It wasn’t long ago when his Formula One future was facing uncertainty. Sergio Perez, who was forced to explore his options after an unexpected last minute pink slip from Mclaren, got a booster for his Formula One dreams when he was signed by Force India for the 2014 season. Force India, after signing Perez, have a compelling team with Nico Hulkenberg as the second driver. But is the multi-year contract between the Mexican driver and the Silverstone based team the best option for both the parties? Read on to find out.
Checo – Down but not out
Mclaren’s decision to axe the Mexican driver came as a surprise to the Formula One community after he was ceremoniously appointed a replacement for Lewis Hamilton for 2013 and touted to be a young and promising driver. But Mclaren hit a low patch in 2013 and they promptly showed him the door preferring a rookie driver for 2014.
While the debate on who is a better driver between Paul di Resta and Perez is likely to continue,there’s hardly any doubt that the clock was ticking for di Resta stay at the Indian team. The 2013 season started out promisingly for di Resta as he helped Force India stay ahead of Mclaren in fifth place, the tyre change after the British GP proved to be di Resta’s nemesis. He went from a hero to a driver unable to keep the car on track.
Formula One Career Statistics
|Sergio Perez||Paul Di Resta|
4th(with Force India)
A comparison of statistics shows there is hardly anything between Di Resta and Perez. They are somewhat similar in terms of driving . Di Resta proved he could finish consistently in the top-10 while Perez too showed he is no mug in the car, having proven his skills(tyre preserving) in the Sauber in 2012 and more recently with his finishes in the last four races of 2013 in the struggling Mclaren.
Apart from stats, Perez is also likely to bring along insights and experience to Force India from his stint at the Woking based team.
Force India – Funds and more
After having persevered with Adrian Sutil for 5 years and Paul Di Resta for 3 years, perhaps it was time for Force India to get a new line-up. Getting Perez on board made sense as it would bring in the cash-funding in terms of sponsorship from Carlos Slim’s Telmex. Telmex has been rumored to transfer 15million euros to the Vijay Mallya lead outfit. The money would help boost development at Force India as the sport enters a new era of regulations.
There is also a hidden agenda in maintaining Perez in Formula One. He along with Esteban Gutierrez help brighten the chances of a Mexican Grand Prix expected to make its return to Formula One. The GP would loose its sheen without a home racer in Formula One and would have made it difficult for its supporters.
Add to it the business gains(in sponsorship’s and the liquor business) that Mallya might look at in Mexico and other Latin American countries by supporting Perez. While the team boss would want to play down the sponsorship criteria in selecting Perez but the fact that pay drivers are ruling the roost in Formula One, it will invariably be brought up until Perez proves it wrong through his performance 2014.Published 17 Dec 2013, 19:40 IST