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Special Moment for Mexico with Perez’s F1 Debut


I want to say how proud I am of Sergio Perez. He did a great job this past weekend in the Formula One season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. It’s a big step from GP2 to Formula One, particularly these days when there is so little testing. There is also a lot of pressure on drivers, especially rookie drivers, when you reach that level. Sergio rose to the occasion. He is the first Mexican to fly our nation’s colors in Formula One since Hector Rebaque way back in 1981 and he made us all proud.

As I have said, Sergio is like a son to me and I had tears in my eyes at the start of the race. The tears were not only for Sergio but for his family, Carlos Slim and everyone at Escuderia Telmex who saw this dream become a reality.

Sergio qualified his Sauber-Ferrari 13th on the grid, four places behind his more experienced teammate, Kamui Kobayashi. He was one of only two drivers to elect to start the race on the harder-compound Pirelli tires. He lost a couple of places at the start, which was predictable, but he didn’t get flustered. He drove a good, consistent pace, didn’t make any mistakes and was up to seventh place when he made what everyone expected to be his first pit stop on Lap 22.

Sergio switched to the soft-compound tires and stayed out on the same set of tires for the remainder of the race and came home with a terrific seventh place – one position ahead of Kobayashi. Most of the drivers made two pit stops for fresh tires during the race, and some, including the Ferraris, stopped three times. But Sergio surprised everyone by stopping only once.

He was one of the stars of the race, and that’s why it was so disappointing to hear that both Saubers were disqualified from the results in post-race technical inspection when it was discovered that their rear wings didn’t conform to the regulations.

The team decided not to appeal the stewards’ decision. They also said the discrepancy wouldn’t have allowed any performance advantage.


I know Sergio and the team are disappointed to lose those six championship points but he made a great impression and showed that he truly does belong there.

Mexico’s future in F1 is shining brightly.




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