Sergio Perez admits there were a number of points during his junior career when he thought about deserting motorsport and returning to Mexico.
Perez moved to Europe at the age of 15 in pursuit of establishing his name in the racing world, arriving in Germany and competing in the Formula BMW Championship in 2005.
After spending six years climbing the racing ladder, Perez made his F1 debut in 2011, and has remained in the premier motorsport series ever since.
However the Mexican, who took his first F1 grand prix win in Bahrain last year, revealed he had thoughts of abandoning his racing life after initially arriving in Europe.
“There were a lot of points when I thought of quitting,” Perez said on the Talking Bull podcast.
“I came to Formula BMW in Germany and they were racing like two races with Formula 1. I thought ‘great, I’m going to race with F1, I’m going to be friends with all the F1 drivers, a great opportunity, lots of fun’.
“So I went there and very early on [I knew] that it was very different, it was very quiet, I was living in a very small village.
“I left my whole childhood behind, my friends, my family. Culture wise, it’s very different in Germany to Mexico.
“I found myself in a very different life, all on my own. Many times I thought ‘F1 is far too far [away], I should just go back home and do more of a normal life’.
“But it was the support of my family that kept me there. At that time it was the determination that kept me there.
“I think about it now, it’s hard for me to think, to let your son do that. My family and my mum, she supported me a lot, my dad as well, the rest of my family, it was a family project. People thought we were crazy. I think we were.”
Perez has switched to Red Bull Racing for the 2021 F1 season, having spent the previous seven years as a driver for the Force India/Racing Point team.