Checo Perez’s Monaco miracle: from contract concerns to championship contender

Relive the high points of Checo Perez's career, including his triumphant return to Red Bull and victory at the Monaco Grand Prix. Get the full story.

In his first season with Red Bull, in 2021, Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez had an irregular pace, but some of his best moments were key for Max Verstappen to win the title. The most memorable was in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when he held off Lewis Hamilton to prevent the latter from moving further away.

Therefore, for 2022 the expectation placed on the Mexican was higher, especially by Red Bull, who analyzed the Mexican’s contract renewal. “I think what he did is extraordinary,” said Christian Horner, head of the Austrian team, at the start of chapter 7 of the fifth season of the Drive To Survive series.

The episode focuses on Milton Keynes’ ‘Checo’ Perez and his victory in Monaco. However, in a conversation with his wife in that first scene, Horner hints at the doubts before the Mexican’s renewal. “He knows that here decisions are made with the head and not with the heart. We must look for someone else if he doesn’t have good results.”

“He has one year left on his contract, and the reality is that if he doesn’t make it by spring, we will have to look for someone else,” were the words of the Red Bull boss, who later, before the Monaco Grand Prix, pointed out that with the Mexican they took a “risk” since at 32 years old he is already closer to the last stage of his career.

“You start to see failures, and sometimes as a team principal, you must make important decisions,” he added. However, after the Mexican’s victory, his third in Formula 1 and second with Red Bull, he said it was probably the best moment in Pérez Mendoza’s career and celebrated how well he did.

After Monaco, Red Bull confirmed the contract renewal of the Mexican driver for two more years. “Nothing is worse than having a driver in uncertainty,” Horner shared in the Netflix production. However, when the renewal was confirmed, the international press highlighted that the agreement had been made before Monaco.

Even in the videos of the celebrations in the Principality, ‘Checo’ was heard telling Horner that “maybe I signed too soon,” which was taken as a reference to his renewal. Whatever it was, the Monaco victory is, so far, one of the highest points in the career of the Spaniard.