Sergio Perez1990-01-26 (age 33)
Sergio Perez Biography
Born: 26/01/1990 Guadalajara, Mexico
A stalwart of the Formula 1 grid, Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez has bucked the trend of most drivers before him by achieving his greatest successes in the series more than a decade on from his debut.
Cultivating a reputation as a trusted hand capable of headline-grabbing performances in lesser fancied machinery on his day, while it took a record-breaking 190 grands prix for him to taste the winners’ champagne, a chance opportunity to join Red Bull Racing has seen him bloom into a regular podium winner.
Tracing the path of many legends before him by establishing himself on the British domestic single-seater scene, Perez’s giant-killing performances in British F3 driving an older specification, National class T-Sport Dallara in 2007 turned heads before battling it out for overall honours in 2008 en route to fourth.
Earning him a promotion to the GP2 Series for 2009, five wins took him to the runner-up spot with Barwa Addax and with it the attention of notorious ‘talent scout’ Peter Sauber, who added him to his eponymous team’s driver line-up for 2011.
While a prized seat at McLaren failed to live up to expectations in 2013, his ensuing move to Force India the following year marked the start of an eight-year relationship that yielded seven podiums and – finally – a maiden victory in his penultimate outing, paving the way for his move to Red Bull Racing in 2021.
2022 - Oracle Red Bull Racing
3rd - 305 points
Perez’s sophomore season in Red Bull Racing colours coincided with F1’s shift to a new era of technical regulations and the team’s full takeover of Honda’s engine building programme.
After shrugging off Red Bull’s humbling technical woes during the opening round in Bahrain, Perez settled into consistent front-running form that exercised the RB18’s status as the car to beat during the 2022 F1 season.
While Perez struggled for the most part to keep up with Verstappen, a maiden F1 pole position in Saudi Arabia – his first in a record 215 attempts – and a trio of second place results early on at Albert Park, Imola and in Miami preceded a memorable third victory of his career in the blue riband Monaco Grand Prix.
Tallying six podiums by the summer break, though Perez’s form tailed off during the second half of the year, costing him the runners-up spot in the standings to Charles Leclerc, a second win of the year in Singapore, plus four more podiums, brought his season total to 11 to ensure his 12th season in F1 was his most successful.
2021 - Red Bull Racing Honda
4th - 190 points
The opportunity to join a top tier team in F1 had certainly been a long-time coming for Perez, so it’s perhaps fitting that his move to Red Bull Racing was perfectly timed.
Despite the rigid technical freeze between 2020 and 2021, the Red Bull RB16B proved enough of a step forward for the team to emerge as the first genuine threat to Mercedes’ dominance in F1 since 2014. Allowing team-mate Max Verstappen to mount a successful F1 title bid, Perez faced a challenge to get up to speed in the most competitive package of his career.
While the seat alongside Red Bull talisman and primary focus Verstappen was regarded as somewhat cursed among erstwhile team-mates Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly and Daniel Ricciardo, the benefit of experience appeared to ease Perez’s transition.
After getting steady top fives on the board in four of the opening five rounds, Perez struck gold in Azerbaijan, capitalising on issues for Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to emerge victorious on the streets of Baku.
The performance kick-started his momentum for the remainder of the year, Perez doing his bit for Verstappen’s title campaign when it mattered, which in turn earned him respect from the Dutchman. Going on to add four more podiums to his Baku victory, Perez ended the season fourth overall.
2020 - BWT Racing Point F1 Team
4th - 125 points
To say Perez’s 2020 F1 season was one of very mixed emotions would be an understatement.
Few F1 drivers go on to enjoy breakout campaigns in their 10th season at the top, and even fewer do so at the seventh attempt in a perennial midfield team, but the 2020 F1 season ultimately transformed Perez’s career.
Identified as a dark horse coming into the 2020 F1 season, the Racing Point RP20 nonetheless stirred controversy with its striking resemblance to the 2019 title-winning Mercedes W10, to such an extent protests from rivals a few rounds in saw the team docked points as a punishment.
The ruling didn’t affect the drivers’ points totals and, as many suspected, the RP20 was an impressive package out of the box, showing bulletproof reliability and a turn of pace that had Perez well inside the points in almost every race.
Though his progress was interrupted by being sidelined for two races with COVID, Perez’s form gathered momentum deep into the year, beginning with a trio of consecutive top five finishes at Mugello, Sochi and the Nurburgring. He returned to the podium with a gritty run to second place in Turkey – his best result since the 2012 Italian Grand Prix – before the stars finally aligned during the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain.
An eventful evening for the Mexican, Perez’s hopes of a good result appeared to have been dashed moments into the race when he was collected in a fracas with Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen at Turn 4. Surviving without damage, Perez pitted at the end of lap one to change tyres before going long on his first stint to recover ground as rivals peeled away to stop.
Up to fifth by the final third of the race, Perez charged past Lance Stroll when his team-mate ran wide at Turn 4, before relieving Esteban Ocon of third place soon after. It left Perez in prime position to capitalise on a double pit-stop blunder by Mercedes that eliminated Valtteri Bottas and George Russell from the lead fight. That handed Perez the lead coming into the closing stages, he held firm to take the flag and clinch a long-awaited maiden F1 victory in his 190th start.
It also marked the first win for Racing Point/Force India and a first podium-topping success for any iteration of the Silverstone-based team since Giancarlo Fisichella’s victory in the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix when it competed as Jordan Grand Prix.
While the victory spurred Perez onto fourth in the overall standings, it did not earn him a reward for his loyalty to Racing Point after announcing during the summer break that it had signed Sebastian Vettel alongside the retained Stroll. Remarkably, it meant Perez headed into the off-season without a drive for 2021, with his last hopes resting on the sole vacancy left on the grid at Red Bull Racing.
Held by Alex Albon at the time, it’s unlikely Perez – given his age and experience is largely at odds with Red Bull’s usual driver selection criteria – would have earned the seat any other year. However, his soaring performances in the final rounds were enough to convince Red Bull to break with tradition and sign him alongside Max Verstappen.
2019 - SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team
10th - 52 points
Perez’s sixth season with the Silverstone-based squad – its first under the new Racing Point banner – got off to a solid start with points in three of the opening four rounds.
However, an uncharacteristic slump in form thereafter saw Perez fail to crack the top ten in any one of the next eight rounds – his longest scoreless run in F1. As in previous years though, Perez came on stronger in the second-half of the year, equalling a season’s best sixth in Belgium and reaching the points in eight of the final nine events.
2018 - Sahara Force India F1 Team / Racing Point Force India F1 Team
8th - 62 points
Having carved a reputation for designing competitive cars on a significantly lower budget than many of its mid-field rivals, by 2018 stormy clouds were looming overhead for Force India.
With team principal Vijay Mallya both distracted and financially challenged by an ongoing bid from the Indian Government to extradite him to face charges for financial crimes, Force India’s narrowing budget was laid bare early on as Perez struggled to muster points finishes.
Nevertheless, his season picked up with a return to the podium in Baku, which in turn kick-started a run of positive form, with four top ten results coming his way by the summer break. By then, Force India’s woes had become dire and with creditors – which included Perez seeking unpaid wages – mounting behind the scenes, Force India plunged into administration mid-way through the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Just as a winding up order threatened an abrupt end to Force India’s F1 journey, Perez’s deliberate move to launch legal proceedings bought the team some time to find a buyer, thus preventing its immediate collapse and saving hundreds of jobs. By the time F1 returned from its summer break, Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll – father of then-Williams F1 driver Lance Stroll – had taken the reins of Force India and renamed it Racing Point.
Having a more assured future had the effect of turning Perez’s season around with top ten results in seven of the lattermost nine events, earning him eighth overall.
2017 - Sahara Force India F1 Team
7th - 100 points
While unable to step on the rostrum during the year, Perez’s 2017 F1 campaign drew parallels with his 2016 season in a reliable VJM10 package. Scoring in all but three of the 20 grands prix, Perez notched up five top six results along the way, once more ending the season seventh overall.
In fact, Perez suffered only a single DNF all year, though it was the nastiest outcome from a handful of bitter altercations with new team-mate Esteban Ocon. After tensions ignited over a team orders disagreement in Canada, matters came to a head in Baku when Ocon and Perez – while in contention to score a double podium for Force India – collided to eliminate both from the race.
When the pair come close to a high-speed accident during the Belgian Grand Prix, Force India stepped in to forbid moves that could risk an incident.
2016 - Sahara Force India F1 Team
7th - 101 points
Perez helped himself and Force India consolidate its status as the midfield benchmarks with another strong, metronomically consistent campaign that added two further podiums to the Mexican’s tally. While a difficult start to the year left Perez with nothing to show for from the opening three rounds, thereafter he failed to finish inside the top ten in just two of the remaining 18 rounds.
Spurring his season on with a landmark first trip to the podium in Monaco, Perez repeated the result just two races later in Azerbaijan but was left to rue what could have been having shown pace to rival Mercedes in practice before then putting the Force India on the front row in qualifying.
However, after a gearbox change – the legacy of a crash in FP3 – forced him down to seventh on the grid, Perez’s fightback on race day was only enough for third.
Going on to score points in every round after the summer break, further highlights of a fourth place in the Brazilian Grand Prix and fifth in the Belgian Grand Prix elevated Perez to another new personal best of seventh in the standings.
2015 - Sahara Force India F1 Team
9th - 78 points
In a season of two halves for Force India as a whole, Perez’s campaign was dictated by being forced to start the year in a hastily-designed, barely-tested VJM08 chassis before switching to the altogether more accomplished VJM0B upgrade mid-way through the season. Despite the VJM08’s shortcomings, its reliability helped Perez get on the board in four of the opening eight rounds, before the arrival of the B-spec accelerated his fortunes.
Scoring in eight of the final 11 races, the highlight of the year came in the Russian Grand Prix when Perez took advantage of a last lap tangle between Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas ahead to snatch third for his fifth career F1 podium. It meant that despite the arduous start to the season, Perez ended the 2015 F1 campaign in a career-best ninth overall.
2014 - Sahara Force India F1 Team
10th - 59 points
After being dumped by McLaren, Perez swapped to the Force India F1 Team for the first of a remarkable seven-season stint with the privateer outfit.
Arriving at the start of the V6 hybrid turbo era, with Force India benefiting from taking a superior Mercedes power unit supply, Perez was able to make the most of its advantage over its Ferrari and Renault-powered rivals in the early stages. Scoring in four of the opening five races, Perez found himself back on the podium in Bahrain with his run to third place.
While unable to match that performance elsewhere, regular points finishes saw Perez crack the overall top ten again come the end of the season.
2013 - McLaren-Mercedes
11th - 49 points
With his results at Sauber lifting his reputation in the F1 paddock, Perez was a popular approach in the driver market ahead of the 2013 F1 season, the Mexican eventually agreeing on a deal to replace Lewis Hamilton at McLaren-Mercedes.
This was a move that, based on McLaren’s form over the past decade, was expected to see Perez in the hunt for wins in 2013, however the misjudged MP4-28 package proved to be a handful for both himself and Jenson Button. An unhappy start to the season yielded only a handful of top ten results up to the summer break – peaking with a sixth-place finish in Bahrain – though his form picked up in the latter half with the Indian Grand Prix delivering his best result of the year with a fifth place.
While McLaren could take most of the flak for its disappointing campaign, Perez – who was comfortably out-performed by Button – quickly found himself out of favour and out of a drive when he was dumped in favour of rookie Kevin Magnussen.
2012 - Sauber F1 Team
10th - 66 points
Perez’s second season in F1 proved to be his breakthrough with multiple headline-grabbing performances that briefly saw him touted for a Ferrari seat. After scoring in the Australian Grand Prix opener, Perez stole the show next time out at a soggy Sepang after a savvy decision to pit at the end of lap one for wets in worsening conditions saw him leapfrog towards the front of the field when rivals ahead pitted later.
Finding himself in a podium position, Perez began to catch Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in the closing stages but after closing up to his rear wing, a late error dropped him 2.2secs adrift. Nevertheless, second position marked his maiden F1 podium and Sauber’s best-ever result as an independent team [1993-2005, 2010-2012].
Capitalising on a driving style better suited to maximising the tricky Pirelli tyres, Perez defied the Sauber C31’s otherwise modest pace with two more podium highlights in Canada and Italy. Finishing third in Montreal after making an ambitious one-stop strategy work to propel him from 15th on the grid, Perez pulled off a similar trick at Monza to go from 13th to second place.
As a result, though Perez only scored in seven of the season’s 20 grands prix, it was enough for him to secure tenth in the overall standings.
2011 - Sauber F1 Team
16th - 14 points
Perez made his F1 debut during the 2011 season with Sauber, becoming the latest young hopeful to get his chance with the notorious talent-scouting Swiss team.
Hoping to follow in the footsteps of other successful Sauber rookies – such as Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica – Perez became the first Mexican to race in the series since Hector Rebaque, who last competed in 1981.
He made an impression in his maiden grand prix with a run well inside the points in seventh, Perez demonstrating straight away a deft ability for the tyre preservation skills he’d become renowned for. However, a technical infringement resulted in both himself and team-mate Kamui Kobayashi being excluded, forcing him to wait until Round 5 to score his first points with a ninth place in Spain.
With Kobayashi outshining him in the sister car with regular points finishes, Perez’s rookie campaign was dealt another blow when a high-speed smash at the Monaco Grand Prix ruled him out of the next two events.
His form picked up towards the end of the season despite Sauber slipping back in the development race. Peaking with seventh place at the British Grand Prix, Perez had the measure of Kobayashi come the end of the year.
Perez: Red Bull F1 will "struggle to show its strengths" in Monaco
Perez: Red Bull F1 will "struggle to show its strengths" in Monaco Perez: Red Bull F1 will "struggle to show its strengths" in Monaco
Horner: Verstappen's "damage" to Perez in Miami GP purely in first sector
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The Verstappen/Red Bull dynamic that shows the scale of Perez's F1 title task
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Miami GP 2023: Lap by lap visualization
Miami GP 2023: Lap by lap visualization Miami GP 2023: Lap by lap visualization
Perez sure he can carry form on non-street F1 circuits
Perez sure he can carry form on non-street F1 circuits Perez sure he can carry form on non-street F1 circuits
Perez: Curing key weakness has unleashed F1 title bid
Perez: Curing key weakness has unleashed F1 title bid Perez: Curing key weakness has unleashed F1 title bid
How Perez's “in the fight” claim for 2023 F1 title glory really stacks up
How Perez's “in the fight” claim for 2023 F1 title glory really stacks up How Perez's “in the fight” claim for 2023 F1 title glory really stacks up
Red Bull F1 drivers free to race and battle will "ebb and flow" – Horner
Red Bull F1 drivers free to race and battle will "ebb and flow" – Horner Red Bull F1 drivers free to race and battle will "ebb and flow" – Horner
How Perez profited in Baku to lay down his F1 title fight credentials
How Perez profited in Baku to lay down his F1 title fight credentials How Perez profited in Baku to lay down his F1 title fight credentials