Interview with Formula One racer Sergio Perez (Oct. 8)
The much awaited Formula One Japan Grand Prix returns in October 2019, and Sergio Perez is back to Tokyo.
He’s one of the drivers for SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team sponsored by NEC. Our hero, also known as Checo, who is loved by fans all over the world, tells us about Formula One, the Japanese fans, and NEC technology.
──Welcome back. How many times have you been to Japan?
9 times. It’s one of my favorite places. I love to visit Japan.
I love the culture and I love the food. I’m a big fan.
──Any food you stay away from before the race?
Nothing in particular. Especially in Japan, you have good quality of fish so no problem.
I just try to sleep well eat well.
──You’re the one and only Mexican racer with a total of 8 podiums and you got in to F1 in 2011. How was it to get into a scene where not a lot of Mexican drivers get to open the gate?
Well it was huge thing for myself but also for my country.
I come from a country where for many years we didn’t have a Mexican driver in this sport.
I came and I was the first one, it was quite a challenge you know.
When you go through lower series is one thing, but once you arrive formula one, it’s a different world. It’s a lot of pressure. It’s a lot of commitment. Everything is just very very big.
The lower series are a good learning, but formula one is very different to anything else.
──Would you say its mostly because of the bigger sponsors?
Basically everything is bigger in the car and out of the car.
You got a lot of commitments.
In the car you have a lot of attention on you with a lot of engineers looking after your job demanding things from you.
Also out of the car, you have commitments with the sponsors, media, events, and so on.
──And you always have to train everyday?
Yes, you gotta maintain yourself at your 100% throughout the season. We have a very long season. It’s important that you are your best every single weekend.
──You have raced 15 races so far this year, and I thought Russia was interesting. What is your impression so far?
I think it’s a bit of a transition year with the new ownership in place.
We started a bit late so we are picking up step by step, we’ve done good races scoring a plenty of points. So I hope we can continue the trend from now until the end of the season.
──You came in seventh last year at Suzuka, I recall. Firstly, what’s your impression of Suzuka Circuit?
Aww, it’s a fantastic place! It’s one of the best circuits in the world.
It’s so fast and doesn’t have any room for mistakes.
Anywhere you go off it’s a big chance so it's definitely one of my favorites.
──You mentioned that Japanese fans are passionate?
I’ve never seen anything like this in anywhere else in the world.
The fans are the most passionate here.
They love all the different drivers and they’re really into the sport.
So it’s s a very unique place. They really understand the sport.
There is no other place you get to see such a big fan base for this sport.
──What do you accept to achieve for the Japan GP?
First we hope to do every job as a team to keep scoring points.
We fight for every single points in the constructors so it’s important now to make a difference in the next coming races.
And I hope the typhoon doesn’t hit us too hard so we can race on Saturday.
──What do you see is the most important when it come to winning or maximizing your results?
Basically you have to be at 100% at everything.
Since I arrive on Thursday to the track, I have meetings with the engineers and make preparation onto the race. It’s an important part of the weekend.
──Anything quality you take care of to keep at 100%?
It’s about the mentality to be at your best.
To be thinking of the important aspects of the weekend.
There is so much energy that you have, so you have to focus on the things that you can make a difference. There are all the things that you can’t do anything about.
──Do you simulate before the race?
Not before the race, but I do it before qualifying.
I memorize the map.
For the race, it’s impossible to simulate what you’re gonna do.
──So the qualifications are quite important for you then?
Yes, if we can’t have the qualifications then I think we start from the championship.
It will not be good without the Qualifying.
──Please tell us your future prospects for the remainder of the year and 2020.
Rest of the year basically continue what we’ve been doing since summer break.
We’re currently ranked in the seventh so we should keep it that way, scoring strong points.
For the team, that will be a good way to finish the season.
After that, I think a big year is coming for us where we have to prove that we are able to go to the next level.
We have to be very strong from the beginning of the year.
I’m very optimistic that we are on a right track.
Our team has progressed a lot so it should be really good years ahead for us.
──What does F1 mean to you?
F1 has always been my dream, to race with the best teams and the best drivers in the world, to be competing in the level is pretty high.
The level of the driver in formula one are the best in the world and you see how well prepared they are weekend after weekend how consistent.
──What does F1 driver mean to you?
These days you don’t have any bad driving and the difference is made with the car.
All the drivers are extremely well prepared.
It’s a team sport. Unfortunately the way F1 has been going for the last couple of years basically more of the team, than the driver.
──What's your impression of NEC Corporation?
It’s a big one because I’ve been with NEC for almost my entire career apart from one year.
9 years in formula one so 8 years with NEC.
Coming here is always great and being with the company with the level of technology that they do,
I’m always impressed to see what they do for the rest of the world as a Japanese company it’s very impressive.
──NEC focuses on the Artificial Intelligence technology. What are your expectations towards AI as an F1 driver?
It’s just amazing to see the level of technology, they’re able to implement around the world and how advanced when you look now where we are and where we’re gonna be in five or ten years.
It’s pretty scary what they’re able to do.
──Do you see AI driving the races in the future?
I wouldn’t be surprised! I‘m sure NEC can create someone very fast.
Formula One is a sport technology and it has to be that way, but at the end of the day you will always need a driver.
These days we have a lot of help with data and the engineers, but ultimately it's you in the cockpit that is taking care of the things.
It will be very hard for someone, like a robot to do all these things.
I still think humans can beat robots.
──How do you think IT technology would contribute to F1?
I think already with the level of technology that F1 develops year by year.
For instance, it’s great to be in a world that’s driven by technology so they can implement great things.
──Apart from your job, what do you do in your off-season. Do you get to spend time with your family?
I try to spend much time with my family back home because I travel all the time.
The longest I see them during the season is in the US which is close to Mexico.
I also go to Christmas party where my team gets together end of December.
We have a party where we get together with the families in the head quarter in Silverstone.
I only fly in and out but it’s a great event because you get to see all the family members of your team.
──Your team must be like a second family to you.
Yes, you travel the whole world with them so apart from the professional relationship, we have relationships on the personal level too.
──Can you please give your message to your Japanese fans?
I’m extremely happy to be here with the fans.
The love that I get here from the fans is incredible!
So every time I come here, it’s a big surprise, a big shock because we don’t get it anywhere else in the world. The level of fanaticism that we have in Japan, we don’t get it anywhere else.
──Which country is your favorite so far?
I have to say Tokyo is definitely one my favorite cities.
I like Australia too. I think those two places are my favorites cities I’ve visited so far.
──What do you like most of Japan?
I like the culture too. I really like how polite the people are and how everyone behaves in the streets. From the outside it’s a big thing to see how well you have the city set, all-around.
──Which Japanese food do you like?
Any Japanese food! From beef to sushi, anything you give me.
──Do you ever get to spend time in Tokyo?
Yes, I come earlier. Normally I go to races late, Wednesday or Thursday.
But I always try to spend two, three days in Tokyo, just to walk around the city and eat at good restaurants.
──Any specific place you enjoy going every time?
I always like to go to the Ginza crosswalk.
But usually I don’t have specific places I go to.
I like to explore Tokyo because there is so many places to explore.
I try to go to different places every time.
──If I were to go to Mexico, where would you recommend?
We have great beaches.
Punta Mita is beautiful.
You can’t miss to go to La Paz the aquarium of the world.
Mal Decortes it’s incredible.
I have a lot of friends that have been to and people all around the world called it the biggest aquarium. I highly recommend you to go there.
7th / 73points
01 FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX 2019 14 - 17 MAR Show Results
02 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX 2019 29 - 31 MAR Show Results
03 FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN CHINESE GRAND PRIX 2019 12 - 14 APR Show Results
04 FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX 2019 26 - 28 APR Show Results
05 FORMULA 1 EMIRATES GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2019 10 - 12 MAY Show Results
06 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2019 23 - 26 MAY Show Results
07 FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAND PRIX DU CANADA 2019 07 - 09 JUN Show Results
08 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE 2019 21 - 23 JUN Show Results
09 FORMULA 1 MYWORLD GROSSER PREIS VON ÖSTERREICH 2019 28 - 30 JUN Show Results
10 FORMULA 1 ROLEX BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2019 12 - 14 JUL Show Results
11 FORMULA 1 MERCEDES-BENZ GROSSER PREIS VON DEUTSCHLAND 2019 26 - 28 JUL Show Results
12 FORMULA 1 MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2019 02 - 04 AUG Show Results
13 FORMULA 1 JOHNNIE WALKER BELGIAN GRAND PRIX 2019 30 AUG - 01 SEP Show Results
14 FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO HEINEKEN D'ITALIA 2019 06 - 08 SEP Show Results
15 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX 2019 20 - 22 SEP Show Results
16 FORMULA 1 VTB RUSSIAN GRAND PRIX 2019 27 - 29 SEP Show Results
17 FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX 2019 11 - 13 OCT Show Results
18 FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE MÉXICO 2019 25 - 27 OCT Show Results
19 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX 2019 01 - 03 NOV Show Results
20 FORMULA 1 GRANDE PRÊMIO DO BRASIL 2019 15 - 17 NOV Show Results
21 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 2019 29 NOV - 01 DEC Show Results
Campaign in action
NEC has launched an advertising campaign in Australia!
Our ads are running at airports in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide and at various bus stops near Melbourne Circuit in March.
Thank you for your participation. These campaigns have ended.
SportPesa Racing Point F1™ Team
SportPesa Racing Point F1™ Team is the latest team to join Formula One, the pinnacle of motorsport. Despite its young age, the team boasts a wealth of experience that goes far beyond its debut race in Belgium last year.
For a team with just nine races to its name, Racing Point draws from the heritage of some of the sport’s most cherished names, bringing to life the new incarnation of an outfit that has come to symbolise passion, dedication and the spirit of true racers.
Iconic cars, legendary drivers, memorable performances – all this has been produced out of the Silverstone headquarters for more than a quarter of a century. While respecting their heritage and taking pride in their past achievements, Racing Point looks to the future. Under the leadership of Lawrence Stroll and a consortium of investors, with Otmar Szafnauer as new Team Principal, a new vision is taking shape; to build the greatest Formula One team the world has ever seen. Working in partnership with world leading brands, with a new drivers’ line-up and new structures being put in place to guarantee the team’s future growth, they are throwing down their gauntlet to the sport.
SportPesa Racing Point F1™ Team is here. It’s time to take the stage.
A seasoned professional with eight Formula One campaigns under his belt, Sergio Perez is widely regarded as one of the fastest and most consistent drivers on the grid. The 29-year-old, a regular presence in the top ten of the Drivers’ Championship since making his move to Silverstone in 2014, blends incredible pace with experience and sublime racecraft to make up one an incredibly complete racer and a valuable asset to Sport Pesa Racing Point.
Checo’s life at Force India started in the best possible way, with a podium in only his third race with the team. Some memorable performances in Canada, Austria and Singapore among others, saw the Mexican claim 12 points finishes on his way to tenth in the championship.
He achieved 9th in 2015 and 7th both in 2016 and 2017. In the following year, fine performances in Belgium, Italy and Japan and his commitment to the team on and off the track cemented Sergio’s reputation as one of the big names in Formula One last year. In 2019, paired with the rising talent of Lance Stroll, he will be looking to driving SportPesa Racing Point to new heights.
Aged only 20 and with a Formula One podium finish already on his tally, Lance Stroll is one of the brightest stars in the cohort of young drivers emerging in the sport. The Canadian joins SportPesa Racing Point to make the next step in his career and help the team on its ambitious rise towards the front of the grid.
Bolstered by becoming the youngest-ever rookie podium finisher with P3 in the Azerbaijan GP in 2017 accolades and a total of seven points-scoring finishes, Lance headed into 2018 as team leader. Unfortunately, lack of competitive machinery meant he was never in a position to contend for the results his talent would deserve. Despite the setback, he was able to bring his car into the points in two occasions, in Baku and in Monza, to score six points.
These battling performances, alongside his stellar record in his junior career, earned Lance a move to the newly-relaunched Racing Point F1™ Team, where the young Canadian, paired with the experienced Sergio Perez, will have the chance to compete for some prestigious results in the 2019 season and beyond.