Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez
Country: 
Full Name: 
Sergio Perez
Birth Date: 
26 January, 1990
Birth Place: 
Guadalajara
Driver Status: 
Current
Status Text: 
Single
195
Races
1
Wins
0
Poles
0
Titles

Sergio Perez Biography

Sergio Perez - Red Bull Racing F1 Driver

Sergio Perez Career Overview and Fast Links

  • Career Overview

  • 2021 Scuderia AlphaTauri Launch

  • Route to F1

  • F1 Sauber (2011, 2012)

  • F1 McLaren (2013)

  • F1 Force India (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)

  • F1 Racing Point (2019, 2020)

  • F1 Red Bull (2021)

  • Fast Facts

Sergio Perez F1 Career Overview

Sergio Perez will compete with the Red Bull Racing team in the 2021 F1 World Championship for what will be his eleventh full season in F1 and his first campaign with the team.

For a driver who can now count himself as one of the most experienced to have ever competed in the top flight with 192 GP starts to his name, though it took until the 191st of those for him to stand at the summit of the F1 podium, for many 'Checo" has never been more competitive.

Though his ten-year career has been mostly mired in midfield cars, Perez has developed a fine reputation for maximising his machinery with such consistency it has almost become expected of him to the extent he is often overlooked by top teams keener to nurture youthful up and comers.

That is not to say Perez wasn’t one when he burst onto the scene in 2011 with Sauber and was hired by McLaren for 2013, only to be scapegoated for performances that it would later transpire were more to do with the car than the driver. 

Nonetheless, he had seemingly missed his big shot, thus beginning his mammoth seven-year stint with Force India (later Racing Point), finally leading to his breakthrough 2020 campaign that yielded his maiden win at the Sakhir Grand Prix and a fine fourth in the standings.

Even then Perez looked all set to be frozen out of F1 when Aston Martin (nee Racing Point) chose Sebastian Vettel over him for 2021, leading to an unexpected chance from Red Bull Racing and an elevated status as a potential title contender. Finally.

To date [March 2021] Perez has started 192 F1 races, won one race and achieved 10 podiums

Sergio Perez Net Worth 2021: $30 million (source)

Sergio Perez Driver Salary 2021: $5 million approx (source)

* third-party source

2021 Red Bull Racing F1 Team Launch

Sergio Perez - Route to F1

Having resisted the temptation to follow a more popular route to pursue a career in football, Sergio Perez Mendoza instead followed motorsport in his native Mexico and quickly made a name for himself as the nation’s most promising talent with numerous domestic karting titles.

In a nation of fervent motorsport fans but one that hadn’t produced an F1 driver since Hector Rebaque 1981 and hadn’t held a grand prix since it dropped off the calendar in 1992, it was taken upon Mexico’s top telecommunications provider Telmex - run by Carlos Slim, one of the world’s wealthiest businessmen - to launch a search for the next big thing. 

As such, Perez joined Escuderia Telmex in 2002 and repaids their faith with further strong showings in karting before making his car racing debut in the US-based Skip Barber series in 2004, which had previously set the likes of Juan Pablo Montoya, AJ Allmendinger and Bryan Herta on the path to success.

Making the move to Europe for 2005, Perez participated in the German-based Formula BMW ADAC for the next two seasons, finishing 14th and sixth overall respectively.

F3

This earned him the opportunity to switch to the British Formulas 3 Championship, albeit competing in the National Class with T-Sport, a category run within British F3 races but using older machinery, in this case a Dallara F304 (compared with the more universal Dallara F307).

Though a modest midfielder in races outright, Perez was nonetheless the dominant force against a sizeable National field and went on to take 14 class wins from 22 races, with a best overall result of seventh place at Monza.

This earned him a promotion to the ‘International’ class of British F3, Perez impressing with three wins from the opening six races, including a double at Monza. Though his form faded during the mid-season, he scored another success at Brands Hatch to end the year fourth overall behind future F1 drivers (and Red Bull backed) Jaime Alguersuari and Brendon Hartley.

GP2

Perez was signed up by Campos Grand Prix to compete in the new (but shortlived) GP2 Asia Series which ran during the winter months across the end of 2008 and start of 2009. One of only two drivers to win more than one race (Bahrain and Qatar), Perez ended the short 11-race series seventh overall behind a bevy of burgeoning talent that included Kamui Kobayashi, Jerome d’Ambrosio and Vitaly Petrov.

His efforts secured him a full season in the F1-supporting feeder series with Arden International (owned by now F1 boss Christian Horner) and showed flashes of promise, peaking with a run to the podium during the Valencia double header en route to 12th in the overall standings.

After returning to Campos - now known as the Barwa Addax Team - for a stint in the 2009-10 GP2 Asia Series, Perez received a full ‘European’ campaign with the team for 2010 and emerged as a title contender, landing his first win at Monza and following it up with four more successes at Silverstone, Hockenheim, Spa and Yas Marina to finish runner-up to Champion Pastor Maldonado.

Sergio Perez F1 Career (2011 - Present)

Sergio Pérez 2011 F1 Results Overview
Sauber F1 Team - C30 Ferrari
-Races19
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish7th (British GP)
-2009 F1 Points14 Points
-2009 F1 Championship Standing16th 

Perez received his F1 debut in 2011 with the privateer Sauber team, replacing the experienced Nick Heidfeld and paired with Kamui Kobayashi, who competed with the Swiss outfit the previous year.

On paper it was a difficult campaign with only a smattering of points finishes that paled into comparison with more prolific scorer Kobayashi, Perez’s best finish coming courtesy of a seventh at the British Grand Prix. 

However, he would have matched this on his debut in Australia had he (and Kobayashi) not been disqualified for a technical infringement during a race in which he demonstrated his burgeoning race craft by making a one-stop strategy work to surge up the order.

His season was also marred by a high-speed smash at the Monaco Grand Prix when he got out of shape exiting the tunnel, sending his Sauber into spin that thudded him into the barriers heavily. Escaping major injury beyond a concussion and a sprained thigh, he nonetheless missed both the Monaco Grand Prix and the following Canadian Grand Prix.

Sergio Pérez 2012 F1 Results Overview
Sauber F1 Team - C31 Ferrari
-Races20
-Wins0
-Podiums3
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish2nd (Malaysian GP, Italian GP)
-2012 F1 Points66 Points
-2012 F1 Championship Standing10th 

Retained by Sauber for 2012, Perez came of age in what was a competitive upper midfield car during a year in which the unpredictable Pirelli tyres allowed some lesser fancied teams to challenge the perceived big budget outfits.

This was especially true during the early rounds and almost led to Perez getting a shock victory in Round 2 at Sepang when he was able to work his way up to second place before closing on leader Fernando Alonso. Getting onto the Ferrari’s tail and seemingly poised to overtake in the closing stages for what would have also been Sauber’s first-ever win as a privateer team - some 19 years after its F1 debut - in the end a mistake at Turn 14 cost him time he couldn’t quite recover. 

However, the result would go on to inspire some eye-catching performances elsewhere, with a second podium coming in the Canadian Grand Prix before producing arguably his best result of the season with a run to third from 12th on the grid at Monza with a combination of deft tyre management and impressive overtaking. He’d end the year tenth in the standings, ahead of Kobayashi.

Sergio Pérez 2013 F1 Results Overview
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes - MP4-28 Mercedes
-Races19
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish5th (Indian GP)
-2013 F1 Points49 Points
-2013 F1 Championship Standing11th

Perez’s giant-killing performances in the Sauber raised anticipation he could be in line for a switch to Ferrari - itself running backing from Telmex - but instead opted to sign with McLaren,  filling the large shoes left by Mercedes-bound Lewis Hamilton. 

However, it was a tough initiation for Perez, who - unbeknown at the time - was saddled with a McLaren team at the beginning of what would be a prolonged period of decline for the iconic British team.

Coupled to run-ins with other drivers - including team-mate Jenson Button - Perez’s modest tally of results and no podiums were considered something of a failure, despite him largely matching his esteemed British team-mate for pace towards the end of what was a disappointing year all round for McLaren.

With his best finish peaking with a fifth place in India, it was announced before the season was over that Perez would be dropped from the McLaren line-up in favour of Kevin Magnussen for 2014.

Sergio Pérez 2014 F1 Results Overview
Sahara Force India F1 Team - VJM07 Mercedes
-Races19
-Wins0
-Podiums1
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish3rd (Bahrain GP)
-2014 F1 Points59 Points
-2014 F1 Championship Standing10th

Despite the humbling exit from McLaren, Perez bounced back with a move to Force India for the 2014 season, thus beginning his lengthy seven-year tenure with the privateer team.

Coinciding with an overhaul of the regulations, Perez benefitted from his car being fitted with a Mercedes power unit, which proved quicker and more reliable than rivals using Ferrari and Renault engines. 

Though closely matched with team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, Perez struggled to get the better of the more consistent German racer (who scored in all but four races) over the course of the year, finishing tenth overall to his ninth but ending up 37 points adrift.

Nevertheless, Perez did pick up the team’s best finish of the year with a run to third in the Bahrain Grand Prix, while he was on course for something similar in Canada but for a violent clash with Felipe Massa as they entered the final lap to put them out of the race.

Sergio Pérez 2015 F1 Results Overview
Sahara Force India F1 Team - VJM08/B Mercedes
-Races19
-Wins0
-Podiums1
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish3rd (Russian GP)
-2015 F1 Points78 Points
-2015 F1 Championship Standing9th

For 2015 Perez turned the tables on Hulkenberg by out-scoring his team-mate comfortably by 20 points, peaking with an eye-catching drive to third position in the Russian Grand Prix, prompted by an unusually early pit-stop hauling him up the order during a safety car period before conserving his tyres to resist all comers behind him to the flag.

It cemented a strong end to the year for Perez with top five top six results from the latter nine races to secure him a career-best ninth in the final reckoning.

Sergio Pérez 2016 F1 Results Overview
Sahara Force India F1 Team - VJM09 Mercedes
-Races21
-Wins0
-Podiums2
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish3rd (Monaco GP, European GP)
-2016 F1 Points101 Points
-2016 F1 Championship Standing7th

With Force India turning heads with the launch of the nostril-flared VJM09 in 2016, the car proved uncompetitive during pre-season testing and the early rounds, forcing the team back to the drawing board before launching a significant upgrade from Round 4 in Spain. 

The gamble worked with the car proving instantly faster, leading to a podium in tricky conditions in Monaco before he produced a career-best drive to third in Baku from seventh on the grid having been quick enough to secure a front row start outright but for a gearbox change penalty, the legacy of a crash in free practice. 

Demonstrating impressive consistency thereafter, Perez added top six results at Spa, Sepang and Interlagos to end the year seventh overall.

Sergio Pérez 2017 F1 Results Overview
Sahara Force India F1 Team - VJM10 Mercedes
-Races20
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish4th (Spanish GP)
-2017 F1 Points100
-2017 F1 Championship Standing7th

Entering into his fourth season with Force India, Perez would once again prove a master of consistency that earmarked him as the best of the midfielders despite precocious new competition from within courtesy of new team-mate Esteban Ocon.

A run of top ten results from the opening races - extending a streak of 17 points-scoring results - ended at the Monaco Grand Prix, before the first of two flashpoints involving Ocon threatened to destabilise the Force India team. The first came in Baku when Perez and Ocon collided in the melee after a safety car period while they disputed third place, before the pair touched during the Belgian Grand Prix on the high-speed run to Eau Rouge. 

On both occasions Perez was forced to retire, which together with a fall-out in Canada over the Mexican’s refusal to cede a position to the ‘faster’ Frenchman led to a war of words and the enforcing of team orders.

Despite the simmering tension, it was Perez that came out on top of a close battle between the pair, ending the year seventh overall once again, 

Sergio Pérez 2018 F1 Results Overview
Sahara Force India F1 Team / Racing Point Force India - VJM11 Mercedes
-Races21
-Wins0
-Podiums1
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish3rd (Azeribaijan GP) 
-2018 F1 Points62 Points
-2018 F1 Championship Standing8th

Though it was clear early on in the year Force India was struggling financially, it continued to produce impressive and competitive machinery on a meagre budget compared with its midfield rivals.

Moreover, Perez was more often than not able to extract the best from unpredictable races, most notably in Baku when - after a run of three non-scoring finishes - he claimed another podium in a topsy-turvy race.

By mid-season though it appeared Force India wouldn’t be able to see out the year, with a winding-up order being sought during the Hungarian Grand Prix that would have seen the team forced to close its doors for good. Nevertheless, creditors - of which Perez was included - instead launched legal action, which had the effect of placing Force India into administration, thus safeguarding jobs in the short-term and buying it time to find an investor.

This came in the form of Lawrence Stroll - father of then Williams driver Lance Stroll - who led a consortium to purchase the team. Rebranding it Racing Point, the mid-season change of name on the entry cost it its constructors’ points, but enabled Perez (and Ocon) to retain their points as their individual results are not defined by which team they are driving for.

Confirmed to the end of the year, Perez impressed the new owners with a run to fifth on Racing Point’s “debut” in Belgium, helping him to eighth in the final standings, while Racing Point recovered to seventh in the constructors’ despite in effect only competing in seven events.

Sergio Pérez 2019 F1 Results Overview
SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team - RP19 Mercedes
-Races21
-Wins0
-Podiums0
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish6th (Azerbaijan GP, Belgian GP)
-2019 F1 Points52 Points
-2019 F1 Championship Standing10th

Retaining his seat over Ocon as Stroll (Lance) assumed the sister car, fresh investment from the new owners would see Perez enjoy another positive campaign in what was otherwise a competitive midfield. 

Bookending a mid-season lull of eight non-scoring races with sixths in Azerbaijan and Belgium, a strong run of top ten results lifted Perez back up into the top ten overall for the sixth consecutive season. 

Sergio Pérez 2020 F1 Results Overview
BWT Racing Point F1 Team - RP20 Mercedes
-Races17
-Wins1
-Podiums1
-Pole Positions0
-Best Finish1st (Sakhir GP)
-2020 F1 Points125 Points
-2020 F1 Championship Standing4th

Coming into the 2020 F1 season with renewed vigour after the controversial Racing Point RP20 - which bore a striking similarity with the 2019 F1 title-winning W10 campaigned by its technical partners Mercedes - emerged as arguably the third quickest car behind Mercedes and Red Bull in pre-season testing, even the long delay to get proceedings underway didn’t dent the team’s momentum. 

Not that it was an easy start to the year for Perez in particular. After failing to get the best from the rapid package initially, he was then forced to sit out two races after contracting COVID, while his Racing Point team were rebuked for its copycat Mercedes design by the FIA and docked 15 constructors’ points as punishment.

However, on return to action Perez was a more solid contender and with both Ferraris and the Red Bull of Alex Albon failing to shine, he found himself locked in a battle for ‘best of the rest’ in fourth with Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) and Carlos Sainz (McLaren).

It was Perez’s greater consistency that would prevail though, reeling off five top six results from eight races mid-season before climbing on the podium again with a run to second position in the Turkish Grand Prix.

However, this was simply a precursor for one of F1’s most famous - and long-awaited - maiden victories in the Sakhir Grand Prix when the cards finally fell his way to reel off a spectacular win. 

He was made to work hard for it though, Perez spinning on the opening lap, leaving him at the back of the field. However, the combination of a savvy pit-stop strategy and a touch of luck when both Mercedes out front fell foul of pit-stop errors would see him inherit a lead on lap 64 he’d take to the flag on lap 87.

Ending a remarkable wait after 191 races - more than any other driver in the history of F1 - it also came with the bonus of him securing the team’s first win (either as Racing Point or Force India), as well as a career-best fourth in the standings.

And yet, despite his success, Perez went into the winter without knowing whether he’d even race in 2021 after it was announced earlier in the season he’d be dropped by the team as it morphed into a Aston Martin factory effort. 

With the iconic British marque seeking a ‘big name’ for its debut, the availability of an out-of-form but still revered four-time champion in Sebastian Vettel saw it plump for the German alongside Lance Stroll, who despite being roundly out-performed by Perez, remained by virtue of his father’s ownership of both the team and stake in Aston Martin.

Sergio Perez will compete with Red Bull Racing in the 2021 F1 World Championship

With the prospect of Perez being sidelined considered universally - both inside and outside the paddock - as something of a travesty, an unlikely lifeline instead came in the form of Red Bull Racing.

The Austrian outfit had spent much of the year attempting to play down persistent talk that it wanted to drop Alex Albon from its line-up, the young (arguably prematurely promoted) Thai driver having struggled to get close to Max Verstappen in pace amid a catalogue of compromising errors.

While it might have retained a still developing Albon in any other circumstance, the availability of a free agent in Perez would prove too good an opportunity for Red Bull to pass up, thus it went against its own protocol by hiring from outside its driver programme, leaving an unlucky Albon without a seat.

As such Perez, in what will be his 11th season of F1, arguably has his best opportunity yet to compete for regular wins, but will do so against the mighty Verstappen, whose form has played its part in stuttering the progress of Albon and Pierre Gasly in recent years.

It remains to be seen whether Perez’s immense experience will make him a far different prospect in a team tightly packed behind its star driver.