An exciting, relentlessly competitive driver; his 5 year Formula One career has already seen some ups and downs. An incredible season at Sauber in 2012 was followed by his dream job at McLaren becoming a bit of a nightmare. He is currently enjoying successes at Force India.
Born: 26/01/1990 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Net Worth: $30 million
Nickname: ‘The Mexican Wunderkind’
“As a Formula One driver, you dream about winning your first race all your life. I am desperate to know what it feels like.”
F1 RACING STATS:
Team: Force India-Mercedes
Car No: 11
Grand Prix Starts: 108 (entries 111)
Career points: 332
Championship Wins: 0
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest laps: 3
In 2011 Perez became only the 5th Mexican to compete in Formula One – the Grand Prix has since returned to the F1 calendar for the first time since 1992.
Perez is a member of Escuderia Telmex which supports racing drivers in a variety of categories. In November 2012 he set up the Checo Perez Foundation; designed to support orphans and children with cancer. His sister Paola is president.
Karting: Started competitive karting aged 6, winning 4 races in his first year and coming 2nd in the championship. Over the next 7 years he won 5 championships.
2004: Made the move to car racing at the age of 14, with the support of Mexican businessman Carlos Slim’s Escuderia Telmex; at the US based Skip Barber National championship.
2005: Perez moved to Europe and competed in the German Formula BMW ADAC with Team Rosberg. He stayed for 4 months in a restaurant owned by his team manager. He finished 14th in the championship.
2006: Competed in the A1 Grand Prix and achieved a podium in his 2nd race at Hockenheim. He eventually finished 6th in the championship.
2007: British Formula 3 championship. Competed in National Class (for older chassis) with T-Sport team and won comfortably, with victory in two-thirds of the races.
2008: Formula 3, International Class – he finished 4th – with 4 wins, 7 podiums and 1 fastest lap. Perez also competed in the GP2 Asia Series Season, driving for Campos Grand Prix team partnering Vitaly Petrov. He became the youngest ever winner in the category after victory from pole in the Bahrain sprint race at Sakhir. There followed a second win in Qatar at Losail.
2009: Competed at the European GP2 with Arden International – his result of the season was 2nd at Valencia.
2010: Ferrari Driver Academy. Perez came 2nd in the GP2 Series behind Pastor Maldonado; following an impressive season – with wins in Monaco, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Abu Dhabi.
The World of Formula One Begins for Checo!
2011: Formula One with Sauber, alongside team mate Kamui Kobayashi. Became the 5th Mexican to compete in Formula One (the 1st since Hector Rebaque 1977-81). Cynics suggested that he only got the Sauber deal because of Telmex’s new partnership with the team. No podium, but achieved points in 5 races and finished 16th with 14 points; a fair debut campaign.
2012: He achieved his 1st Formula One podium at the Malaysian Grand Prix coming 2nd following an impressive battle with Fernando Alonso. He took another two podiums with 2nd in Italy and 3rd in Canada. Following Lewis Hamilton’s departure from McLaren – Perez was named as his replacement.
2013: McLaren, alongside team mate Jenson Button; the car failed to deliver the team a single podium finish. He ended the season 11th in the drivers’ championship with 11 point finishes. His dream job at McLaren had ended before it had really begun and for the 2014 season Perez was to be replaced by Kevin Magnussen.
Jenson Button commenting on Sergio Perez following the Bahrain GP:
“I’ve had some tough fights in F1 but not quite as dirty as that. Soon something serious will happen so he has to calm down. He’s extremely quick and he did a great job today but some of it is unnecessary and an issue when you are doing those speeds.”
2014: Perez signed by Vijay Mallya to Force India in a 15 million euro deal. Team mate Nico Hulkenberg finished 37 points ahead of Perez. Bahrain Grand Prix was memorable again – this time for the right reasons – as Perez took 3rd place. He finished 10th in the drivers’ championship, with 12 points finishes.
2015: He eventually finished 9th in the drivers’ championship; this time beating team mate Hulkenberg by 20 points. He achieved a podium in Russia (3rd) and 12 points finishes.
2016: Perez is currently 8th in the drivers’ championship. He has scored 2 podium places with 3rd at the Monaco Grand Prix and the European Grand Prix. He has achieved 10 points finishes so far.