Pérez arrives in Japan grown after his recent victory in Singapore, where he showed off on the complicated street circuit to achieve his fourth victory in F1, the third on a street track.
The Mexican has seen how some critics have changed in the last week, and his fans have highlighted how he has been judged, on many occasions in an exaggerated way, for having been away from Max Verstappen this season.
In the preview of the 2022 Japanese GP, Pérez was asked if he considered that Latino drivers received more criticism than the rest, in an F1 world where there is a clear British accent. Alonso had recently brought up the subject, after apologizing for calling Hamilton an ‘idiot’ and saying that comments other rivals make to Pérez, Sainz or him are considered more in jest.
And Sergio Pérez completely agrees with him: “I think that every time you have a bad race, or a bad streak like any other driver, sometimes with Latin drivers more criticism is heard.”
“Other drivers have similar problems and it’s hardly been talked about. So yeah, I feel like that sometimes, I’ve felt like that throughout my career.
The Red Bull man wanted to see the positive side of that, and downplayed those criticisms: “Yes, I think it’s worth pointing out, but at the same time, it’s the beauty of our sport, to have that together with the media. We are a great sport and as an athlete, you always understand that as a kind of motivation. Absolutely nothing more than that.”
His answer generated the following question, if when he arrived in Europe he felt prejudiced for coming from the American continent. And although the one from Guadalajara denied it, he did show that he has often felt neglected for being Mexican: “No, to be honest I did not feel prejudice when I arrived in Europe. But I felt that sometimes they do not take you seriously. Sometimes , people say well, he’s just a Mexican, and he’s lazy, because of culture, etc., etc. It’s like just because you’re Mexican, you can’t compete with the best people in the world. Sometimes I felt that, especially in the first years. But on the other hand, it’s always good to show that anyone can be up there.”
Pérez, this Thursday at Suzuka
The #11 hopes that his successes will be a mirror in which young Mexican drivers can see themselves: “That would be incredible, I hope to show the young generation that you can come from Mexico and reach the top. You have to go at a very young age. early to Europe, first of all, to be able to compete with the best drivers, with similar weather conditions, all those kinds of things that you only have in Europe, not anywhere else. And yes, they must believe in themselves and that they can do an even better job than what I’m doing. I really hope this encourages more Mexicans to do that.”
Regarding this weekend’s appointment in Suzuka, Pérez hopes to be able to continue with the good performance shown at Marina Bay just a few days ago, and sees no reason not to repeat: “I think that during the season we have also shown to be competitive in non-street circuits. I don’t see why we can’t pick it up and move on. We worked really hard during that last little break with the engineers, with the team, to make sure we can come back strong.”
With five races to go, Pérez is third in the 2022 drivers’ championship , just two points behind Charles Leclerc (the Monegasque’s 237 points to his 235) and 32 points ahead of George Russell in fourth.
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