The life of Checo Pérez (Guadalajara, Jalisco; January 26, 1990) has become much more than just tires and tracks. His face is on the cover of magazines such as Expansión and GQ, he appears in television commercials dancing to Queen’s “Don’t stop me now” and his website features twice as many brands as Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez’s. In this year, Checo has established its name not only within motorsports, but also in an elite commercial sphere.

“The F1 media space is never going to be compared to football, but that gives Checo a different spectrum, of turning it into an aspirational issue. He is the Mexican who goes and triumphs abroad in a sport where Mexico has not stood out. This puts him in a very important arena that makes us see that Mexico that at an international level can stand out in the elite when it works in a structured way, with everything that F1 represents in the social and cultural elite ”, analyzes Rodrigo Calls, marketing specialist sports.

But this image has cost Sergio Pérez 11 years of perseverance on the most important motor racing circuit in the world. The difference is that in 2021 he came to a team that for the first time had clear opportunities to win the title and there the experience of the Mexican was crucial to adapt to the mechanics and meet expectations.

“The first thing he had to learn this year was to work with a first-rate team, without suffering from resources, quality engineers, wind tunnels; at Red Bull they tied the engines with the Mercedes power units and it is a situation where Pérez has to be recognized as a driver who can work very well within the best. He has taken the opportunity, there are few drivers who can fight face to face with a seven-time world champion and the moment he was able to face Lewis Hamilton he grew. The confidence of the team was clear when considering that he has responded and give him a new contract (in 2022), that speaks enormously ”, highlights Marco Tolama, specialist in motorsports and director of the Auto y Pista medium.

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At the end of 2021, the Jalisco rider reached the unprecedented figure of five podiums (he had only achieved a maximum of three, in 2012) and increased his points by 52% compared to what he achieved in 2020, going from 125 to 190, with which ratified its fourth world place only behind Max Verstappen (champion), Lewis Hamilton (champion from 2017 to 2020) and Valtteri Bottas.

From the first third of the year, brands such as Kavak, Banorte and Interprotección joined him. In total, there are nine brands that accompany him as sponsors according to his official site, surpassing the four that ‘Canelo’ Álvarez has and the three of Lorena Ochoa.

“Many of his sponsors have been in F1 for just as long as he has, but this year new horizons are opening up like Kavak and Banorte, which are very strong industries. Before he was with City Banamex, now the message that a brand wants to transmit to what Checo projects is very clickable, because Banorte with its slogan of being ‘the strong bank of Mexico’, what better way than to associate with Checo, which is precisely that ”, Rodrigo Calls mentions.

In addition, the fact that this year he competed with one of the most powerful teams in F1, which ultimately ended up being champions, adds other brand virtues to the Mexican driver.

“The important thing for brands and Checo is to permeate that image of success, he is the Mexican athlete who has the largest number of alliances with brands that sponsor him because of the visibility that F1 gives you today, including the Mexican Grand Prix, the brand Red Bull and what Checo represents, is a yes or yes for the sponsors because it is a sport that currently gives you very good exposure with everything that is around the race. Checo represents the image of a modern, progressive Mexico that can grow in the world and that can have a very special place ”.

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What attributes does Red Bull have that match what Checo Pérez represents?

“It has always been an attractive brand, it is the leader in Mexico in energy drinks, that speaks to you of an important niche, it is perhaps not the most consumed in the country but it already has a well-earned niche, it has always been a very agile brand, alive , related to sports, I already had a good job for many years in our country and now with Checo a great alliance is being achieved ”.

In terms of sports, Pérez’s present and future looks solid at Red Bull. His teammate and 2021 champion, Max Verstappen, dubbed him a “legend” after their joint performance to win the title, noting that he will look to repeat this feat for the next 10-15 years. Pérez has gradually gained more weight and confidence within the team.

“The experience helped him to work quickly at Red Bull, he dominated a chassis that other riders he came to replace could not dominate, to such an extent that at times he was able to tie Verstappen, but there was always an estimated difference of half a second between both of them. Checo is still number two in the team and that could weigh against him, he will have to do his thing and, with some authority, fight his teammate ”, warns Marco Tolama.

Regarding his place in the history of Mexican pilots, Tolama points out that Checo “is very close to becoming the best pilot Mexico has had, if not already is,” although he has not yet surpassed Pedro Rodríguez in Regarding the Grand Prizes won, they both have two, but Pérez’s context is very different today.

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