Sergio Perez addresses fans with hostile Max Verstappen reception expected

Sam Cooper
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Sergio Perez wants fans to support all of Red Bull and not just him.

Sergio Perez has urged his home fans to support the whole team and not just him after Max Verstappen was booed in Austin.

Verstappen has been Perez’s team-mate for three years and up until now, the Mexican support for Perez has largely transferred to the Dutchman as well.

But in Austin, Verstappen was subject to boos by the home crowd with almost half a million Mexicans living in the city.

Sergio Perez urges Mexican fan unity

As Formula 1 returns to Perez’s homeland, he has called on his passionate fan base to support all of Red Bull and not just him.

“I am optimistic for this week, we know what direction we have to take now so hopefully we get to show that,” Perez said. “We have a few things to sort out with the car and we should come back stronger. I want Mexico to come out to support the whole Red Bull Racing Team, not just me.”

It is not just Perez that is urging a show of unity. F1 journalist Sándor Mészáros posted an image of Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on a billboard in Mexico City with the caption “there is no rivalry off the track” during race week. The billboard is part of the grand prix’s ‘racepect’ campaign.

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The US race was not the first time Verstappen has been booed and was previously targeted at Silverstone with a huge number of Hamilton fans in attendance.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner insisted though that it did not faze the driver and was “water off a duck’s back.”

“I don’t think Max is going to get the warmest reception in Mexico!” Horner said. “But that’s water off a duck’s back. One year you are the villain, the next year you are the hero.”

Verstappen for his part did not mention the booing, instead focusing on the race and predicting it would be “more of a fight.”

“It’s great to be heading to Mexico, the team has a great history there, winning and taking a double podium in the last two years,” he said.

“It is of course Checo’s home race so it will be a big one for us. The atmosphere is always amazing driving through Foro Sol. Mexico City is the highest altitude track of the season, which is more stressful on the cars, but the RB19 has been faultless in most conditions so I’m looking forward to seeing how we will perform.

“We’re also returning to the normal race format this weekend so that’ll be good, as we head into the second race of the triple header. Following Austin, we can expect the race to be more of a fight, but we’ll use our strategy to our strength. The aim is to keep on winning.”

Verstappen is the most successful driver in Mexican Grand Prix history having won the event four times. Perez’s best finish at his home race is third in both 2021 and 2022.

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