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Start Hungarian GP
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11

Sergio Pérez

Red Bull Racing
Nationality mex Mexican
Birthplace Guadalajara
Date of birth 26/01/1990 (31 yr.)
F1 debute 2011, Australië

F1 season 2021

WC Position 5
Races 10
WC points 104
Victories 1
Podiums 2
Pole positions 0

F1 career

World titles 0
WC points 633
Races 201
Victories 2
Podium places 12
Pole positions 0

It was a whirlwind 2020 for Sergio Perez. Not only did the Mexican contract coronavirus, but he spent the latter part of the season contemplating his potential exit from the sport after losing his seat to Sebastian Vettel for 2021. However, a career-best fourth-place finish in the drivers’ championship – which included his first grand prix victory – means Checo will line up for Red Bull next year in a car that could challenge Mercedes.

Personal Information

Name Sergio Perez Mendoza
Team Red Bull
Date of Birth January 26, 1990
Place of Birth Guadalajara, Mexico
Age 31
Height 1.73m (5' 7")
Weight 63kg
Nationality Mexican
Race Number 11

Sergio Perez broke into the Formula 1 grid with Sauber back in 2011, and in the decade since has driven for a number of teams and established himself as one of the most reliable drivers.

Through stints with Sauber, McLaren, and Force India/ Racing Point, the latter of which brought him his first ever F1 race victory at the Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020, the Mexican has shown his skill and longevity on the way to his current position with Red Bull.

But who is Sergio Perez and how did he secure his spot in Formula 1?

Here is everything you need to know about Sergio Perez.

Early Life

Sergio 'Checo' Perez was born in Guadalajara Mexico on January 26 1990, the son of a former stock car racer, and by age six he had already begun to participate in karting.

Those early years showed glimpses of the young driver's promise, with a range of trophies in both his home country and in the US, and the early success would win him a move to Europe to compete in the German Formula BMW ADAC series in 2005.

The first year away from home failed to produce the type of success Perez would have dreamt of as he struggled to fourteenth in the drivers' trophy that season.

But at the wheel of a 4speed Media car, the next year he improved to sixth, and for the 2006/2007 season, Perez raced in the A1 Grand Prix championships for Team Mexico, the third youngest driver to participate.

With confidence building, the driver made one of the biggest calls in his young career and opted to move to Oxford, UK to compete in the British Formula 3 championship for the 2007 season.

Racing for the T-Sport team, Perez dominated the series, winning two-thirds of the races and finishing all but two on the podium, with both he and the constructor moving up to the premier International Class the following year.

2008-2011: Rise to F1

The success in the UK brought Perez further attention from team's further up the motorsport ladder, and he was rewarded for his Formula 3 form with a call up to the Campos Grand Prix team to race in GP2 for the 2008-09 GP2 Asia Series.

He won the first race of the season at Sakhir, adding a second win at the race in Qatar, and for the next season he moved to Arden International to join the main 2009 GP2 Series.

Driving alongside Edoarda Mortara, Perez finished twelfth overall, with his best finish a second place at Valencia. In the off-season, he competed in two rounds of the 2009-10 GP2 Asia Series for Barwa Addax, winning five races and finishing second overall behind Pastor Maldonado.

Perez's results and significant financial backing from sponsors in Mexico drew the gaze of F1 teams, and in late 2010 Swiss team Sauber announced that the Mexican would join them for the 2011 season as a replacement for Nick Heidfeld.

The driver became the fifth Mexican to compete in F1 and the first since the retirement of Hector Rebaque in 1981, and he was also named a member of the Ferrari driver academy.

2011-2013: Sauber and McLaren

Perez made his F1 debut at the 2011 Australian Grand Prix, and managed to bring home a solid points-scoring results on his first outing with seventh although the team were later disqualified from the race for technical infringements.

The driver scored his first points for real at the race in Spain later that season, and looked on good form going into the race in Monaco.

He reached the final ten in qualifying in Monaco for the first time, but ended up crashing heavily at the beginning of Q3, taking him out of the race and the next grand prix in Canada, while he didn't suffer serious injuries.

Regularly outpeforming his more experience teammate Kobayashi, Perez managed to pick up more points for the struggling Sauber outfit and his form was rewarded by a mid-season test for Ferrari, even though e eventually signed an extension with his employer into 2012.

The 2012 season kicked off with promise for the driver in a rain-soaked race in Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian Grand Prix. Perez looked to be in with a shot of victory, but a strategy misfire with the pitstop meant he lost out to Fernando Alonso.

Speculation that the driver could head to Ferrari as a replacement for Felipe Massa started to swell after more podium finishes, and while the Scuderia ultimately opted against the Mexican on the basis of his lack of experience, McLaren saw something else.

With Lewis Hamilton set to depart for Mercedes, McLaren needed a driver to partner Jenson Button, and Perez was given the opportunity, signing on a multi-year contract beginning 2013.

Expectations were high upon the driver's arrival in Woking, but the anticipation soon soured after the 2013 car, the MP4-28, was found to be a shadow of the racing-winning machine the team had fielded the previous season.

There was also tension between the two teammates, with Button criticising Perez's driving style as the Mexican suffered a number of crashes during that season.

He retired from the Monaco Grand Prix following a collission with Kimi Raikkonen- who later said that Perez should be "punched in the face"- before moving on to score a season-best fifth place finish at the race in India.

However, the performances were ultimately not enough, and the pairing split with two races of the season left to go.

2014-2020: Force India and Racing Point

Following his departure from McLaren, Perez was in the hunt for a new F1 seat, and he found his spot with Force India, who joined the outfit as a replacement for Paul di Resta alongside Nico Hulkenberg.

The Mexican was determined to bounce back and prove his pace after a disappointing stint with McLaren, and got his season off to an almost ideal start with a third place in Bahrain, only the second time the team had ever been on the podium.

Despite finishing behind Hulkenberg in the overall points standings at the end of the season, the team renewed his contract for the 2015 season. Force India's faith in the driver would be rewarded as Perez was responsible for the majority of the teams points hauls including yet another podium, this time at the Russian Grand Prix.

Perez made his first appearance at a home race that same year at the Mexican Grand Prix, but the fairy tale ending wasn't to be as he was beaten to the line by Hulkenberg.

He managed to fight back from another struggle in Brazil to put his Fourth India fourth on the grid at the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi, coming home fifth behind the Mercedes and Ferrari cars.

In the 2016 season Perez once again showed his pedigree, putting his car on the podium a further two times in Monaco and Azerbaijan, with the team overtaking Williams as the leading Mercedes customer team on the grid.

Perez managed to outpace his teammate over the year, and Hulkenberg would eventually leave to fire the starting gun on what would be a tumultuous partnership between the Mexican and Esteban Ocon. Perez was able to consistently keep the upper hand on Ocon over the Frenchman's two-year stint with Force India, but the two clashed repeatedly on and off the track including collisions at Baku, Hungaroring and most seriously at Spa during 2017.

The situation got to the point where the team had to order them to refrain from racing one another, but the close battles continued though none with such large consequences as the crash in Belgium.

While the relationship between the drivers on track was deteriorating throughout 2017 however, things off track were about to take a turn even further south for the team.

Force India owner Vijay Mallya had run into financial issues, and as such form the start of the season it was uncertain whether they would make it to the end of the year. Perez was to play a pivotal role in saving the team eventually, but on track the difficulties were showing and the Mexican consistently finished outside of the points.

He still managed to claim a podium at Baku, but by the summer break it was clear that the team's issues were becoming untenable, and Perez activated a sponsor clause in his contract to trigger administration.That process ultimately led to a buyout by Canadian retail billionaire Lawrence Stroll, with the team rebranded to Racing Point from the Belgian Grand Prix.

Despite the resolution of the off-track issues, the issues between the drivers remained tense, and Perez was to blame when the two clashed at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Going into 2019 as Racing Point, Esetban Ocon was replaced by the team owner's son Lance Stroll, but the effort was again hobbled by an uncompetitive car.

While Perez got the better of his new teammate over the course of the season, the lack of pace meant the driver finished 10th overall in the championship.

However, Stroll senior had great plans for the team, and going into 2020 the Mexican signed a contract extension which would see him driving with the team through to 2022.

The 2020 Racing Point car was the subject of much controversy, being dubbed the 'Pink Mercedes' due to its similarities to much of the 2019 championship winning car.That issue would rumble on into the season and ultimately result in the team taking a points penalty, but the car was undeniably fast and Perez would go on to have his best-ever season in Formula 1.

The driver finished fourth in the driver's championship and secured his first-ever F1 win at the Sakhir Grand Prix after a sensational drive from the back of the grid, even a bout of coronavirus which out him out of the double header at Silverstone not enough to knock the year off course.

But despite the strong performances on track and scoring more than double teammate Stroll's point's tally over the course of the season, Perez was told he would not have his contract renewed, being replaced by Sebastian Vettel.

There were rumours that the Mexican could replace George Russell at Williams should the young Brit step up to take Valtteri Bottas' seat, but that never materialised and he ultimately signed a one-year deal with Red Bull to replace Alex Albon.

			© Racing Point
	© Racing Point

Red Bull

There were many other drivers rumoured for the second Red Bull seat for 2021 alongside Max Verstappen, including Nico Hulkenberg who had stood in for Perez when he was out ill last year.

However, the seat ultimately fell to Perez, the reward for an exceptional showing in 2020 and years of persistence which the team believe make him the ideal candidate to support Max Verstappen in his title bid.

At the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, Perez took his first victory as a Red Bull driver.

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