Sergio Perez will leave Racing Point at the end of the Formula 1® season and was caught off guard by only receiving confirmation he was being let go on Wednesday.
Racing Point will morph into the Aston Martin works team in 2021 and announced on Thursday that four-time F1® champion Sebastian Vettel had agreed to join after his Ferrari contract was not extended.
Perez signed a deal with Racing Point until 2022 in August last year and admitted he was surprised to be told his time with the team was coming to an end.
"I got a call from Lawrence [Stroll, team owner], he called me yesterday [and said] that they were going in another direction," said Perez ahead of this weekend's Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello.
"Nobody told me anything [before that], but I already knew and figured out a couple of things and the final confirmation came yesterday.
"It's fine. Seven years with the team, I know everything has a beginning and also an end. We still have nine races to make each other proud."
Perez said prior to the Spanish Grand Prix it was "a matter of time" until rumours linking Vettel with his Racing Point seat went away.
"That was the feedback that I was getting, that the team wanted to keep me and so on," he said.
"There were some discussions in the background about contracts and so on, that I'm not willing to disclose because I think those things should remain between the team and myself.
"There were a couple of things in the contract that we went through. In the end, they officially told me yesterday that I'm not continuing.
"I didn't expect that. It is how it is."
The 30-year-old was frustrated that the lack of clarity had made it difficult for him to plan for the future, but he hopes to find another home in the F1® paddock.
"I think everything is an option right now. My main target is to remain in F1®. I feel that I'm still very young and hungry, and want to carry on in Formula 1®," he said.
"But it has to be the right package. A package that really gives me the maximum motivation to give my 100 per cent every single lap.
"It's also got to be a long-term project, targeting 2022, because there I expect the rule change to have a major effect. That's the main reason that I want to continue for '22, because I feel there are plenty of opportunities.
"I don't expect to make a decision any time soon. I will take the time that I require.
"If I don't find anything attractive in F1®, I would think about other series, other things, we'll see."