Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez are both looking forward to next weekend’s United States Grand Prix as a large Mexican contingency travels to the Circuit of the Americas to cheer on their native drivers.
Although a Mexican Grand Prix is scheduled for 2014, the race at COTA is currently the closest thing that both drivers have to a ‘home’ race, making it a particularly special one for two drivers who have both had difficult seasons.
“It is very close to my home, so I’m really looking forward to being there,” Perez said. “It was a very special grand prix for me last year, so I expect this year’s race to definitely be special. Like last year, I think we will see a lot of Mexican fans at the race this year as well. I am amazed with the support I am getting from my country even though I am having such a bad year together with McLaren. For us it is very good because we have two Mexican drivers.”
Esteban Gutierrez echoed his countryman’s sentiments, saying: “I am very much looking forward to it. It will be a great experience to share all of this together with all the Mexicans and friends that will be there.
“It will be one of the most special feelings in my career. If we can achieve something there it will be great.”
Neither driver has a secure drive on next year’s grid with just two races remaining in 2013, meaning that a good performance in Austin could be crucial for the Mexican contingency in F1 next weekend.
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.