As the Formula 1 circus ascends from the iconic Suzuka Circuit, the spotlight isn’t just on the championship leader, Max Verstappen, but also on his teammate, Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez. While Verstappen is on the brink of clinching his third world title, Pérez has been grappling with a myriad of challenges, both on and off the track.
“After Miami, things started to get worse for me. I felt like I was driving another car that didn’t suit me so well. Subsequently, it was not possible to get into Q3 a number of times, which shattered my confidence. This also made driving a lot more difficult,” he revealed.
In a candid conversation with De Limburger, Pérez delved deep into his turbulent journey this season.
The Mexican driver, who had a promising start to the season, found himself overshadowed by the blistering pace of Verstappen. This dip in form took a toll on Pérez’s mental well-being.
“And of course you have to deal with Max Verstappen as a teammate. The past has proven that this task… that pressure… I sometimes call it: the toughest track in Formula 1.”
Pérez highlights the mental toll of his performance dip, leading him to seek a mental coach to balance his professional and personal life. “The immense pressure of driving for a top-tier team like Red Bull Racing, coupled with personal struggles, led Pérez to seek professional help. It’s essential to maintain equilibrium in this high-stakes environment.”
Despite the challenges, Pérez’s resilience shines through. He remains committed to continuous learning in Formula 1, a sport that demands constant adaptation.
“I decided not to give up. In the meantime, I also continued to work hard with the engineers to resolve at least some issues. As a result, I am looking to find positivity again. I am now 33 years old, but I am still learning every day. On the track, but certainly also outside it. Partly because of this, I will never get enough of Formula 1. It is truly amazing what this sport still gives me.”
Acknowledging the immense pressure of having Verstappen as a teammate, Pérez said, “Max is a phenomenal talent, and competing alongside him is both an honor and a challenge. The pressure is enormous, but it pushes me to be better.”
“Formula 1 is my sport, my life, my passion. But when you are having such a hard time at work, it is difficult to be cheerful at home with your wife and children. That’s why I hired a mental coach because my family deserves to have that cheerful father at home,” Pérez said, emphasising the importance of mental health in the high-pressure world of Formula 1.
As the season progresses, fans and pundits will be keenly watching Pérez’s journey, hoping that he finds his rhythm and showcases the talent that has made him one of the most respected drivers on the grid. But if he continues to struggle, changes may be looming on the horizon for the Milton Keynes lineup.
In this gripping interview with De Limburger, Sergio Pérez’s revelations provide brilliant insight into a sportsman’s battle for victory, even in a scenario where it seems elusive.