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F1: Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc congratulates Checo with an emotional phone call after Mexico

Max Verstappen may have recorded a dominant victory over title rival Lewis Hamilton at the Mexico City Grand Prix, but the most enduring images of the day were of Sergio Perez celebrating a home podium with his family and the Red Bull Racing team. The chants of “ole! ole, ole, ole” rang out around the stadium section as Perez was carried on his team’s shoulders after coming in third at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Antonio Perez Garibay, the father of Sergio “Checo” Perez, was a key figure in the celebrations and even took part in an entertaining interview with Sky Sports during the post-race coverage. The celebrations between the father-son duo struck a chord with another driver on the grid – Charles Leclerc – who called the Red Bull driver to congratulate him and his family.

The Red Bull team turned around a poor showing in qualifying on Saturday to record a double podium at the Mexico City Grand Prix, where they started the weekend as the favourites. Perez could have gotten second place after a blistering second stint saw him finishing just over a second behind Lewis Hamilton.

Perez’s father has now revealed that Leclerc made an emotional phone call to Checo after seeing his celebrations with the rest of his family. The Ferrari driver lost his father Herve Leclerc, a former F3 racer, after a prolonged illness in 2017, just days before the Monegasque went on to win the F2 race in Azerbaijan.

“Checo received a call yesterday from Charles Leclerc,” Antonio Perez revealed in an exclusive interview with MARCA Claro MVS. “He told him ‘Checo, you don’t know how happy I was to see your parents celebrating like that, it brought tears to my eyes. I would have loved my father to see me’.”

“I didn’t know Charles’ father had passed away and that Charles had spoken to Checo,” the Red Bull driver’s father added.

Sergio Perez pictured at the Hungarian Grand Prix earlier this month
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