Sergio “Checo” Pérez speaks out on discrimination in Formula 1

Sergio "Checo" Pérez highlights nationality-based biases in Formula 1, discussing personal challenges and Red Bull Racing's journey.

Sergio “Checo” Pérez, currently competing in his thirteenth Formula 1 season and third with Red Bull Racing, has been no stranger to the challenges of the sport. Recently, the Mexican driver opened up about facing discrimination in a sport dominated by European racers.

In the documentary “Checo” on Star+, Pérez explained the prejudice he’s experienced due to his Mexican heritage. “Being a Mexican in this sport is undoubtedly challenging. I’ve faced two races without a podium finish, and suddenly, everyone’s discussing the grave error my team made by hiring me. People are criticizing my driving, forgetting that I was competing for the championship just three months ago,” Pérez candidly shared.

Controversial remarks from Hemult Marko, an advisor for Red Bull, underscored his sentiment. “Remember that he (Checo Pérez) is South American; therefore, his mindset isn’t as focused as Max Verstappen’s or Sebastian Vettel’s. Races are his strength, even if he has the occasional off day,” Marko commented.

Such remarks have raised eyebrows and sparked conversations about the subtle biases that exist within the sport.

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Striking a balance and facing criticism

Beyond nationality, Pérez touched upon another aspect of his life that seems to irk some in the F1 community: his commitment to family. After his victory at the Singapore Grand Prix, bolstering his reputation as the most successful driver in Mexico’s history, Pérez spoke about balancing personal and professional life in a sport that demands total dedication.

“I do my job, but I head home to be with my family once it’s done. I’m a father first. However, I feel that some judge me by not being fully engrossed in the Formula 1 world and choosing to have a life separate from the sport,” Pérez highlighted.

Red Bull Racing and Pérez’s Standings

Amidst these revelations, Red Bull Racing’s campaign in Formula 1 continues to shine. With Max Verstappen leading the championship and Pérez firmly in second place, the team’s performance remains stellar. But Pérez’s candid sharing is a stark reminder that success in the sport isn’t just about the points and podiums; it’s also about navigating and challenging the prejudices that persist behind the scenes.