16 Jul, 2023 @ 13:30
1 min read

Motor racing fans flock to Spanish capital to see Formula 1 star Sergio Perez 

Sergio Perez in Madrid

THOUSANDS of people flocked to the centre of Madrid on Saturday night to enjoy an exhibition by Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez in two Red Bull cars. 

The streets from the Atocha area all the way to Colon were closed off to give the 33-year-old Mexican star a 1.5-kilometre makeshift circuit where he could show off the speed and the noise of the RB7 and RB8 models, in which German driver Sebastian Vettel won the 2011 and 2012 championships. 

He performed a series of burnouts and doughnuts in the car by the backdrop of the iconic Cibeles fountain.

“This isn’t like being in Mexico, but I feel like I’m at home,” Perez told reporters last night. “I would love to see a race in Madrid,” he added. 

The possibility of a fixture in the Spanish capital is a definite possibility, with negotiations ongoing for a street circuit around the IFEMA congress complex in the northeast of the city. 

“Urban circuits are special,” he said. “I think it would be good to add more [to the calendar] because the atmosphere is very different. I’m good at them, to be honest, but the most important thing is to get to the weekend with confidence.”

In the 2023 season so far, Perez is second in the championship standings with 156 points, but he is well behind his teammate and reigning champion Max Verstappen, who is leading the way with 255 points from 10 podiums, including eight wins. 

The Spanish Grand Prix is held each year at the Montmelo circuit in Barcelona, with a street race staged between 2008 and 2012 in Valencia. The last time a Grand Prix was held in Madrid was back in 1981, at the Jarama circuit located north of the city.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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