Why Sergio Perez ‘Was Shocked’ When He First Visited Racing Point’s Factory

Published 12/19/2020, 12:40 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Racing Point’s Sergio Perez during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


The now-former Racing Point driver Sergio Perez was not impressed when he first landed in the team. The scene is from 2013 when he put pen to paper on a deal with the now-defunct Force India Team. They were under the ownership of liquor baron Vijay Mallya back them and operated on a limited budget.

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The Mexican was cruelly let go by McLaren at the end of the 2013 season. Because of many driver errors, no team was looking to take a punt on him. However, Force India was different.

They were in dire need of a driver of Perez’s ability and the funds that he brought with him; perhaps the latter much more so than the former.

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Formula One F1 – Eifel Grand Prix – Nurburgring, Nurburg, Germany – McLaren’s Lando Norris and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

With no other options, he signed with the minnows. However, he was in for a shock. Speaking to Will Buxton about his first impression of the team, he said,

“I was shocked (with) their first impression. I came from Woking going into, I think, probably the most impressive factory in Formula 1 history to the least impressive, modest place in the sport! Was shocked, yeah, this is my new team.”

Sergio Perez soon warmed up to Racing Point

However, once he looked past their unflattering infrastructure, he found a dedicated legion of workers on the team, “But then I met the people and straight away, saw how hungry they were for racing. That team was all about racing. There were no politics, they were pure racers.”

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Formula One F1 – Sakhir Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Racing Point’s Sergio Perez celebrates on the podium with the trophy after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

When Racing Point was not yet acquired by the Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, they were inching closer to bankruptcy. The team had always been on the edge with finances under Vijay Mallya.

However, the team was able to punch above its weight. And Perez attributes it to having ‘pure racers’ within the team, “I think why this team has been successful with the amount of money they have had; with the amount of difficulties they have had is that they are pure racers.”

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Even though he is moving on to greener pastures with Red Bull, this will always be the team that was closest to his heart. For he delivered unexpected podiums and helped the team during its most difficult times. His legend shines bright.

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Bharat Aggarwal

609 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. When he's not following Formula One or NBA, Bharat also enjoys tennis and MMA.

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