Defiant Sergio Perez accuses journalists of racism

Sergio Perez is contracted to Red Bull until the end of 2024, but his future was looking uncertain earlier in the year.

Red Bull driver, Sergio Perez, has claimed that his nationality plays a big role in the criticism he receives from the media.

The Mexican started out in Formula 1 in 2011 with Sauber, and enjoyed a tremendous 2012 campaign, scoring three podiums before moving to McLaren.

Despite some impressive performances that year, the now 32-year-old was dropped ahead of the 2024 season, when he joined Force India.

Seven podiums in as many seasons followed until the end of 2020 with the team that became Racing Point in 2019, including a win in Sakhir.

READ: Max Verstappen hits out at Red Bull in Japan

Inexplicably, the standout midfield driver was out of contract at the end of that year, but he was snapped up by Red Bull, who had just released Alex Albon.

A victory materialised in Baku in 2021, and the Guadalajara-born driver has added two more to that tally in 2022.

Perez has been out-qualified 33 times in 40 races by generation talent, Max Verstappen, so at times, this has been focused on more than his exceptional efforts.

Perez took a particular verbal beating in the middle part of this year during his dip in form, but he silenced some of critics with a win in Singapore last weekend.

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He suggested after the race that a lot of the criticism being aimed at him is because he is Mexican, and he has now emphasised his belief that xenophobia is at play.

“Whenever you have a bad race or a sort of dip, like any driver does, you always hear more criticism if the driver is Latino,” Perez said.

“Other drivers have similar problems and it is hardly talked about, I’ve felt this way at times all through my career.”

However, as irritating as the criticism is, Perez uses it as fuel.

“But the media is also a source of motivation,” he added.

“Sometimes it is not being taken as seriously, it’s said that because he is Mexican then he is lazy, that is the culture.

“You’re Mexican so you can’t compete against the best drivers in the world. I felt that especially strongly in the early years of my career.

“But it’s always nice to prove again that anyone can get to the top,” he added, “even if I’m not here for people to give me credit.

“But people see a result and criticise without understanding my situation and everything I’m dealing with. That’s what I mean. This is a world of very small margins that make very big differences.”

The four-time race winner has divulged that his performance began to spiral when the upgrades brought to this year’s car veered completely away from his driving style.

He has recovered in the last couple of races, in an upturn of form that saw him finish second in Japan last weekend.

Overcoming that hardship leads the Red Bull man to believe that he can challenge for the title.

“I worked very hard during the year,” explained Perez.

READ: Watch: Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez practise their football skills in Japan

“The car changed a lot. It got out of hand for me and we had to work very hard with the engineers to understand what had happened.

“I hope it will be a lesson for the future, together with the team, to maintain this level of consistency and be able to fight for the championship next year.”

Perez and Verstappen are set to bring home Red Bull’s fifth teams’ title this year, with the Dutchman having already claimed the drivers’ title.