Sergio Perez becomes first Mexican to win F1 in 50 years


Sergio Perez became the first Mexican Formula One race winner in five decades on Sunday as he took the title at the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain.

Perez barely dared to believe it, demanding a pinch to prove it was not just a dream.

After 190 starts and in his penultimate race for Racing Point, with nothing decided for next season and a year out looming, the 30-year-old was in fantasyland under the floodlights at Bahrain's desert circuit.

Perez said, “I am speechless. I hope I am not dreaming, as I have dreamt so many years of being in this moment. It’s incredible. I don’t know what to say."

He added, “It was all about not giving up, recovering and keep going. We won it today on merit.”

The last and only Mexican F1 race winner before Perez was the late Pedro Rodriguez, one of two brothers after whom the Mexico City circuit is named, in Belgium in 1970.

Perez has come close before, finishing second in Turkey only last month, but without ever reaching the top step.

He did it the hard way on Sunday, pitting after a first-lap collision and fighting back from 18th and last in an astonishing victory that brought tears to his eyes.

Perez was helped by a rare Mercedes pitstop blunder, the champions mixing up the tyres for Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton’s stand-in George Russell who also suffered a late puncture.

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