For most, we see sports players as heroes, largely due to their training efforts, accomplishments on the field, what we’re presented on TV or live, etc. We see their celebrations, and we get a glimpse at their behind-the-scenes drama. What we can’t see however, is the turmoil and mental stress they must go through before they helmet up. Their training is far from just physical – we can’t conceptualize the emotional and even spiritual anguish these competitors have to endure.
“I can’t wait to get out there.”
Naturally, the conversation was not just that key line of fervor. Checo – who has now clinched his position as #2 in the 2023 F1 Grand Prix season after his 3rd place podium finish this past weekend at Las Vegas – was quite honest about his thoughts on the new course, calling it “nerve wracking and exhilarating” at the same time.
“The energy and anticipation is out of this world,” he told us. “It is always a lot of fun getting to explore a new track, especially in such a high energy city. [But] one of the most nerve wracking and exhilarating parts of the Vegas circuit for me is getting to race through the streets of the Las Vegas strip. We get to do this in Monaco, but this is the first time getting to try street racing in the U.S.”
His securing of the #2 season standing makes Red Bull Racing the top constructor for the year, and with just Abu Dhabi to go, it’s home stretch for Checo. We got a short time to speak to him further about what Mexican pride really means for him and his racing career, how that spilled over to his collaboration with partner PATRÓN Tequila, and even a candid chat about his friendship with fellow superstar Bad Bunny.
How do you feel representing Mexico in F1?
Being able to represent my home country, Mexico, through my passion of Formula 1 racing is one of my greatest achievements in life, and something I hold very dear to my heart. It is such an honor to represent the country I love so much and that is home to the people I love every day through my work.
How do you intend to influence the new Mexican generations to relate to the sport?
It’s a very special time to be a driver, the world of F1 is growing in popularity at an unprecedented rate so more than anything, I’m just honored to be showing the people of my hometown and country that anything is possible. And hopefully, inspire a future Mexican driver or two along the way.
What are your thoughts on the F1 calendar extending to 24 races next year?
I love racing and have done for all my life and enjoy it so much. I also like to balance life – I have four kids as well! But I trust that Stefano Domenicali (the CEO of F1) and his team to get that balance right and am excited for the future.
Tell us about your partnership with PATRÓN. How did it come about?
I’ve been working with my PATRÓN familia since 2021 so when the opportunity to collaborate on the annual Mexican Heritage Tin came about, I was extremely honored, and it also felt like a very natural next step for our partnership. Knowing that the Mexican Heritage Tin is all about sharing the culture and traditions of Mexico, I was grateful to be afforded the unique opportunity to share my what Mexico means to me through this design, and am excited for fans to get their hands on this tin.
Can you break down the cultural aspects of the PATRÓN Heritage Tin? What did your friends and family think of the collaboration, design, and the significance of the partnership?
Within the tin, I’ve weaved in many symbols that carry a special significance for me. For example, you’ll notice elements such as the bees and hummingbirds which, as pollinators, represent growth, and my competitive nature. Another important symbol to me is the eagle, the national symbol of Mexico, and XOLOTL which is the Mexican “god of the game” showing the importance of teamwork. I also included cocktail references which help represent the Mexican celebratory traditions, which for me, always include PATRÓN Tequila.
My family is incredibly important to me, so I needed to honor them on the tin. I decided to showcase them as a pack of coyotes, since mi familia is my pack, helping to support me both personally and professionally.
Beyond PATRÓN and spirits, what else would you want to share about your Mexican culture, heritage, and background with your fans?
One of the most important facets of my Mexican background to me is the idea that Mexicans always give our best, and never give up.
Leaving home at 14 and moving away from my friends and family to a foreign country to pursue a career as a professional driver was one of the greatest challenges of my life. However, the perseverance imbued in me from my Mexican culture, along with the support of my family, helped me push through.
How was it working with Bad Bunny on the Monaco music video? Are you two personally friends?
Who doesn’t love Bad Bunny? He’s a friend, we’ve had a lot of fun together as you can see from the music video. Hopefully he can make it to a few more races next year and we can have some more fun.
Any personal plans for the end of the year? How will you unwind?
I think it’s so healthy to use the off season to do all the things you can’t do during the season. Excited to be with my wife and kids and stay predominantly in Mexico which is a happy place for me. Although I will always focusing on next season in F1 which is not far away!
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