ADVERTISEMENT
Perez: Whatever happens on track should stay there

Perez: Whatever happens on track should stay there

Perez: Whatever happens on track should stay there

Sergio Perez called on his Mexican fans to send a positive message to the world at his home grand prix by showing respect for his Formula 1 rivals and Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen.

The Mexican, second in an F1 Championship already won by Verstappen for the third year running, emphasized the slogan of a local #racepect campaign in saying what happened on track must stay on track.

“I think it’s important that we give this message because I think media likes to create these sort of driver rivalries outside the track,” he told reporters at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Thursday.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are a great sport, a great example for a lot of young generations and we should just be focused on the sport side.

“Whatever happens on track should always stay there and that’s the best message we as a country want to give to the rest of the world,” Perez insisted.

Verstappen has won 15 of 18 races so far this season, wrapping up his third F1 Drivers’ Title in Japan last month, while Perez has lost his way.

Although he has a contract for 2024 there has been continued speculation about his future with Red Bull and what might happen if he fails to secure second place in the Championship.

Verstappen insists all is fine in the Red Bull camp

Verstappen was booed after winning in Texas last weekend, with many in the crowd supporting Perez or Mercedes’ seven-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, Verstappen’s big Title foe in 2021.

The Dutch driver told reporters separately he had had no problems so far.

“Checo (Perez) and I have got on very well, I don’t think there is a rivalry. Of course as a driver I always try to be first or faster, but we have a lot of respect for each other and for our performances,” Verstappen said.

“Supporting your favourite driver is fine, but you also have to respect the competition,” he added. “This is not only in our sports, it’s a general problem in a lot of them that needs to be looked at and it’s good to raise awareness of it.”

Verstappen has won four of the last five Mexican Grands Prix while the country is still waiting for its first home winner. Perez has so far managed no better than third.

Red Bull’s Austrian motorsport consultant Helmut Marko riled Mexicans earlier in the year when he blamed Perez’s patchy form on his ethnicity and referred to the driver as South American.

Mexican Grand Prix organizers condemned the comments at the time and called for “a more respectful and united Formula 1 community, encouraging healthy competition both on and off the track.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)