Sergio “Checo” Pérez is nothing if not tenacious. Born in Guadalajara, the Mexican Formula One driver, 31, competed in 190 races before finally casting victory in Bahrain in 2020, 10 years into his career, the longest wait for victory in racing history. Racing is clearly in his blood. Pérez’s introduction to speed on wheels began at the tender age of six when he started competing in karting races and finished his first season in second place. He moved to Europe to race at the age of 15 and navigated his way up the ranks to bigger and faster machines. Named to the sauber racing team in 2011, Pérez is only the fifth Mexican to drive Formula One, and the first since Héctor Rebaque in the late ’70s.

“I’m a bit speechless. I hope I’m not dreaming you know because I dreamed so many years of being in this moment.”

He quickly established himself as a tough competitor, finishing seventh in his first race in Australia and ascending to his first podium in Malaysia in 2012. His win in Bahrain marks the first victory for a Mexican driver in 50 years and he has earned more points than any Mexican driver in history.

Now racing with Red Bull, Pérez hopes to over-deliver for the 2021 season, and is determined that fans will be hearing the Mexican anthem from the podium for many years to come.