Where Did Sergio Perez Come From? Chronicling the Red Bull Driver’s Journey into F1

Published 03/07/2021, 11:40 AM EST
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – OCTOBER 27: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Force India talks in the Drivers Press Conference during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 27, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


On January 26, 1990, a certain Mexican child was born via Caesarean section. Caesarean it was, because his father ‘Tono’ convinced his doctor to deliver the baby a week early as it coincided with the 1990 24 Hours of Daytona on February 3. And he planned to accompany fellow Mexican driver Tomas Lopez Rocha to the race.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

That was the extent to which he could go to fulfill his passion for racing. It was this hardcore passion that he instilled in his kid, Sergio Michel Perez.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 11: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Racing Point and his wife, Carola Martinez. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Perez’s arrival into the family also meant that his father sought a more stable source of income to support them. He became an agent and successfully represented Adrian Fernandez, legendary IndyCar driver. But he ensured that he transmitted his desire to get behind the wheel of a car into his children.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

His two sons, Sergio and Antonio, entered the Go-Karting scene in Mexico. While Sergio had talent, the family’s fortunes changed when they crossed paths with Carlos Slim Jr. He was the son of his billionaire namesake father.

Tono was meeting him to discuss sponsorship for his client, Adrian Fernandez. During the talks, he brought up the name of Sergio in a somewhat scintillating fashion –

“Checo is a better driver than [Michael] Schumacher. He’ll race in Formula One one day.”

Naturally, the Mexican business magnate took note of the young prodigy after his father had made the proclamation. So, through his Escudería Telmex racing team, Slim has been sponsoring Perez’s career, from his exploits in Mexico to his junior career in Europe.

Sergio Perez has earned his drive at Red Bull on merit rather than Slim’s backing

While the backmarkers like Sauber and Force India took him in because of financial reasons, Red Bull aren’t a team that follows the same philosophy; not that he’s stopped bringing sponsors. To earn a top drive, you really need to set yourself apart. And with Perez, his ‘Never Give Up’ attitude and hustle does the trick for him.

“If anything has set Checo apart from other drivers who have tried to make it to F1, it’s his attitude. Not just his talent. That attitude that he himself has adopted is real, ‘Never Give Up.’ He has never given up and has always performed well. Always. Nobody has given him anything,” said Carlos Slim.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Checo Pérez (@schecoperez)

His journey is unique; it goes to show the unconventional route that budding drivers outside of Europe have to take. If F1 wishes to be global, it also must make a conscious effort to support and encourage those like Perez.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

The Significant Mexican Sponsors that Sergio Perez Brings to Red Bull

4 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Bharat Aggarwal

753 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT