89. Sergio Perez

Age 31
Occupation Driver, Red Bull Racing
Nationality Mexican
Position Last Year New

Sergio Perez Mendoza (born 26 January 1990), nicknamed “Checo”, is a Mexican racing driver who races in Formula One for Red Bull Racing.

Sergio Perez began his career aged six. His ascent up the karting ranks was swift and, at one point required a special dispensation to allow him to compete in more powerful machinery outside his age group.

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Sergio Perez made the transition to single-seaters for 2004, heading north for the Skip Barber National Championship and soon after following the path taken by many of F1’s greats, moving to Europe to race in the thriving and highly competitive junior scene.

After two years in Formula BMW ADAC, Checo moved up to the British F3 Championship. He was a sensation in the National Class, taking 14 wins in 2007 on his way to the title. The next year he took four victories in the International Class, paving the way for the big leap into GP2. Having finished second in the 2010 GP2 Championship with five wins, he made the step up for 2011, joining Sauber. In a tough introductory F1 season he finished 16th in the Drivers’ Championship, but better was to follow when he took three remarkable podiums the following year.

Despite strong links with Ferrari, Checo opted to move to McLaren for 2013. After a difficult year in an uncompetitive car, Checo was on the move again for 2014, finding a berth with a Force India team where he remained until 2020. Exceptionally consistent, and able to extract the maximum from any opportunity, Checo’s seven seasons with the Silverstone-based outfit all resulted in top ten Drivers’ Championship finishes.

Checo made a name for himself as a serial stealer of podiums. Despite never being blessed with machinery capable of competing on merit at the front, he has nevertheless been able to record ten top-three finishes. Excellent tactical intelligence combined with the discipline to look after his tyres has made him a regular threat whenever chaos descends.

This was never more apparent than at last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix where, after running in the last place following a first-lap collision and pitstop, he was able to fight back through the field and take advantage of a late-race safety car to seize the lead and take his maiden F1 victory.

Victory at Sakhir helped Checo secure a career-high of fourth place in the Drivers’ Championship. It also saw him supplant Mark Webber as the F1 winner who had to wait for the longest for his first success. Like Mark before him, we have high hopes that the first victory is set to open the floodgates for many more.

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