Monday, June 17, 2024

Checo Pérez wins Monaco Grand Prix in big day for Mexican auto racing

Formula 1 race car driver Sergio “Checo” Pérez became the most successful Mexican in the history of the competition by gliding to victory in the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Guadalajara native now has three first place finishes in Formula 1, having previously triumphed in the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain in 2020 and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last year. The Red Bull driver counted on the strategic assistance of his Belgian-Dutch teammate Max Verstappen to finish fastest.

The race was delayed by more than an hour due to wet conditions and the pace of the first two laps was dictated by the arbitrating safety car, which is introduced in dangerous conditions and obliges drivers to maintain their positions and not overtake.

Checo changed his tires for dryer conditions on a pit stop on lap 17, took the lead on lap 21 and held on for victory. On lap 26, Mick Schumacher, son of retired joint-record holding racer Michael Schumacher, crashed into the race wall destroying his vehicle, but escaped without injury.

AT first, Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain (right) led the race closely followed by Red Bull teammates Max Verstappen and Checo Pérez.
At first, Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr. of Spain (right) led the race, closely followed by Red Bull teammates Max Verstappen and Checo Pérez. Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Given the stoppages, the race was limited by time and ended inside 63 laps rather than the planned 78.

Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr. finished in second place, followed by Verstappen in third. Monaco native Charles Leclerc started in pole position, but failed to make the podium in front of his home crowd.

With the win in Monaco, Checo surpassed the Mexican joint-record of two victories which he shared with his countryman Pedro Rodríguez. Rodríguez’s wins came in South Africa in 1967 and Belgium in 1970, the year before he died racing.

Checo is now third in the 2022 driver standings.

“An amazing day for Checo, he’s been on it all weekend. His pace … the teamwork, the double stop, both drivers picking off a Ferrari was fantastic. He’s doing a great job, look at his performances so far,” said Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner.

There was further success for Mexico in the Indianapolis 500 race in Indiana on Sunday, where Monterrey’s Pato O’Ward finished second to Swede Marcus Ericsson.

With reports from Milenio and Reforma

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