Checo Ready To Drive
© Vladimir Rys
F1

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Checo

Think you knew everything there is to know about Sergio? Well, we bet you don’t…
Written by Red Bull Racing Honda
5 min readPublished on
As we’re now into Checo’s 11th season in Formula One, we were able to sit down with driver number 11 and find out some little unknown nuggets of information about the Mexican Bull. 11 in fact! It’s almost like we planned it…

1. He’s A Keen Golfer

Checo began playing golf at the age of 17 when he moved to England and currently plays with a handicap of 18, which isn’t bad for someone who plays less than once a month during the F1 season.
“My first experience was when a friend of mine took me to the driving range and then shortly after that I bought my first set of clubs. But unfortunately now I’m not able to play very often in the season, maybe about 10 times. Although in the offseason, I play probably twice a week. I really enjoy it.”

2. He Wrote Off His First Road Car

Checo’s first road car was a Chevvy that had been previously owned by his sister and his brother, but it wasn’t passed down any further after he’d been behind the wheel.
“I was at a football match, but I forgot my boots, so I went back to my house. I decided to drive in the wrong way thinking I could make it, but there was a car coming in the other direction and I crashed into them. That was the end of the car as my dad sold it afterwards, but it lasted for three siblings so it did well.”

3. Checo Checks The Stock Market

The first app Checo looks at in the morning is the CNBC app to check on his investments in the stock market.
One day is very good, one day is very bad, and it’s like with racing, it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s where you finish.
“I really enjoy looking at the stock market and I even own some stocks too. If you look at it every single day you go through a lot of emotions, one day is very good, one day is very bad, and it’s like with racing, it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s where you finish. Overall I just really like it and generally I think it's good to investment.”

4. He Left His Wallet In Christian’s Office

After being invited around to his boss’ house for dinner, he left his wallet behind. We asked Checo if when he got his wallet back if everything was still in it… he didn’t confirm or deny either…
“I had a meeting with Christian and pretty much straight after I flew back to Mexico. A few days later Christian phoned me to let me know I’d left my wallet behind and I still hadn’t realised. But it was good, because I wasn’t going to see him for a while, so I wasn’t going to spend any money – so that worked pretty well!”
Checo And Christian Chat Trackside
Checo And Christian Chat Trackside

5. Madrid Feels Like His Home Away From Home

We know Checo has been to a lot of different places around the world over the years, so we wanted to know if he could live anywhere, where would it be.
“If I could live anywhere, it would be Madrid. I really like it there; the Spanish culture is very similar to mine in Mexico. One day when F1 has finished for me, I think we’d go back home to Guadalajara for a little while first. My wife is from there as well, so we’d go back there for at least a little while. But I’d think we’d spend time between both.”

6. Checo Could Have Had A Very Different Career

Now, we wouldn’t have guessed in a million years at his answer to this question, but when asked what he would like to have been if he hadn’t been an F1 driver, Checo said: “I would like to have been a banker or a lawyer. They both have a lot of adrenaline, similar to the stock market, and that’s what I’d say is similar to racing.”

7. LA Galaxy Is Checo’s ‘Other’ Team

When he moved to Europe, to Manchester United, it was the same time as I started in Formula One.
In Mexico, Checo follows Club América, but his second team is LA Galaxy due to Mexican footballer and friend, Chicharito (Javier Hernández), who plays for them.
“Chicharito is also from Guadalajara, so we have friends in common. When he moved to Europe, to Manchester United, it was the same time as I started in Formula One. So, it was very nice that we started our careers together.”

8. He Has His Own Charity

In his hometown of Guadalajara, Checo set up a charity called The Checo Pérez Foundation in 2012 to help strengthen vulnerable groups, specifically children, and it’s something he’s very proud of.
“It’s nice, because you can help the people out there that are less fortunate than yourself. As a charity we’ve done a lot over the years. For example, we had a bad earthquake three years ago and we focused on helping with that. We gave houses back to those that lost them. I’m very proud of the work the foundation has done.”

9. He Didn’t Have A Role Model Growing Up

A lot of athletes say they didn’t really have an idol that propelled them to want to become a driver, and Checo is no different. “I didn’t really have a role model, I just admired people that are successful at their work and in their private lives.”
Checo Arriving At The Track
Checo Arriving At The Track

10. Checo Travels Light

Some drivers are superstitious when travelling, others always have to take a set few items with them, however Checo only takes with him the bare essentials.
“When going away to a race all I take is my passport and my phone. I used to have a trainer who used to say: ‘wallet, phone, passport and f**k the rest.’ As long as I have that, I’m fine.”

11. His Footballing Hero Inspired Him To Race #11

Drivers almost always have a very interesting reason why they chose their racing number and so does Checo.
“When I started in karting there was a football player that was playing for Club América, the team I like, it was Ivan Zamorano. He was my idol and was wearing number 11, so it was very easy for me to choose that.”