Sergio Perez

Racing Point

Sergio Perez

Sergio “Checo” Pérez is a Formula 1 driver for SportPesa Racing Point F1 team. The Mexican, born on January 26th 1990 in Guadalajara, is known for being one of the better drivers in the midfield.

Pérez has accumulated eight podiums during his career, despite never driving for a title-contending team. 

Team Racing Point
Race number11

Junior Perez

After a very successful career in karting and stints in series like Formula BMW and A1 Grand Prix, Pérez moved to Formula 3 in 2007.

He dominated the British Formula 3, winning the bulk of the races, and moved to the International Class, where he finished fourth aged 18.

Despite promoting to GP2 in 2008, it wasn’t until 2010 that he broke through. Checo won five races and just missed out on the championship, only finishing behind Pastor Maldonado. Sauber took interest in the young Perez, who was just signed to the Ferrari Driver Academy, and announced Perez as a replacement for Nick Heidfeld.

Early F1 years and McLaren struggles

Making his debut at the 2011 Australian Grand Prix, Perez became the first Mexican F1 driver in 30 years. He impressively finished seventh before being disqualified for breaking the regulations.   

Teammate Kamui Kobayashi outperformed Perez that season, which featured a heavy crash for Perez in Monaco which left him unable to race for two years.

The second round of the 2012 season was his best one by far. Perez found himself fighting with Fernando Alonso for the win at the Malaysian Grand Prix but eventually finished second; his best result in F1 by a mile up until that point, and Sauber’s best result as an independent team.

The then 22-year-old added two more podiums later in the season, but also retired six times. He finished the season in 10th but was undeniably one of the best young drivers in the sport.

With Lewis Hamilton leaving for Mercedes, Perez was signed as the Brit’s replacement, ending his ties to the Ferrari Driver Academy by doing so. However, he was never able to fill Hamilton’s boots, as McLaren struggled massively in 2013, finishing fifth in the constructors’ championship.

Perez ended the year in 12th, handsomely beaten by teammate Jenson Button in what was a disappointing season. The Mexican announced his departure from McLaren at the end of the year, and a month later, Force India announced his signing for the 2014 season.

Coming up with Force India

Partnering Nico Hülkenberg, Perez scored the Silverstone-based team’s first podium since 2009 in Bahrain as he finished third. For the rest of the season, however, Hülkenberg was the stronger driver of the two, with the German’s consistency proving the difference between the duo. The team finished sixth in the standings, right behind McLaren.

In the coming two years, Perez kept collecting podiums. He did so once in 2015 in Russia, and twice in the space of three races in 2016, as Force India finished ‘best of the rest’ in fourth place. He kept outperforming teammate Hülkenberg, who eventually left for Renault and was replaced by Esteban Ocon for the 2017 season.

Ocon and Perez often collided in 2017, with the team even having to forbid them from racing each other because of the amount of collisions they caused each other. However, they proved to be the best team in midfield yet again despite having the smallest budget in F1.

2018 saw Perez add an eighth podium to his CV in Azerbaijan as he finished third, but the year was dominated by the financial struggles of the team and owner Vijay Mallya. Perez eventually put the team into administration until it was taken over. Sahara Force India changed names to Racing Point Force India, therefore erasing all of their points. The team finished the season in seventh.

In 2019, Perez has a new teammate in Lance Stroll and a new team name in Racing Point.

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