Site logo

Sergio Perez




Seasons in Formula 1:
Races contested:
Total number of championships:
Total number of wins:
Total number of pole positions:
Total number of fastest laps:
Total number of points:
2023 - number of wins:
2023 - number of poles:
2023 - number of fastest laps:
2023 - points:
2023 - championship position:



Sergio Perez


Guadalajara, Mexico
Valencia, Spain

Official website:


By the age of 13, Sergio had won numerous karting championships both in his native Mexico and the United States, and it came as no surprise that he came to the attention of Mexican telecommunications company Telmex with whose team (Escuderia Telmex) he contested the Skip Barber National Championship in 2004.

Having finished 11th overall, the following season Sergio headed to Europe where he contested the German Formula BMW Championship with Team Rosberg, finishing second in his very first race.

He remained in Formula BMW in 2006, finishing 6th overall, at which point he decided that the best move - in terms of his career - would be to head to the proving ground for most of the true racing legends, British F3.

With 14 wins, 14 poles and 9 fastest laps, Sergio won the British F3 International Series national class with T-Sport, also finding time to represent his country in a couple of rounds of the ill-fated A1 GP series.

For 2008 he moved up to the international class of the British F3 Championship, remaining with T-Sport. Despite leading the championship in the early stages, being one of the only drivers running with a Mugen Honda engine, he finished the season fourth overall courtesy of 4 wins, 2 poles and 5 fastest laps.

In 2009 he contested both the GP2 Asia championship (with Campos) and the main GP2 series (with Arden). Finishing 7th in the Asia championship, with wins at Sakhir (his maiden GP2 Asia outing) and again in Qatar, he could only manage 12th in the main series however. At the end of the year he contested two rounds of the 2009/2010 GP2 Asia Series with Barwa Addax.

He remained with the Spanish outfit for the 2010 GP2 Series, partnering Holland's Giedo van der Garde. 4 wins, 1 pole and 6 fastest laps were enough to secure the runner-up spot to Pastor Maldonado, albeit 16 points adrift of the Venezuelan.

In early October 2010, Sauber announced that Sergio would partner Kamui Kobayashi the following season, the Swiss outfit also confirming a 'partnership deal' with his long standing sponsor, Telmex.

In the Young Driver and Pirelli tyre tests in Abu Dhabi at season end, Sergio gave a good account of himself, looking more than capable of keeping pace with his highly popular Japanese teammate. And so it proved to be, the Mexican proving to be one of the most encouraging rookies of recent times, much like his teammate.

In the opening race, having qualified thirteenth, Sergio finished seventh, just ahead of his teammate. Sadly, an irregularity with the Sauber's rear wing meant both drivers were disqualified and consequently the Mexican did not become a member of that exclusive club for drivers that have scored points on their F1 debuts.

Much of the reason for Sergio's superb performance in Melbourne was down to his excellent tyre management, the youngster making only one stop. Then again, it being the first Grand Prix for Pirelli, his rivals were still learning about the new rubber. However, fact is, over the course of the season, Sergio proved to have impressive tyre management skills, using them to his advantage on many an occasion.

He retired in Malaysia after being hit by a piece of ballast from Sebastien Buemi's Toro Rosso, while in China he collided with Adrian Sutil and was subsequently handed a penalty which saw him cross the finish line in seventeenth.

In Spain he finally opened his points account however, two weeks later, another milestone which should have been celebrated was somewhat overshadowed. The youngster made it through to Q3 for the first time. However, he crashed at the Nouveau Chicane on his first run and was subsequently ruled out for the rest of the weekend. He was passed fit for the Canadian Grand Prix that followed but subsequently withdrew - to be replaced by Pedro de la Rosa - after feeling unwell following the Friday practice session.

Back in the car for the European Grand Prix two weeks later, he achieved his best result to date when he brought his C30 home in seventh.

At the halfway point, Sauber was sixth in the standings and looking good for the remainder of the championship. However, Force India now began to improve with each outing, as did Toro Rosso, the Swiss team paying the price for ceasing the development of its diffuser.

While there were retirements in Belgium and Italy, Sergio fought back in Singapore, Japan and India, the youngster considering his Suzuka performance to be the best of his career.

Although he finished sixteen points down on his teammate, and sixteenth in the driver standings, Sergio had every right to feel satisfied with his first season. He out-qualified the Japanese driver eleven times while also proving himself to be consistent on Sunday afternoons.

Though only his second year in the sport, 2012 could prove to have been a watershed season in Sergio's career.

Despite the team's four podium finishes, many still feel that even more was achievable, in 2012, not least the maiden victory under its own name.

Things got off to the worst possible start when, three days before the launch, Technical Director, James Key, for reasons still unexplained, opted to leave the Swiss team, resurfacing in September with Toro Rosso.

This time around there were no disqualifications in Melbourne, both drivers opening their points accounts at the first opportunity.

As the teams struggled to get to grips with the new rubber, Sergio appeared to be about to pull off one of the biggest shocks of recent times when he looked set to take victory in Malaysia. Reeling in race leader Alonso at a vast rate of knots a small error saw the Spaniard take a much-needed victory in the Ferrari. However, with the Italian manufacturer supplying Sauber's engines and Sergio a member of the Maranello team's Young Driver Academy, there was plenty to get the conspiracy theorists excited.

There were further podiums for the Mexican in Canada and Italy, on both occasions the Mexican demonstrating further proof of his uncanny skills in terms of tyre management.

However, just as in previous years the team began to stagnate in the second half of the season, so too Sergio began to lose his way as the championship wound to a close. Indeed, Sergio lost his sparkle shortly after Monza, round about the time he secured a "multi-year" deal with McLaren where he would replace Lewis Hamilton.

Interestingly, while new boss Martin Whitmarsh enthused at the youngster's 'giant killing' capabilities, Luca di Montezemolo, whose team had shunned the Mexican and opted to retain Felipe Massa for an eighth season, claimed Perez was not yet ready for a "top seat". As if to prove the point, in a mystifying dropping-off in the final stages of the season, Sergio failed to score a point in six successive races, getting involved in far too many coming-togethers for most people's liking.

As he stepped into Hamilton's seat, joining another driver famed for his tyre management, one wondered whether Sergio would rise to the occasion or whether it would all be a bit too much for him. The gut feeling at Pitpass was that Sergio needed another season before the step up, certainly to a team such as McLaren.

Pre-season testing suggested that the MP4-28 could well give its rivals, even Red Bull, a run for their money. However, it was subsequently discovered that a suspension component had been incorrectly fitted on Button's car which created an extremely low ride height and thereby accounted for the fast lap times.

From the outset the drivers were critical of the car, and with good reason. Indeed, Martin Whitmarsh was to later admit that at one stage he had considered reverting to the 2012 car. And that's the problem, with the raft of regulation changes scheduled for 2014 very little changed between 2012 and 2013, so why did McLaren feel the need to essentially come up with a whole new car?

The fact is, 2013 was McLaren's worst season for 33 years. It was the team's first season without finishing on the podium since 1980, and never qualified in the top five, its worst record since 1983. It was also the Woking team's first season without a win since 2006.

In the season opener, Sergio qualified 15th and finished 11th, subsequently describing the weekend as "difficult" for himself and the team. He started the Malaysian Grand Prix from ninth on the grid and went on to finish the race in the same position, thereby scoring his first points for McLaren. He also posted the fastest lap of the race, having pitted for fresh tyres.

The over enthusiasm witnessed at Sauber was on show once again with McLaren, Perez making a number of enemies, including his own teammate, with his aggressive, over-ambitious moves.

"I've raced with many team-mates over the years and with quite an aggressive team-mate in Lewis," said Button in the wake of a particularly bitter battle with Sergio in Bahrain, "but I'm not used to driving down the straight and then my team-mate coming along and wiggling his wheels at me and banging wheels with me at 300km/h.

"I've had some tough fights in F1 but not quite as dirty as that," he continued. "That's something you do in karting and normally you grow out of it but that's obviously not the case with Checo. 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."

Following the Monaco Grand Prix, in which he eliminated Kimi Raikkonen with a typically aggressive, totally unnecessary move, the Finn's response was as succinct as ever. The Finn telling reporters that the Mexican should be "punched in the face".

At season end, McLaren was fifth overall, almost 200 points down on fourth placed Lotus. Indeed, having been trailing behind Force India for much of the first half of the season, the Woking team should be thankful for the modifications to the Pirelli compounds that were to hamper the Silverstone outfit in the second half of the year.

On 13 November, Sergio revealed that he would be leaving McLaren after just one season, the youngster replaced by Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen. Almost a month later, Sergio was confirmed as Nico Hulkenberg's partner at Force India, the German having replaced the Mexican when he left Sauber at the end of 2012 for McLaren.

Martin Whitmarsh made no secret of the fact that, while unwilling to keep Sergio at McLaren, he had approached a number of rival teams in an attempt to get the youngster a berth for 2014, one (un-named) team agreeing a deal and subsequently reneging on it.

We knew from his Sauber days that Sergio has speed however, we also knew that he can allow the red mist to take over. Then again, we have seen, as in the case of Romain Grosjean, that drivers can be 'cured'.

In many ways, 2014 was Force India's best season to date, scoring more points than ever before and its second ever podium finish. And though the team scored points in all but two races, not for the first time it was a season of two halves. This time around however, the drop-off over the second half of the year wasn't the result of regulation changes.

With the team running the Mercedes power unit, without question the power unit of 2014, it's believed that much of the drop-off in performance was down to aero, an opinion enforced by the team’s post-season announcement that it would use Toyota's Cologne windtunnel in 2015 and beyond as opposed to its own.

Though Hulkenberg scored 37 more points than his teammate, it was Sergio who looked the more convincing. Indeed, it was Sergio who scored that elusive podium result (Bahrain) and was on target to repeat the feat in Canada until being hit from behind by Massa, both drivers still refusing to accept even a hint of blame. The stewards subsequently hit the Mexican with a 5-place grid penalty ruling that he had changed his racing line and therefore caused the collision.

In Austria the Mexican briefly led but was eventually to slip back to sixth, though he did post the fastest race lap, while there was further silliness in Austin where he needlessly collided with Adrian Sutil.

His confidence, and form, back where it was before that 'lost season' at Woking, Sergio looked likely to build on 2014's success, buoyed not only by the fact that his team had signed a 'long term' deal but that he would have the opportunity to drive a race on home soil when F1 returned to Mexico for the first time since 1992.

In recent years it has been 'traditional' for Force India to start the season well then gradually run out of steam. 2015 saw the complete opposite, the Silverstone outfit struggling at first and then coming into its own, going on to the best finish in its history.

Still struggling financially and yet to begin serious work on Toyota's windtunnel, the team began the season with what was essentially the 2014 car.

Indeed, the much anticipated unveil in Mexico City in January was for the "dynamic new livery" as opposed to anything technical, the VJM08 not appearing until the final (Barcelona) test, the team using its 2014 contender at the first two tests.

Despite the shortcomings of the VJM08 at the start of the season, the spin in Melbourne and clash with Grosjean in Malaysia were purely down to Sergio.

However, the Mexican more than made up for it in Bahrain where - not for the first time - he performed miracles with his tyres, somehow needing just 2 stops, a feat his team didn't believe possible.

Monaco saw another bravura performance, Sergio finishing 'best of the 'rest' behind the Mercedes, Ferraris and Red Bulls.

As the team did its best to keep in touch with the leaders, we were constantly told of the impending launch of the B-spec car, the much anticipated result of the many hours spent in the Toyota windtunnel.

Making its debut in the post-Austrian GP test, it was soon clear that the VJM08B was an entirely different beast, only failing to score points in one race (Hungary) following its introduction.

Whilst Hulkenberg got the early attention, especially following his impressive win at Le Mans, it was Sergio who took centre stage as the season progressed.

Indeed, as the Mexican racked up the points, taking almost double his teammate's post-summer break tally, one wondered whether previous speculation linking Hulkenberg with a 'top drive' might better apply to Sergio.

Despite an early upset during opening practice Hungary, Sergio made a great start on Sunday and looked destined for a decent points haul before becoming the latest victim of The Maldonator.

Starting an excellent 5th in Belgium, Sergio made a sublime start and led the field on the run up to Les Combes. It was good whilst it lasted, and despite the Mexican's best efforts the 'normal order' was soon restored. Nonetheless, Sergio finished an impressive fifth.

Good points finishes in Italy and Singapore were followed by a lacklustre outing in Japan, but in Russia Sergio raised the bar just that little bit higher.

Using his well-honed tyre management skills, not to mention a convenient Safety Car period, Sergio was battling Valtteri Bottas for third. On the penultimate lap the Finn got by, with countryman Kimi Raikkonen following through soon after.

After such a strong performance Sergio deserved better, and clearly the gods agreed. Shortly after, the Finns had one of their (now) traditional clashes, thereby allowing Sergio through to re-take third and claim his first podium of the season.

Another good outing in Austin left Sergio fired up for his home race. Unfortunately, the cards never fell for him and it was teammate Hulkenberg who achieved the better result.

For the season finale, Sergio gave his best qualifying performance of the year, placing the Force India on the second row. Finishing fifth, behind the Mercedes and Ferrari duos was nothing to be sniffed at, and in many ways summed up Sergio's season.

Retained for 2016 - as was Hulkenberg - it was to be hoped that Sergio would continue his upward trend, which had surely been noted by some of those teams that unfairly wrote him off following his year at Woking.

Indeed, while some would have been permanently damaged by the rejection from McLaren, the move only appeared to inspire the resilient Mexican.

Once the B-spec car came online in Spain, Sergio was regularly in the points and took the team's two podiums.

However, even before Spain he qualified seventh twice, and while Hulkenberg scored 12-9 in terms of qualifying it was the Mexican who usually finished ahead.

Other than a good, reliable car, another factor that greatly aided the Mexican was his tyre management, as seen in Spain and Singapore.

Strategic insight was another strength, witness his early change to slicks in Monaco resulting in his first podium of the year.

He also knew his - and the team's limitations – aware that beating the leaders was nigh impossible and therefore concentrating on building the advantage over Williams.

The highlight of the season had to be Baku, where despite a gearbox penalty that dropped him from second to seventh on the grid, he fought a determined race and finished on the podium, his second of the season.

Linked with a number of teams, and his sponsors seemingly also seeking an alternative, Sergio looked to be heading to Renault but ultimately it was teammate Hulkenberg who joined the French outfit, with the Mexican, after weeks of frustrating hesitation and false rumours finally opting to stay put.

A new teammate for 2017 in the shape of Esteban Ocon promised a new challenge for Sergio as did the new aero regulations and wider tyres.

With tyre management being something of a speciality for the Mexican, 2017 looked likely to be an opportunity for his star to shine brighter and thereby attract some attention from the big fish for 2018 and beyond. Indeed, many felt the Mexican to be one of several drivers who would have made an ideal fit for Mercedes had Rosberg made clear his intentions a little earlier.

While on paper, Sergio had the better season in 2017, scoring more points and out-qualifying his new teammate, there is denying the fact that the Mexican was caught off-guard by Ocon's pace and determination.

Despite the relative lack of funding and resources, despite the relative lack of experience, despite the ongoing legal problems with owner Vijay Mallya, the Silverstone-based outfit proved that 2016 was no fluke as it compounded its position as 'best of the rest'.

While few really put 2016 down to being a fluke, there was understandable concern at Nico Hulkenberg's departure for Renault, while the overhaul of the aero regulations would surely play into the hands of the bigger teams. Or so we thought. But no, the team simply kept its head down and got on with the job.

For much of the year the drivers appeared to be con-joined, be it qualifying or on race day the pair were constantly scrapping over the same piece of tarmac. Not only did they finish the season 7th and 8th, following the departure of Jolyon Palmer the first letters of their surnames meant they were together when drivers were listed alphabetically... there was no separating them.

Be it surprise as Ocon's talents or doubt in his own, Perez' unhappiness at the situation first really became apparent in Canada. Asked to move aside for his teammate in order that he might attack Ricciardo, Sergio refused even though told the position would be handed back if the Frenchman was unsuccessful.

Weeks later the pair actually clashed on track in Azerbaijan, resulting in Sergio's first DNF of the season. While the incident cost Ocon a better result also, the fact is that considering how the race ended, it was not entirely impossible that Sergio might have made it to the podium, possibly even the top step.

Things really boiled over in Belgium however, when Sergio twice forced his teammate into the wall on the infamous run down to Eau Rouge. An already tense situation was not helped by Ocon's claim that the Mexican had tried to kill him. As a result the team instituted a "no fighting" rule which remained in place for the remainder of the season, much to the disappointment of both drivers and millions of race fans.

Much of Sergio's points advantage at season end came in the opening races when the car was still not at its best and Ocon was still finding his feet in the team. Bahrain and Spain being two stand out performances.

For the most part however, it was clear that Ocon had him rattled and that would only develop in the coming season.

Though this would be entertaining for us, the fans, we opined that this could signal the beginning of the end for Sergio, as 'new kid on the block' Ocon eyed bigger things... possibly at Brackley.

In 2018, as was the case in 2017, Sergio and Ocon were like Siamese twins, seemingly forever sharing the same piece of tarmac, the same grid slots and the same places on the timesheets.

With 62 points to Ocon's 49 however, this does not tell the full story, for while the Frenchman was undoubtedly the quicker of the pair - out-qualifying Sergio 16-5 over the course of the season - the Mexican, for the most part, kept out of trouble and brought it home on Sunday afternoon.

No doubt the best example of this was Azerbaijan - forever a minefield - where Ocon was involved in a pointless clash with Raikkonen, while Sergio, who had slipped down the field, went on to become the only driver outside the Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull trinity to make it to the podium over the course of the whole season.

At the heart of the legal action which saw Force India go into administration, Sergio gave himself and the team a much needed boost when he took fifth in Belgium, thereby giving both Force India and Racing Point Force India its two best results of the year.

On the other hand, aware of his teammate's obvious talents Sergio refused to play ball when it came to being asked to make way for the youngster, usually to the detriment of the team.

Indeed, losing out to Ocon in qualifying, Sergio made a concerted effort to get ahead of his teammate at the start, a situation that not only further frustrated the Frenchman but repeatedly compromised the team's point haul.

As in 2017 there were numerous clashes between the pair, most notably in Singapore, and as a result, amidst all its other problems, the team was found having to order its drivers to stop fighting and maintain position.

The lack of funds, indeed the total uncertainty over the future of the team, meant that after the upgrade in Spain there were few further updates, which again compromised the team's efforts.

Effectively starting from scratch after Belgium - where a new name also meant a points re-set - the (new) team could and should have still eclipsed a struggling McLaren, but it didn't, though a late surge from Sergio added a further 15 points to the tally.

For various reasons, not least his numerous sponsors, Sergio was retained for 2019. However, in terms of teammates, this time around the fiery Mexican would need to be a little more circumspect than he was with Ocon, for the driver in the other car was Lance Stroll, whose billionaire father just happened to own the Silverstone-based outfit.

With the jury still out on Stroll, Sergio - while keeping his bosses happy - would need to take on the mantle of team leader for an outfit which had regularly punched well above its weight, and now appeared to have the financial clout to raise its game ever higher. That said, other than the fact that the new management still had to find its feet, it was also the case that the team was still sorting itself following the Mallya malaise.

Indeed, such was the state of the team in the aftermath of Mallya's mismanagement that it began 2019 with what Andy Green described as a "vanilla car".

"We did what we needed to get the car out for launch," he told reporters, "but in the background we have always been working on the car for the first race, trying to find the maximum performance we can and bring to Melbourne."

Even the Silverstone-based outfit would admit that the points scored in the opening three races were down to luck more than judgement, however, the double-points finish in Baku was deserved.

Sadly, at that point the team disappeared into obscurity, encountering one anonymous race weekend after another, and while Sergio experienced the longest points drought of his F1 career - going 8 races without scoring - the mayhem of the Nurburgring saw teammate Stroll score an impressive 4th.

Ironically, it was in Germany that the team introduced its first significant upgrade, not that race day's difficult conditions allowed it to shine.

In the races that followed further upgrades appeared, allowing Sergio to begin a run of nine races in which he scored points in eight.

As in 2018, Belgium was significant, for it was ahead of the Spa race that Sergio agreed a new deal with Racing Point that would keep him at the team until the end of 2021, effectively meaning he would have been with the Silverstone-based outfit in its various incarnations for eight seasons.

This proof of the team's continued faith in him no doubt helped inspire the Mexican for the remainder of the season.

As ever, his tyre management was among the best out there, and along with the updates was one of the reasons for his strong close to the season. Indeed, following the summer break, the only race where he didn't score was in Singapore where he suffered an oil leak.

One area where the team was sadly lacking all season was qualifying, with Sergio only making it to Q3 on four occasions and Stroll once. Indeed, on average the Mexican qualified around 13th while his teammate was around 16th.

While the upgrades, determined drives and decent strategy helped out on race day, the team's poor qualifying performance on Saturdays meant Sergio and his teammate were always up against it, consequently this is an area that the team must focus on in 2020.

Ironically, the one time Stroll made it to Q3, produced what was arguably Sergio's strongest drive of the season. While the Canadian started 9th and finished the race in 12, Sergio, who had qualified 17th, battled his way through the field to finish seventh.

Providing Racing Point can provide his with competitive equipment from the outset, there is no reason why Sergio shouldn't be fighting for 'best of the rest again', what with his consistency and his reputation for hard, but fair, racing. If nothing else, it should be interesting to see how he deals with a certain Mr Ocon.

Share this page


Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms