Sergio Perez reveals big clue as he contemplates his Formula 1 future

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez smiling with Max Verstappen

Sergio Perez: "So (retirement is) not going to be any time soon."

Out of contract with Red Bull at the end of this season, Sergio Perez will be pushing for a new deal as he’s not retiring any time soon.

Two years ago, fresh from winning the Monaco Grand Prix, Red Bull announced a new two-year contract for their Mexican driver for the 2023 and ’24 seasons. Year one, though, was marred in strife and rumours.

Sergio Perez wants his youngest son to watch him race

Although Perez won two of the opening four races of the season, a qualifying slump meant by the summer break it was all over bar the shouting as he struggled to reach the podium as his team-mate Max Verstappen went on a 10-race winning streak.

Formula 1’s rumour mill was brutal as pundits and fans alike called on Red Bull to drop Perez, while Helmut Marko’s criticism of the driver did nothing to calm the situation.

But runner-up at the end of the season, Red Bull have honoured Perez’s contract and he’s back on the grid with them this year where he has recorded back-to-back P2 finishes behind Verstappen.

Sitting second in the championship, Horner has made it known the Red Bull seat is “Checo’s seat to lose. He’s the one that we’re backing, he’s our 2024 driver. If he does a great job, there’s no reason we wouldn’t extend him into 2025.”

It’s an extension Perez would like to sign as the 34-year-old has no intention of retiring any time soon.

“Every Sunday after the meeting (with my engineers), I go home, and I’m like ‘F—, I love this thing,’ because being able to communicate with this level of engineering, with this level of drivers, working alongside Max, with the best engineers in the world, I mean, it’s just something amazing,” he told The Athletic.

“I’m different. Different from the point of view that I’ve got a family, I got the four kids, and I want to see them grow.

“When they get to certain ages, I want to be very present and I want to enjoy with them and take them to fight for their dreams, whatever dream that is. I want to be part of their dreams.

“I know that I’m not going to be here forever, but one of my inspirations is that my youngest son gets to see me racing.

“So (retirement is) not going to be any time soon.”

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Swinging through the highs and lows last season with just two wins to his team-mate’s 19, Perez admits he found it difficult to shrug off the bad moments.

“It is not like I’m bulletproof to it,” he said. “I say it easily, but I know that if I have a bad result on Sunday, I will feel it for many weeks.”

But with his biggest lesson in F1 being “not to get carried away, knowing that you are not as good as when you win, and you are not as bad as when you lose”, the father of four says having a family helps him keep it in perspective.

“As I got married in my career, as I have kids, it’s something new and something that you start to know yourself a little bit more,” Pérez said. “In the end, I find (it) really important to be able to disconnect from (F1).

“It’s a sport that demands 100 per cent. But once you become a dad, you just realise that life is much more than Formula 1, or at least it’s what happened to me. It made me more human.”

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