Sergio Perez is a Mexican racing driver who will race for Red Bull Racing in the 2021 season. Perez has previously driven for teams like Sauber, Mclaren, Force India, and Racing Point.
He made his Formula One debut in 2011 with Sauber as a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy. He got his first big break when Mclaren selected Perez as the replacement for Lewis Hamilton for the 2013 season. It didn’t work out for him as Mclaren replaced Perez with Kevin Magnussen in 2014.
Perez signed for Force India in 2014 and stayed with the team till the latter half of 2018 after they went into administration and then their reformation as Racing Point F1 in 2019. Despite signing a 3-year extension with Perez in 2019, Racing Point decided to replace Perez with Sebastian Vettel for the 2021 season.
At the Sakhir GP 2020, Perez won the first Formula One Grand Prix, breaking the record for the number of starts before a race win at 190. Later in the 2020 season, it was announced that Sergio Perez will drive for Red Bull in the 2021 season making it his first real opportunity to drive for a front-running team.
Perex was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco on 26 January 1990. He is the youngest child of Antonio Pérez Garibay and Marilú Mendoza de Pérez. Pérez is married to Carola Martínez, and they have two children together.
In 2012, Perez unveiled the Checo Perez foundation to support orphans and children with cancer.
Perez has an older sister Paola and an elder brother Antonio Perez.
Perez began his career in carting as a 6-year-old in 1996. In 2005, he competed in the Formula BMW ADAC series where he drove for Team Rosberg. He finished 14th in 2005 and was able to improve to 6th in 2006. In 2007, he moved to the British Formula 3 Championship where he competed in the national class and won the championship. In 2008, he graduated to the international premiere class and finished 4th in the standings.
Perez also took part in the 2008-09 GP2 Asia series where he partnered with Russian Driver Vitaly Petrov and would finish 7th in the standings. He took part in the 2010 GP2 series where he would finish runner-up to Pastor Maldonado and ahead of Jules Bianchi.
Formula One Career
He got his big call in Formula One when Sauber announced that Perez would drive alongside Kamui Kobayashi for the team. He finished his first race in Australia in the seventh position by stopping just once as compared to the complete grid stopping multiple times during the race. The result however didn’t stand as both Sauber drivers were disqualified from the race for a technical infringement. Perez would have to wait until Spain, where he finished 9th to score his first points of the season. Perez would impress in his first season showing good tire management skills and scoring crucial points for the team. He would finish the season in the sixteenth position with 14 points on the board.
The 2012 season was a breakout season for Perez. It all started with a podium at Malaysia, just the second race of the season that saw him challenge Fernando Alonso for victory. Perez used his tire management skills to great effect throughout the season as more often than not he would convert his average qualifying positions into great finishes by conserving the tire performance. 2012 would see him add two more podium finishes at Canada and Monza to his tally as he finished the season in 10th position.
Perez’s performances on the track did catch the eye of Martin Whitmarsh at Mclaren who subsequently signed Perez as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton for the 2013 season.
Mclaren was the first big break for Perez as the Mexican joined former World Champion Jenson Button in a car that was not as competitive as the car that won races and got poles in the previous season. In a new environment, Perez struggled to perform to the expectations as he was consistently behind Jenson Button in both qualifying and races. There were a few eye-catching performances at Bahrain and India but Perez didn’t come close to replicating his performance at Sauber.
Consequently, Perez was replaced by Kevin Magnussen for the 2014 season. Perez, on his part, joined Nico Hulkenberg at Force India for the 2014 season.
Perez joined Force India with a mission to promote the detractors wrong in 2014. Driving a midfield car, he was competitive with Hulkenberg throughout the season. At Bahrain, Perez was able to achieve an unfancied podium finish for the team since 2009. In 2014 however, Perez was unable to match Nico Hulkenberg for consistency as the German finished the season with 96 points compared to Perez’s 59 points.
In 2015 however, Perez turned the tides as he finished the season 20 points clear of Hulkenberg and was able to snatch another podium at the Russian Grand Prix for the team. During this time Perez had started to establish himself as one of the most reliable drivers on the grid.
In the 2016 season, Perez improved even further as he managed to pick up two podiums in a challenging season for Force India. Using his tire management skills at Monaco and pure pace in Azerbaijan, Perez was able to pick up two podiums for the team and establish a clear gap to his teammate Nico Hulkenberg in the intra-team rivalry. He finished the season 7th, almost 30 points clear of Hulkenberg.
The 2017 season saw Perez welcome a new teammate at Force India in Esteban Ocon, a young driver with a lot of hype behind him. Perez would establish early dominance over the youngster but Ocon kept closing the gap to the Mexican and two would collide at Baku where Perez thought he could have challenged for victory. The two teammates would come to blows yet again at the Belgian Grand Prix and consequently, the team would not allow the two drivers to race against each other. Both Perez and Ocon would spend the entirety of the season very close to each other in terms of pace. Perez would end the season 7th in the standings just ahead of his young teammate.
In the 2018 season, Perez achieved the feat of being the only non Mercedes-Ferrari-Red Bull driver to finish on the podium as he finished 3rd at Baku. The 2018 season also saw the Force India team put into administration mid-season. The assets of the team were purchased and it was readmitted as “Racing Point Force India”. Perez was retained by the team while Esteban Ocon was dropped in favor of Lance Stroll. Perez finished the season 8th in the standings.
The 2019 season was seen more as a transitional year for the Racing Point unit as the team took a step back in competitiveness. The trademark odd podium finish that Perez had been able to nick in the last few years was missing as the Mexican ended the season 10th in the standings.
The Racing Point team was surrounded by controversy in the 2020 season as the team produced a car that looked eerily similar to the Mercedes of the 2019 season. Protests were lodged but when nothing came out of it the team was free to race. Perez however had already been released by the team at the end of the 2021 season and was looking for a drive for the 2021 season. The car being similar in traits to the last year Mercedes got a massive boost in competitiveness as Perez and Stroll were able to compete for podiums regularly. More than anything Perez was able to secure the first win of his career at Sakhir GP. With no clarity around his future, Perez celebrated his first win at Bahrain like it could be the last of his Formula One career. Perez ended the season a career-best 4th in the standings and comprehensively outperformed his teammate Lance Stroll.
A week after the final race of the season at Abu Dhabi, Red Bull announced that Perez would be their second driver for the 2021 season.
- Most races before winning a race in Formula One
Father: Antonio Pérez Garibay
Mother: Marilú Mendoza de Pérez
Brother: Antonio Perez