Mexican Driver Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez Bracing for Fight With Mercedes on His Home Ground

Sergio Perez is not concerned about a resurging Mercedes team, as he is confident that he has more untapped potential to demonstrate in the upcoming Mexico City Grand Prix.


Photo: 10/25/2023. Mexican driver Sergio “Checo” Pérez poses during a press conference in Mexico City (Mexico). EFE/Mario Guzmán

Latin American Post Staff and EFE

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Leer en español: El piloto mexicano Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez se prepara para pelear con Mercedes en su tierra natal

Lewis Hamilton closed in on Mexican driver Sergio'  Checo' Pérez, who races for Red Bull and currently holds second place in the Formula One World Championship, reducing the gap to 19 points after securing second place in Austin on Sunday. However, he was later disqualified due to a technical violation, resulting in a 39-point hole after Perez moved to fourth place. Despite Hamilton outscoring him in the past three race weekends, the Mexican remains unfazed by the competition for the second position in the overall standings and feels no pressure.

"I'm just doing my best, and we will see where we end up. I need to make sure that we can improve up a gear, and yeah, they [Mercedes] are improving the car, and we can see they are getting stronger and stronger every race. So, it will be a good fight, which will be great the next four races," Pérez said just a few days before the Mexican Grand Prix.

Chasing Max Verstappen

'Checo' has accumulated 240 points in the standings, trailing his teammate, Dutch driver Max Verstappen, who clinched the championship mathematically three weeks ago and leads with 466 points. However, Perez's 2023 season has been a significant letdown as he struggled to support his dominant teammate, Max Verstappen, effectively. At the beginning of the season, Perez showcased strong performance, sharing two victories with Verstappen in the first four races, fueling speculations – some of which he might have unwisely embraced – about a title rivalry between the two. However, this momentum waned as he failed to capitalize on his pole position in the subsequent race in Miami. At the same time, Verstappen surged from ninth on the grid to secure a comfortable victory.

In the 13 following races, Perez has only managed to secure four podium finishes, qualified in the top four on just one occasion, and suffered early eliminations before Q3 on seven occasions.

British driver Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) is in third place with 201 points, while the Spanish drivers Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), with 183, and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), with 171, occupy the fourth and fifth positions.

Pérez's Appreciation for Mexican Fans

Only a few meters away, where dozens of fans had been waiting since early hours to catch a glimpse of him and remained to cheer for him, Pérez praised Mexicans as the best Formula One fan, describing them as "well-mannered and committed to the sport."

"I thank them; they are the best fans in the world, and I hope they'll show it on Sunday," he said.

Considered one of the most popular Latin American athletes, 'Checo' revealed that for him and his team, every race holds great significance and is taken seriously. Still, his biggest dream is to win the Mexican Grand Prix.

"It's the race I would most like to win," he confessed.

Referring to the season, which began with victories in two of the first four races in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, the Mexican driver described it as the most challenging due to moments when his car didn't always respond as expected.

"People will never understand what it means to go 300 kilometers per hour and not know what your car will do. That has made the season complicated," he said.

According to 'Checo,' born 33 years ago in Guadalajara, Jalisco, after the Qatar Grand Prix on October 8th, he and his team worked hard, saw improvements in his car's performance, and he hopes to confirm it on Sunday at the race in the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.

"My family will be there, and I would love to win in front of my people," he remarked.

Despite the dissatisfaction throughout the year, Pérez has a solid chance to have his best season in Formula One, currently holding second place in the drivers' championship and being a part of the world champion team with Red Bull.

Also read: Teamwork Fuels Venezuelan Soccer Success

Reflecting on His Career

"I never thought I'd be at the peak of my sport for this long," he noted.

Sergio Pérez acknowledged that the last few hours have been filled with various commitments due to many sponsors in his country, but things will return to normal starting now.

"From tomorrow, everything will return to normal," he concluded.

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