“It was very harsh for me to deal with it”- Sergio Perez reveals he felt stupid after being diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in 2020.
Sergio Perez was the first driver in the paddock to contact COVID-19 back when the world still knew about the virus and their innumerable stigmas around it.
Thus, even Perez was a victim of that stigma and confessed that he felt stupid when he got to know that he has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
“With Corona, being the first driver to get the virus – you know, now it’s like a bit more normal [that] people get it – but at the time it was like, ‘you’re the most stupid guy on earth because you got the virus.’ It was very harsh for me to deal with it.” he said to Autosport.
While Perez was recovering from the virus, the speculations around him were ousted by Racing Point for Sebastian Vettel, and the Mexican race driver considers it a critical point of time in his career.
“It was a very critical time in my career because there was the contract thing,” said Perez reflecting on the circumstances surrounding that phase of the year.
“In the end, I lost the seat with my team, but it worked out really well. But I never knew what was going to happen. When that happened, I was pretty relaxed.”
“I thought, ‘well, I’ve had a tremendous career already, and I’m pleased with myself, but I just have to give it all weekend after weekend and see what happens.'”
In the end, Perez was signed by Red Bull to replace Alex Albon, who couldn’t manage to impress the hierarchy of Christian Horner and Helmut Marko.
“When the Red Bull opportunity opened up, it was sometimes looking better, sometimes looking worse. But then, in the end, it worked out. So I think these opportunities, [they] only come once in your life. I know that, and I’m ready to make it work.”
While Perez has known the Red Bull news for weeks now and recently visited the factory for his first meetings with the team, he still admits it feels slightly surreal driving for it.
“I still don’t believe that I’m here, to be honest,” he said. “When I put the Red Bull branding on myself, it’s like ‘wow’. It’s something that I never really considered as an option because not being part of a Red Bull programme at a young age seems to be critical.”
“But things in life, you end up in places that you dreamed of. So it’s a dream come true to be part of this Red Bull family. It’s just amazing. I love so much the brand. I have so much admiration for what they do and the amount of support they do to the sports.”
“I look forward to having a very successful start. But more than that, a very successful season.”