As a food lover, Mexico almost always tends to remind me of burritos, tacos and spicy salsa. But perhaps even before food, the love for F1 takes precedence and the indomitable face of Sergio Perez creeps up.
Checo Perez and his father Antonio Perez Garibay have become the flag-bearers of Mexico as far as F1 is concerned and it is always heartwarming to see just how passionate Antonio is whenever Checo arrives at the Mexican Grand Prix.
His pride was there for all to see recently as well, when his son Sergio saw himself finish with a podium position, but Antonio believes there will be plenty more on offer next season.
This year’s Mexican Grand Prix was perhaps not as engaging as years gone by owing to the relative ease with which Max Verstappen notched his world record 14th win of the season.
However, Antonio has claimed that Sergio will be the one who will triumph next season, not only in Mexico, but in the entire season.
“Checo is the best Mexican driver. It’s the first time with Mexico having a World Champion of Formula 1 in constructors” Antonio said.
“Checo is champion of Formula 1 now [as part of Red Bull], maybe next year he’s probably champion of drivers.”
Earlier in the season, it appeared as if Sergio Perez would have a realistic chance of even challenging Max Verstappen for top honours.
Sergio Perez explains where championship bid ended
However, as the season wore on, it became more and more obvious that there was no catching Max.
Perhaps the turning point in the season came when Sergio crashed with George Russell in the Austrian Grand Prix.
According to the driver himself, this is precisely when his championship bid came to an end.
“I think Austria was the tipping point for my World Championship chances,” Perez said.
“There I was hit by George. We were there in the standings, but this was a huge blow. Then we had a few races where we struggled.”
Sergio Perez is currently battling it out with Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc for second spot in the drivers’ standings and with just two races to go, enjoys a five-point lead.
While all talk of a world championship bid seems far too early at this stage, Sergio will be keen to at least make the second spot his own as the season comes to a close.