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Red Bull Racing star Sergio Perez took home the checkered flag at the Monaco Grand Prix Sunday, and the new champ’s big win could be credited to some good strategy, good driving and good music.
Perez, whose win at Monaco was the first time he’s triumphed on the notoriously tricky course, says he resorts to a very specific type of music to get pumped up before a race. “My playlists are full of Latin and romantic music,” he told Rolling Stone, during a recent promo tour for his new partnership with Patrón Tequila. “I have to admit that it is not what average people listen to to get pumped up, but it’s what I listen to to get in my zone, calm and focused.”
Among his favorite artists: “I would say Luis Miguel, Alejandro Fernandez, [the Colombian band] Morat, Carlos Rivera and Diego Torres,” he shares. “Mostly Spanish-speaking songs that connect me to my roots.”
Born and raised in Guadalajara, Perez’s roots also connect him to tequila, with his home state of Jalisco long-recognized as the birthplace of the blue agave spirit. The driver says it was a no-brainer to team up with Patrón when the tequila maker came calling. “As many people know, I have so much pride for my country and my home in Guadalajara and Patrón shares that same pride for our home state of Jalisco, Mexico,” he says. “Both Patrón and I value hard work, dedication to perfection and community, especially celebrating the people of the great country of Mexico.”
The man known to fans as “Checo,” says there are actually many parallels between F1 racing and tequila. “Succeeding in the world of F1 is very similar to mastering the craft of tequila making,” he says dutifully. “It takes passion and tireless dedication to achieve perfection. Just like the art of tequila production,” he adds, “racing is a team effort. Everyone plays a vital role using their unique talents with meticulous precision to produce the highest standard of quality in performance.”
The driver adds that both tequila making and auto racing require many hands on deck. “At least 60 hands touch every single bottle of Patrón before it leaves the distillery,” he shares, “[while] upwards of 75 hands touch my car before I leave the pit and begin to race. It is important to not compromise quality for efficiencies in both racing and tequila making.”
Aside from Formula One and tequila, Perez says he’s also a huge music fan, sharing a memory about meeting one of his favorite artists a few years ago. “It was very cool to meet Enrique Iglesias some years ago in very funny circumstances,” Checo recalls. “As a worldwide music star, he plays very often at F1 Grand Prix events and one of the years, I think it was back in 2016 in Baku, I contacted his management team and invited him over to my garage to watch the race from there. And surprisingly for me,” Perez continues, “he replied that he had never been invited to an F1 garage before. So he came on race day, I showed him my car, and since then, we’ve become good friends.”
The kicker: “I ended up finishing on the podium that race,” Perez says, citing Iglesias as a good luck charm. “Now every time he plays at an F1 event I invite him to the garage, and he invites me to his concerts.”
Perez’s win at Monaco was the first time he’s stood atop the podium this year, and his third Formula 1 win overall. This was also his second win racing for Red Bull, having taken the flag at Baku last year (his first win came in 2020 when he was racing under the team then-known as Racing Point). Checo will be looking to repeat as champ in Baku in two weeks, when the drivers take to the course at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
For now, Perez is celebrating his Monaco win, presumably with some Patrón. “The F1 schedule is very demanding and I have to be very focused, [so] when I do get to enjoy some Patrón, it is usually to celebrate making the podium,” he says.
The pride of Mexico adds that it’s always tequila season though, “when I’m relaxing and spending time with my familia at home.” His favorite drink: a simple Patrón Silver & Soda, made with tequila, soda water and fresh lime. “It is light, refreshing and just one sip transports me home to Mexico.”