“Never Give Up”
What’s the feeling you get when you hear an engine start? Does your heart rush? Do you get goosebumps? For those that love motorsport, the feeling is kind of indescribable. The adrenaline rush just makes us need more. My first approach to motorsports was when I was 11 years old. My uncle used to watch Nascar. He made me watch it with him once, and the rest is history.
As incredible as it could sound. Not everyone was astonished at first sight. Or at least that’s the story that Sergio “Checo” Pérez tells the media. While growing up in Guadalajara, Checo was pretty close to motorsport. His father, Antonio, used to work in it. He was the first “Tapatio” (that’s what we call a person born in Guadalajara) to make a living by driving racing cars.
Because and thanks to his father’s short career, Checo had the opportunity to be near to motorsport from a very young age. For him, driving a kart was only a game. It wasn’t until he was 6 years old that he started karting in championships. But still, being a competitive driver and winning races, he wasn’t clear if his dream and passion were motorsports.
Checo, like every Mexican, used to dream about playing soccer in a professional way. He has always declared himself a fan of soccer. Especially from the Mexican team “América.The number 11, which he has used during his whole racing career. Is because of his admiration for Iván Zamorano, a soccer player who used to use the 11.
Being so much into soccer almost makes Checo decide to get down into it. Until when at the age of 11. He went to watch his brother race in England. There is where the dream began. Being Mexican and trying to get to F1 is a difficult road. And to reach it, Checo needed to leave his family at the shortage of 14.
Living alone upstairs in a restaurant in Germany wasn’t easy. Even tho he missed his family. He knew his father was making an unbelievable effort to maintain him in Europe since Checo comes from a very humble familiar background in Mexico. He needed to prove everyone wrong. And make the most of every race considering; that it could be the last one.
Growing through the sport was difficult. There wasn’t a Mexican driver in F1 by the time Checo dreamed of getting there. Thinking about a Mexican driving for an F1 team was a dream. That, later on, he was able to achieve. One of the most difficult decisions he had to take was to leave FDA (Ferrari Driver’s Academy) to join McLaren in 2013. A top team in F1.
Unfortunately for Checo, it was Mclaren’s worst season in their F1 history. The dream of becoming a World Title contender changed into finding a place on the grid after such a horrible season. It wasn’t all into McLaren; Checo was young and hungry for success. And the decisions he took, made the media question his value and talent to be in F1.
A second chance was given at Force India, a small team with just 6 years in F1. Together, they build everything; a team, a reputation, and also a family. The dream? Have a long career in F1.
Seven years later. The dream seemed to come to an end. There were very few chances for Checo to continue in F1. His first win gave a lot of us goosebumps, an incredible comeback at the Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020. An excellent way for the dream to come to an end. Sergio gave everything during his pass through F1. And the last-minute opportunity was set. Sergio moving to Red Bull.
The dream was to see him win again. Fortunately, it didn’t take long and had a win in Azerbaijan in 2021. This season, the dream was big, after the first race. Checo got his ever first pole position and was in the fight for the world title. For now, he has become the most successful Mexican driver in F1. He won in Monaco. And I’m sure he still dreams of something bigger. Maybe, winning Mexico Grand Prix…