Sergio Perez talks about the difficult times as a teenager in Europe

Sergio Perez left Mexico as a young teenager to pursue his dream of racing in Formula 1. However, he speaks neither German nor English, so it was very difficult for him to be thousands of miles away from his homeland in Germany and the UK. The Red Bull Racing driver tells us more about this period.

Nowadays “Checo” drives for the Red Bull team, but he started his Formula 1 career with Sauber. Especially in 2012 he was strong with the Swiss national team with two second places. After a meager season at McLaren, the Mexican spent seven years with Force India, which later became Racing Point. He thus won the Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020 and less than two weeks later was announced as a member of Max Verstappen’s team at the Austrian energy drink manufacturer.

Live above a restaurant

At the age of 14, Perez moved from Guadalajara to Germany. There he lived above a restaurant where his Formula BMW team manager was the manager. Without much success, he left for the UK two years later. He felt at home with Team T-Sport and became British Formula 3 National Class Champion in 2007. He upgraded to GP2, what we now know as Formula 2, and won a number of races in the Asian Winter Championship. In 2010, the 20-year-old finished second in GP2 and proved enough for Sauber to secure a Formula 1 seat.

Also interesting: Papa Perez guarantees Formula 1 fans: “Mexico will have a world champion someday”

Leave everything behind

“There were so many moments on that trip that I thought ‘What am I here for?'” said the 33-year-old driver. ” the athlete about his emigration to Europe. “It was really one thing to leave everything behind when you were 14. To go out and fight for your dreams, it was really cool. It was a huge shock at the time.” Perez was homesick when he lived in Germany and racing was not a priority anymore: “I was just trying to survive.” In England, his mental health has improved significantly: “They treated me as if I were their own son,” he explains to T-Sport. “Those hard years are working in my favor now. I know I’m very strong mentally. At the end of the day that’s what you need in Formula 1.”

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