Dec, 7th 2020 – Racing Point’s Sergio Perez pledged to find a way to prolong his Formula 1 career after taking his maiden victory in the Sakhir Grand Prix. The Mexican is out of contract for next season and his only possibility for a drive is if Red Bull pick him for their second seat.
Perez’s team decided to replace him for 2021 with four-time champion Sebastian Vettel after the German was dropped by Ferrari. The other car is occupied by Lance Stroll, son of Racing Point’s billionaire owner Lawrence Stroll.
Perez’s win came after an outstanding drive in which he was demoted to the back of the field when Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc crashed into him on the opening lap.
Perez said, “After today, I’m determined to be here. My best option is to keep going next year but if I have to stop it is not a disaster, I can come back in 2022.“
Perez fought back up through the field and in the closing stages benefited from a pit-lane error by Mercedes which dropped their drivers George Russell and Valtteri Bottas out of first and second places.
Russell suffered a puncture while chasing Perez in the final lap. Perez said, “I am a bit shocked, to be honest. I don’t find the words. I’m a bit in limbo right now. As a driver you dream for this time, to be in this position, for so many years. I worked my whole life for a moment like this. To finally achieve it… It’s difficult to digest. I think it will take a couple of days, but it’s just something incredible.”
He is the first Mexican to win an F1 World Championship after Pedro Rodriguez who triumped in the Belgian Grand Prix in 1970.
He expressed his joy saying, “It means a lot, a lot to me, especially this year. It’s been very difficult for all the world so to have this kind of happiness at the homes for many Mexicans means a lot to me, for my family, it means just such a tremendous day, historic day in our sport.
He added, “I’m just very pleased, you know. You’ve seen the amount of support that I get in my country. Can you imagine what it’s like at the moment? It’s going to be amazing. Normally the races are like six in the morning, seven in the morning. This one, it’s on a Sunday, 11 o’clock and I’m sure by now they will be having some good tequilas in half of the country!”