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Q&A With Sergio Perez: U.S. Grand Prix, Cash App, NASCAR vs. Formula 1, Le Mans, World Cup

Sergio Perez celebrating

SUZUKA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 09: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Red Bull Racing celebrates finishing in second position during the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on October 09, 2022 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

One of the longest-tenured drivers on the Formula 1 circuit, Sergio Perez has been racing in Formula 1 since 2011, but has been driving since he was old enough to stand.

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Sergio Michel “Checo” Perez Mendoza followed in the footsteps of his father and brother, who were both drivers in their own right, beginning a career in karting at the age of six. But Perez showed an incredible knack for the sport, and slowly but surely climbed the racing pyramid until signing his first Formula 1 contract in 2010.

Joining Sauber in 2011, Perez reached the podium three times in just his second year in Formula One. But a win would elude Perez for the better part of a decade until the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. That win preceded his move to Red Bull, and everything has changed for him since.

Since joining Red Bull in 2021, he has been nothing short of incredible, winning three races, reaching the podium 11 other times, with a handful of fastest laps and his first pole. 

This weekend Perez and his Red Bull team will be vying for a win at the U.S. Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. He finished third last year but is hoping to win outright this year. 

We caught up with Sergio to discuss the race, his new partnership with Cash App, his love of soccer and his thoughts on other racing competitions.

This interview is made possible by Cash App.

TheSpun: You’ve teamed with Cash App who have a lot going on at the US Grand Prix this weekend. What made you want to partner with this company today?

Sergio Perez: It’s a great company, one that’s definitely willing to be the best in the world at everything they do. It’s the same with us. I think we match very well with our values and the way we see competition - we really match.

TheSpun:You’ve got the US Grand Prix this week. How does the Circuit here compare to other tracks you’ve been to?

Perez: Austin is a very unique place with elevation changes at fast corners. It’s certainly a great place to drive and I really enjoy it a lot.

TheSpun: Does the crowd or crowd noise ever play a factor in the race?

Perez: Yes certainly. There are a few grand prixs where you can really feel the passion from the grandstands and the people around it. It makes the race more enjoyable.

TheSpun: You hit the podium at the US GP last year. What would it be like to come out in first this year?

Perez: It would be great to do it here in front of the Cash App tent (we have a great place at turn 17). It would be amazing to get the win.

TheSpun: Are there any races outside of Formula 1 that you’d like to compete in one day. Maybe the Indy 500 or Le Mans?

Perez: Maybe the 24 Hours of Le Mans. If the opportunity arises at the right time, I might give it consideration.

Indy 500 - while I respect what they do, it’s quite a risky race to do if you’re not doing the whole championship - so, no probably.

TheSpun: Your brother had a nice career in NASCAR. Did you ever consider joining the NASCAR circuit instead of climbing the Formula 1 ladder?

Perez: Yeah probably if Formula 1 didn’t work I would’ve tried NASCAR. It’s very different. I have a lot of respect for the NASCAR drivers because they’re super fast and super talented but it’s just a very different sport.

TheSpun: Who were some of the racers that you admired growing up?

Perez: I think just in general I have a lot of admiration for anyone who made it to the top because I know how much it takes to get there.

TheSpun: Let’s have a quick speed round: Favorite post-race snack? 

Perez: Peanut butter sandwich.

TheSpun: Favorite car to drive at home? 

Perez: Honda Civic.

TheSpun: Favorite movie? 

Perez: Man on Fire.

TheSpun: Do you have a favorite athlete? 

Perez: Nope. I don’t have a favorite athlete. I admire a lot of athletes from Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, great football players, but I don’t have a particular one.

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco winner Sergio Perez celebrates with his crew.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 29: Race winner Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 29, 2022 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

TheSpun: We have the World Cup coming up and your favorite team Mexico is in the mix. Are you planning on attending the games in Qatar?

Perez: Yeah I’m certainly planning to go. I’m going to be staying in Qatar - we’ll be racing in Abu Dhabi a few days before - so it will be nice to catch up with the national team.

TheSpun: You’re very passionate about soccer. Is it true you once skipped a race to go see a game in-person?

Perez: Yeah, once I was in Mexico and I had an invitation to go see my favorite football team. I took the opportunity - and that meant I didn’t (get to) compete for the (Go-Kart) championship at the time.

TheSpun: Have you ever thought about owning your own sports team one day?

Perez: Yeah. Why not? I love sports, so I would always like to keep involved in it somehow.

TheSpun: Is this the best you’ve ever been racing?

Perez: Yeah certainly. I think I’m at the peak of my career. I want to finish the year on a high and want to make sure I play in 2023 at a high level.

TheSpun: How does Sergio Perez win the championship in 2023?

Perez: I think by reaching a very high level of consistency. I think what happened this year is when we developed the car it really got out of my hands and it took me a few races to figure out how to get the most out of it. So figuring that out will be key going forward. 

"That's Money. That's Cash App."

"That's Money. That's Cash App."

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