Sergio “Checo” Perez will have México “en la cabeza”, quite literally, for his home race this weekend.
The Oracle Red Bull Racing driver will celebrate Mexico by wearing a fan designed helmet picked by Checo himself from thousands of submitted designs.
Oracle Red Bull Racing, in partnership with inter.mx and America Móvil (Telcel-Infinitum-Claro), ran the competition México en la Cabeza, which translates to “Mexico in the head” and saw entries from all over the globe. The competition called on fans to embrace everything that embodies Mexican culture to create a special piece of artwork for Checo, using his helmet as their canvas.
Fans worldwide welcomed the challenge from Checo and Oracle Red Bull Racing, inter.mx and America Móvil (Telcel-Infinitum-Claro), to put pen to paper on a design which would bring Mexico to life on track. Excitement amongst fans grew globally as close to 32,000 people downloaded the template and the call to action saw entries from 68 different countries and led to thousands of new members to join the Team’s fan platform The Paddock.
There was a huge increase in signups from a host of South American countries, including 63% from Venezuela, 55% from Bolivia and 40% from Ecuador and Guatemala. In Checo’s home country of Mexico there was a nearly 50% rise from those wanting a chance to win a prized and rare spot on a Formula One driver’s lid.
The designs creatively reflected Checo’s passion for representing his country in the pinnacle of motorsport. The selection process was no mean feat and the winning design was chosen by Checo, with the help of the Oracle Red Bull Racing Team, Mexican art curator Alfonso Miranda, Carlos Slim Domit, Grupo Carso, Chairman of the Board, Juan Ignacio Casanueva Pérez, CEO and Chairman of the board INTERprotección/inter.mx and Paola Perez.
THE WINNING DESIGN
The victor was 22-year-old Karla Lozano from San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, who submitted a spectacular colourful design, featuring symbols and representations of Mexico; a design which pieces together the country’s history, art and celebrates its rich culture. Karla’s main inspiration behind the design were alebrijes: brightly coloured Mexican folk art sculptures that represent the beauty, mystery, and magic of the country.
These include grecas and Zapotec symbols, each with a meaning behind each of them, such as protection, happiness and work. The top of the helmet features a Xoloitzcuintle at the centre of the design: a culturally significant symbol in Mexico. Above this reads Checo’s signature mantra, “Never Give Up”, sitting right below his number 11.
To bring the party and show the incredible celebrational atmosphere at the Mexican Grand Prix, pinata elements are included around the front and rear of the helmet. These vivid and vibrant colours represent the colourfulness of Mexico and the two stripes of green and red, also alluding to country’s flag. As a reference to the state of Jalisco (where Checo was born) some agaves were added, a small nod to Mexico’s signature drink.
Six-time Grand Prix winner Checo Perez says: “When I saw Karla’s design, I knew I had to have it on my helmet for Mexico. It is great that the Team can connect with fans in the way we do here and give them opportunities like this. It was tricky making the decision because the entries were so strong and interesting, we asked people to embrace my home country in their designs and they really did, it was very special to see what our culture means to them. Karla’s art was the one that brought it all together for me and showed Mexico in such a perfect way, there are so many little details and the colours are amazing. I always have México en la Cabeza but this week I will be proudly showing it with this unique helmet, I don’t think the pitlane has seen a helmet like this before!”
Karla Lozano, competition winner from Nuevo Leon, Mexico says: “When I found out I won the competition, the first thing I did was tell my family I couldn’t stop smiling; knowing that my designs will be seen by millions of people is unbelievable and has filled me with happiness and pride. We are all rooting for Checo for the victory and it is an honour to be able to say that he wore the helmet I designed at the Mexican Grand Prix. The competition has been a great opportunity, combining two things I am passionate about, and it has really helped make myself and other fans feel closer than ever to Formula 1.”
Marcela Velasco Cámara, América Móvil Chief Marketing Officer, says: “Checo and América Móvil share very important values, such as a deep love for Mexico, something he has taken around the world at top speed and with great tenacity. We are very happy that his helmet design for the Mexican GP is a representation not only of that love for the country, but also a recognition of the talent we have in our nation, as the winning design is of Mexican origin. At América Móvil, together with Sergio, we work to enable a better world.”
Gabriela Gutiérrez, Chief Marketing Officer INTERprotección/inter.mx says: “At inter.mx we have supported Checo since the beginning, we have grown and evolved together. Seeing our logo on the helmet of the best Mexican driver of all times fills us with pride. We have always raced with Checo, but this helmet is even more special as he will race with all of México en la cabeza”.