Sergio Perez was greeted by between 150,000 and 200,000 people has he demonstrated a Sauber F1 car in his home town of Guadalajara on Saturday.
The Mexican, who will be his country’s first F1 driver in over thirty years when the season gets underway next month, went up and down a 1.5 kilometre course on closed public roads a total of eight times, did some ‘donuts’, and got his tyres to smoke spectacularly.
“This was one of the best days of my life”, said the 21-year-old. “It was a great, great experience. I have never experienced something like this before with so many people cheering me. I'm proud to be Mexican, and I'm proud to receive all this support. It is a big boost for me ahead of the new season.”
Team Manager Beat Zehnder also commented: “It was an enormous event with unbelievable enthusiasm”, he said. “What the state of Jalisco managed to put on within a very short space of time was one of the greatest F1 road shows I have ever looked after.”
Sergio’s brother Antonio Perez took part in a NASCAR show to round of the day’s events, which also included bike shows and parades that involved the police and vintage cars.