Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Next race: Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg
F1 encyclopedia

Sergio Pérez

Formula 1 driver

Sergio Pérez
Credit: Sauber
Vital statistics for Sergio Pérez
NationalityMEX
BirthplaceGuadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Born26 January 1990
Age27
F1 debutAustralian Grand Prix, 2011
Driver number11
Current teamSahara Force India F1 Team
Recent fastest laps
2017Monaco Grand Prix
2014Austrian Grand Prix
2013Malaysian Grand Prix

Pérez impressed with his early performances in the Sauber car, enough to gain McLaren’s interest. However, one season with the Woking team saw him back out on his ear, both car and driver failing to deliver. Choices were limited in the 2013 off-season, but Pérez found his way to Force India, finding a lifeline for the 2014 F1 season and then earning his spot for consecutive seasons.

F1 biography

At the tender age of 6 years old, Sergio Pérez could be found karting, and winning. In the late 1990s, he worked his way through the various karting categories in Mexico, and found sponsorship with telecom company Telmex. In 2005, he joined the German Formula BMW series, and followed it up with a stint in A1 Grand Prix before moving to the British Formula Three category.

By 2009, he was driving in the GP2 series, both the main championship and the GP2 Asia series as well. He brought home some good results, including race wins, and in 2010 he finished second in the championship behind Pastor Maldonado. Ahead of the 2011 season, Pérez was confirmed at Sauber, making his F1 debut at Australia that year. He quickly impressed with his ability to conserve the tyres, and he finished in the points several times during his first season.

However, he suffered a big crash during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, which saw him taken to the medical centre with concussion. He didn’t race the next day, and also didn’t feel well enough to continue after one practice session in Canada. He was back in the car for the following race, but admitted his momentum and confidence had been knocked.

Nevertheless, Sauber re-signed him for 2012, where Pérez continued to improve, bring home points, the odd podium finish, and gain the attention of other teams. McLaren spotted something in him and signed him to replace Lewis Hamilton for the 2013 season, intending to hone the driver’s skills to a championship level. One disappointing season later, and the Mexican was unceremoniously dropped from the McLaren team. Boss at the time, Martin Whitmarsh, helped call around other teams to find Sergio another race seat, but as it was quite late in the decision-making process, the options were few and far between. One month later, Pérez was confirmed at Force India, moving to the Silverstone based team for the 2014 season.

He had one standout result in Bahrain, finishing third on the podium and taking home a trophy. He was often in the points and fought hard for every result, but the car beneath didn't quite deliver as hoped. Pérez was keen to stay at Force India, and despite a little contract confusion between driver and boss, he was confirmed for the 2015 season.

Despite racing alongside the highly rated Nico Hülkenberg, Pérez was routinely the driver securing podiums for Force India. He managed a third place in Russia in 2015, and two third places in Monaco and Baku in 2016. He completed a run of ten points finishes to end the 2016 season, easily earning him another year with the Force India team.

Learn more about Sergio Pérez with the Pocket F1 Handbook.