RACE DEBRIEF

    Sergio Perez is always in demand at his home race, none more so than this year when he has a championship-winning car underneath him and a genuine shot at becoming the first Mexican to win on home soil. On a rich run of form, he knows he is in with a shout – if he can get the beating of his team mate...

    The Mexican’s brilliant win in Singapore was followed by second in Japan and then fourth last weekend in Austin – when he had to contend with a grid penalty for taking new power unit components. And at a track where Red Bull have gone well in the past, Perez certainly knows that he is in with a shout.

    “Of course, I want to win this weekend – this is my target, this is the target for everyone who is sitting here and coming to this weekend, also for Max [Verstappen] – so we are all very competitive and we all want to get the victory on Sunday, so we’re going to give it all we possibly can to achieve that,” he said.

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    “I’ve dreamed a few times already about it, and it would be massive for me. Obviously, that’s the target for Sunday. It will not be easy. We need to be perfect throughout the weekend, so I think all the focus will be now on the racing stuff to try to maximise the weekend.”

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    There is more at stake than just the victory here for Perez – he is still chasing second in the drivers’ championship, Charles Leclerc’s podium in Austin once again lifting him ahead of the Red Bull man to the tune of two points. He’s also endeavouring to give Red Bull their first ever one-two in the drivers’ standings, quite a feat considering the calibre of drivers they have called upon in the past.

    But while he might want to get down to the racing side of things, first there was an opportunity to celebrate the fact that this race will be on the calendar for a few years to come, with a contract extension announced that keeps Mexico City playing host to the F1 circus until 2025.

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    “This is something great for our country, you know, because this country, we get to show how good the Mexicans are, our Mexican people, our country,” Perez said. “Formula 1 gives you that exposure worldwide. I’m super proud of my country that we are able to secure another contract with Formula 1, so yeah, super happy.”