Why does Sergio Perez use the racing number 11?

F1 Grand Prix of Singapore
F1 Grand Prix of Singapore - Sergio Perez of Mexico and Red Bull Racing celebrates finishing in first position during the F1 Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on October 02, 2022 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images,)

Sergio Perez is well-known for using the number 11 on the grid. But where did the Mexican driver get his inspiration from? Let's take a look.

Perez recently disclosed how he selected his race number for F1. Typically, racing drivers have a special connection with their race numbers, which may originate from their childhood idols' numbers or personal motivations.

As per the official F1 website, Sergio Perez mentioned that his race number 11 was inspired by his admiration for a football player named Ivan Zamorano during his karting days.

Zamorano wore the number 11 jersey and played for Perez's favorite team, Club America. Additionally, Perez humorously shared that his email ID also includes the number 11. He said, as per the official F1 website:

“I used to admire a football player. His name is Ivan Zamorano and he had the number 11. So, when I was at karting, I said I also want to have the number 11. Since then, I’ve always used 11. Still, my email is with number 11."

However, the Red Bull driver previously held the number 17 when he entered the sport with Sauber back in 2011.

Sergio Perez on his relationship with Max Verstappen

Sergio Perez has stated that he and his teammate Max Verstappen have developed a 'mature" relationship' in 2023. Verstappen currently holds the top spot in the drivers' standings, while Perez is in second place.

Initially viewed as the ideal support for Verstappen in 2021, Perez's competitiveness within the Red Bull team grew. This led to tensions between the two drivers during the 2022 Brazilian GP when Verstappen refused to follow team orders.

Nevertheless, Perez has affirmed that there is now a significant level of respect and maturity between himself and Verstappen. He said, as quoted by Motorsport.com:

"Inside it is a great atmosphere with the team. There is a very high level of respect between each other in the team with all the engineers from their side or my side. I think we are both mature enough to know what's right and what's wrong. As long as that keeps being the case, then I don't expect anything to change."

Red Bull is clearly the class of the field at the moment, having won all three races so far this year. However, with the team expecting tougher times ahead due to a wind tunnel testing penalty, it remains to be seen if they can maintain their form.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar