Sergio Perez admits there were many points during his motorsport career when he thought of throwing in the towel, only for his family and determination to spur him on.
As a young 15-year-old karter, Perez left the comfort and convenience of his family home in Mexico in 2005 to compete in the German Formula BMW series, living on his own in a small room above a restaurant owned by his team manager.
Eventually, his talent took him through the ranks and into Formula 1 in 2011 with Sauber. But from the outset of his career, there were many instances when he thought of returning home and leaving his dreams behind.
“There were a lot of points when I thought of quitting,” Perez said on a recent Talking Bull podcast.
“I came to Formula BMW in Germany and they were racing like two races with Formula 1.
“I thought ‘great, I’m going to race with F1, I’m going to be friends with all the F1 drivers, a great opportunity, lots of fun’.
“So I went there and very early on [I knew] that it was very different, it was very quiet, I was living in a very small village.
“I left my whole childhood behind, my friends, my family. Culture wise, it’s very different in Germany to Mexico.
“I found myself in a very different life, all on my own. Many times I thought ‘F1 is far too far [away], I should just go back home and do more of a normal life’.
“But it was the support of my family that kept me there. At that time it was the determination that kept me there.”
Read also: Perez determined to ‘overdeliver’ with Red Bull Racing
Almost ten years on from his F1 debut, Perez secured his maiden Grand Prix win last December in Bahrain with Racing Point. And this year he opens a new chapter in his motorsport life in the wake of his move to Red Bull Racing.
But looking back, the 31-year-old believes it took a lot of support and a special blend of craziness to get him to where he is today.
“I think about it now, it’s hard for me to think, to let your son do that,” he said. “My family and my mum, she supported me a lot, my dad as well, the rest of my family, it was a family project.
“People thought we were crazy. I think we were.”
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