Texas two-step means party time for Perez

Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:13pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - For the past few seasons, the U.S. Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas has been the closest thing to a home race for Mexican Sergio Perez and his many fans.

But not any more.

This time 'Checo' arrives in Texas knowing that Sunday, for all the support he is sure to enjoy, is more like a warm-up for the following weekend's big party -- the thrill of Mexico's first grand prix since 1992.

That will be a first in more ways than one for the Force India driver because the 25-year-old, Mexico's only current Formula One driver, has no experience of motor racing at home on asphalt.

The man who leaped excitedly onto the podium in Russia two weeks ago, when he finished third for his fifth career top three finish, has only ever raced go-karts in Mexico.

"As a Mexican we didn't have much history in our sport. The last Mexican in Formula One was 30 years ago. So basically to come all the way to Formula One I had to leave home at the age of 14," he told Reuters in an interview.

"I basically did my whole career in Europe, I raced just a couple of years in karting in Mexico."

If racing in Mexico will be a highlight of his career so far, and another podium cannot be ruled out even if points are more likely, he is quick to qualify that by saying he hopes for greater things to come.   Continued...

Force India Formula One driver Sergio Perez (L) of Mexico speaks to the media next to teammate driver Nico Hulkenberg of Germany (not pictured) during a news conference in Mexico City, Mexico October 19, 2015.  REUTERS/Ginnette Riquelme