There are some who readily say that success truly stems from patience. We know that. It’s a fact. And it would be a fool’s errand to contest it.
But is that all?
Could it be that this universal truth that appeals to both the wise and the soothsayer has something else to it that must be examined?
Would it not make sense to say that success stems not just from patience but also from persistence?
And if it’s true then what do we get soon as we place this fact of life into the firmament of Formula 1?
Perhaps it won’t be wrong to say, the career of a certain Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez- who else?
We know Formula 1 drivers to be fast and daring. But without patience and persistence, just where would they be?
This also beckons a question- where would Sergio Perez be at the recent Monaco Grand Prix had he not aligned patience and persistence; the true trademarks of his eventual race win?
From the outset, the bungled up Ferrari strategy that played beautifully into the hands of their archrivals, Red Bull eventually led to a Perez win.
Too easy, right?
But truth be told, implicit in Perez’ first-ever win at the famous Principality that’s been on the F1 calendar since 1950, was his persistent attempts at denying Sainz’ Ferrari the track position.
From the onset of lap 38 for the next eight consecutive laps, the key battle at Monaco besides the Alonso versus Hamilton slugfest, was the Perez against Sainz battle out in the front.
Whether at the famous Mirabeau or very nearly at Rascassse, Sainz all but had his man; the gap between the drivers first and second in the Grand Prix then less than half a second!
Even in the final ten laps, before Perez took complete control of his track position, beginning to play the aggressor, Sainz had reduced the gap to just six tenths of a second.
Though truth be told, the harder Sainz came at him, the better was the Mexican’s resolve to defy the Ferrari attacking at stinging pace.
Which is why one may be correct about thinking that deep within, Perez, who famously dived into the pool with not anyone else but the Mexican president himself, may reckon his Monaco win as his best yet.
There’s more to it than appears on the surface clean as a whistle.
The first that Sergio Perez ever appeared at the fashionable principality as an F1 driver was back in his debut season, circa 2011, with Sauber.
It was May 29, 2011, where thanks to a poor stroke of luck, he could not even start the race.
But it took him no fewer than eleven years to eek out a race win at the very venue where he’d first collected a DNS as a Grand Prix driver.
If that’s not an epochal example of patience and not giving up, then what is?
That Perez’ first win at Monte Carlo also came on May 29, albeit over a decade after he first walked the path, is testimony to the truth that there’s a time for everything.
And until such time, one mustn’t turn the back on the face of a challenge.
On a track where it’s daunting- if not impossible- to overtake that Perez emerged a race winner, eventually usurping Sainz comfortably by 1.15 seconds, is also down to destiny favouring those who persist.
Had Ferrari not recalled both drivers into the pits rather erroneously on lap 21, who knows what may have happened?
But on his part, Perez, 32, did all he could.
And what he has done over the course of a remarkable decade long career is exhibiting patience amid pressure. A classic example of which was seen last year towards in the season-finale at Abu Dhabi, where his intentional slowing down- not to forget- defensive masterclass against Hamilton, of all drivers, brought Verstappen into the attack, thus onto the heels of the Mercedes.
Though nothing could be as emblematic in describing Perez’ thing for patience than the number of races he had to wait before standing on the top step of the podium.
Just imagine how many drivers would’ve had their hearts broken and spirits crushed having not won a single race despite trying for as many as 190 Grands Prix.
When Perez topped Sakhir in 2020, he finally accomplished a F1 win after no fewer than 190 races.
Statistically speaking, the mega moment came but not after having waited for it for well over 3650 days.
So utterly long was the period of wait for a first win that who knows, probably the Batman may have saved Gotham on maybe ten different occasions.
Or maybe, taking into account the number of times Owen Wilson may’ve said that “wow” over ten years would’ve been easier.
The long voids after a race; the countless heartbreaks; enduring the team orders; seeing his friend and cordial teammate, Verstappen being let through to a win, what has Perez not seen?
Yet, it ought to be remembered that patience has its rewards.
And sometimes it’s sweeter than being called Mexico’s Tom Cruise.
A few hours ago, Red Bull announced that Perez has been locked in until 2024.
Not bad for someone who doesn’t frown and put up with an irate brow as often as a driver half his experience does when things don’t particularly go his way, right?