Sergio Perez will enter the world of powerboat racing in 2023, joined by tennis icon Rafael Nadal in fielding a team for the sustainability-minded electronic race boat series E1.
The series will be the first of its kind, with Perez’s Team Mexico set to compete with the national colours painted onto their RaceBird boat designed by the founders – which aims to spark a revolution in leisure boat technology.
Inspired by the success of competitions like Formula E, the UIM E1 World Championship plans to hold events worldwide at major coastal cities.
Only three teams from a maximum of 12 have been announced, with Team Mexico joined by Venice Racing Team and now Team Nadal.
Perez welcomed the 22-time Grand Slam winner as a powerboat team owner with a video on Twitter: “Hola Rafa, it’s Checo Perez. It’s great to hear that you are joining the E1 World Championship.
“I know you have 22 Grand Slams but lets see who is champion of the water in E1. Vamos.”
The Red Bull speedster has been brought in by E1’s co-founder Alejandro Agag, who acted as Checo’s team principal for the 2010 GP2 series that yielded second place and a call-up to Formula 1 the following year with Sauber.
Perez added: “Given my relationship with Alejandro, I’ve kept a close eye on what he’s been doing and his various championships, and I think what he’s achieved with promoting more sustainable forms of motorsport is commendable.
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“Seeing a racing team flying the flag for Mexico on a global stage will be amazing and I cannot wait to watch the RaceBird in action for the first time.
“I’ve heard lots of positive stories about the boat and the exciting sporting product E1 is trying to create for fans with city events.”
While Perez keeps an eye on his new powerboat venture in 2023, the Mexican driver faces a crucial season in his F1 career.
The 32-year-old finished the last campaign with two victories and 11 podiums in third place on the Drivers’ standings, 149 points behind his ruthlessly dominant team-mate Max Verstappen.
Daniel Ricciardo has been brought back to Red Bull as a reserve driver for the upcoming season and following a year off the grid, will be eyeing a seat for 2024.
Perez’s deal with the Austrian setup currently runs until the end of the 2024 season however, and he hopes to take the fight to Verstappen within Red Bull as the 2023 title battle unfolds.
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