says he isn't even sure if he will be offered the role of Red Bull's official reserve driver for 2021. Read more.

Lewis Hamilton eyes 100th pole to cap off "incredible year"
Lewis Hamilton moved to within two of the landmark after scoring his 10th pole of the season for Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix . Read more.

Binotto to re-join Ferrari team next week
Mattia Binotto says he will be back in the Formula 1 paddock next week. Read more.

Vettel 'much more positive' as Ferrari tenure ends
Sebastian Vettel says he is feeling "much more positive" as his six-year tenure with Ferrari comes to its end. Read more.

Pirelli pushing ahead with criticised 2021 tyres
Mario Isola has bad news for Formula 1 drivers - the proposed 2021 tyres are still on track to make their debut next year. Read more.

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Sergio Perez pictured on April 11, 2019
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Perez tipped to announce sabbatical on Monday
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