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Sergio Pérez
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Born 26 January 1990
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Nationality Mexico Mexican
Formula One World Championship career
Years Active 2011 - 2013
Team(s) Sauber, McLaren
First Grand Prix 2011 Australian Grand Prix
Wins 0
Pole Positions 0
Fastest Laps 2
Podiums 3
Career Points 129
Final Grand Prix 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix

Sergio Pérez Mendoza (born January 26, 1990 in Guadalajara, Jalisco), also known as "Checo" Pérez, is a Mexican racing driver. Pérez, is the younger brother of former champion NASCAR Corona Series driver Antonio Pérez and was also a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy. Due to his young age and performance, he has been referred to as "The Mexican Wunderkind".

BiographyEdit

Pre-Formula OneEdit

Pérez began his career at the age of 6 years in karting in 1996. In his first year of competition he achieved four victories in the junior category at the end of the year and claimed the runner-up spot in the category. In 1997, Pérez participated in the karting Youth Class, where he was the youngest driver in the category and earned a win, five podiums and finished fourth in the championship.

In 1999, he raced in the 80 cc Shifter category, where he took three wins and finished third in the championship. Pérez also became the youngest driver to win a competition in the category, after obtaining special permission from the Federation to participate in the 80 cc Shifter.

Pérez moved to Europe for 2005 to compete in the German Formula BMW ADAC series. He finished fourteenth in the championship, driving for Team Rosberg, and improved to sixth position the following year. In the 2006–07 A1 Grand Prix season, Pérez took part in a single round of the championship for A1 Team Mexico. He was the third-youngest driver to take part in the series.

Pérez switched to the British Formula Three Championship for 2007. Pérez relocated his personal residence to Oxford. He competed in the National Class – for older chassis – with the T-Sport team, winning the championship by a comfortable margin. In the process, he won two-thirds of the races and a similar proportion of pole positions, and finished all but two races on the podium. For 2008, he and T-Sport graduated to the premier International Class of the championship, where he was one of the few drivers to be equipped with a Mugen Honda engine. After leading the championship early in the season, he eventually finished fourth in the drivers' standings.

Pérez drove for the Campos Grand Prix team in the 2008–09 GP2 Asia Series season, partnering Russian driver Vitaly Petrov. He was the first Mexican driver to compete at this level of motorsport since Giovanni Aloi took part in International Formula 3000 in 1990. He won his first race at Sakhir, winning from lights-to-flag in the sprint race having started from pole position. He added a second win at Losail, during the sprint race of the night meeting in Qatar. He moved to Arden International for the main 2009 GP2 Series season, driving alongside fellow Formula Three graduate Edoardo Mortara. Pérez finished twelfth in the standings, with a best result of second coming at Valencia.

Formula OneEdit

SauberEdit

On 4 October 2010, Sauber announced that Pérez would join the team in 2011, replacing Nick Heidfeld. Sauber subsequently announced a partnership with Pérez's sponsor Telmex. Pérez became the fifth Mexican to compete in Formula One, and the first since Héctor Rebaque competed between 1977 and 1981. Pérez also became a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy scheme in October 2010.

He passed the chequered flag in seventh place in his first race, the 2011 Australian Grand Prix, impressing observers by stopping to change tyres only once, becoming the only driver in the field to make fewer than two stops. However, both Sauber cars were subsequently disqualified for infringing technical regulations.

During the third part of qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, Pérez lost control of his car upon exiting the circuit's tunnel section, swung to the right and crashed into the barrier, before sliding across the chicane and hitting the TecPro barrier with a heavy side impact. Pérez was seen holding his hands around his head in an attempt to protect it just before the final impact. The session was suspended, and marshals and medical personnel extricated Pérez from his car. A Sauber team spokesman confirmed that Pérez was conscious and able to talk after the accident, and had been taken to the circuit's medical centre. He suffered a sprained thigh and concussion, and did not take part in the race the following day. After taking part in the first practice session of the Canadian Grand Prix, Pérez did not feel well enough and decided not to take any further part, and was replaced by Pedro de la Rosa.

Pérez returned for the European Grand Prix and finished eleventh after attempting to run the race on a one-stop strategy. Pérez took a career best seventh at the British Grand Prix. Pérez finished sixteenth in the Drivers' Championship with fourteen points. On 28 July, it was announced that Pérez would remain with Sauber into the 2012 season, alongside team-mate Kobayashi. On 13 September, Pérez tested for Ferrari as part of the Ferrari Driver Academy in a Ferrari F60, Ferrari's car from the 2009 season. Pérez conducted the test with fellow academy member Jules Bianchi.

Pérez started the season with eighth place at the 2012 Australian Grand Prix, losing several places on the final lap due to excessively-worn tyres. In the second round at Malaysia, he went on to battle with Fernando Alonso for the win. In the dying laps of the race he was able to close the gap to 0.5 seconds, but was not able to make the pass as he went wide at turn 14 and fell back, finishing 2.2 seconds behind Alonso in second. Many observers praised the performance of Pérez during the race despite his late-race error, taking Sauber's best result as an independent team.

He finished outside the points in the next four races – despite recording the fastest lap in Monaco – before Pérez achieved his second career podium at the Canadian Grand Prix, finishing the race in third place, having started fifteenth.

Pérez took his third podium at the Italian Grand Prix. On Saturday, he failed to qualify for Q3, and was twelfth on the grid. On Sunday, he put in a storming drive to climb through the field to second place, passing on track, among others, Kimi Räikkönen, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa and Alonso. Unlike most of the drivers in the field, Pérez started the race on hard tyres and changed to the medium tyres on lap 29, allowing him to lead the Grand Prix for five laps.

Ultimately, Pérez finished the season in tenth place in the Drivers' Championship with 66 points, 6 more than team-mate Kobayashi.

McLarenEdit

On 28 September 2012, Lewis Hamilton's decision to leave McLaren for Mercedes in 2013 was announced, and Pérez was subsequently confirmed as Hamilton's replacement. In the season-opening race in Australia, Pérez qualified 15th and finished in 11th position, later describing the weekend as "difficult" for himself and the team as a whole.

In the Bahrain GP, he started 12th on the grid and finishing 6th ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (8th) and his teammate Jenson Button (10th), with whom he had a fierce duel in which they touched on a couple of occasions, increasing the competition between drivers in McLaren on the following races. At the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix Pérez performed several aggressive overtaking moves, before retiring after colliding with Kimi Räikkönen. Following the incident Räikkönen said that Pérez should be "punched in the face". Pérez recorded a season-best fifth place finish in India, finishing four seconds shy of the podium, a result that left him "extremely satisfied".

Pérez confirmed on 13 November 2013 that he would be leaving McLaren at the end of the season to be replaced by Kevin Magnussen. On 12 December 2013 (exactly a month after it was announced he would leave McLaren), Force India confirmed Pérez would join Nico Hülkenberg in their driver line-up for 2014 in a 15 million Euro deal.

At the end of the season he finished in eleventh place in the Drivers' Championship with 49 points, his highest race finish being fifth place.

Helmet designEdit

For 2011 Perez's helmet featured the colours of the Mexican flag; red, white and green. The main body was red, with green on the top and two white bands running around the helmet. For 2012 and 2013 the red was replaced with florescent yellow. Also in 2013 one of the white bands was replaced with a white back to the helmet which moved to form two points eitehr side.

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 WDC Points
2011 Sauber F1 Team Sauber C30 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 AUS
DSQ
MAL
Ret
CHN
17
TUR
14
ESP
9
MON
DNS
CAN
PO
EUR
11
GBR
7
GER
11
HUN
15
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
SIN
10
JPN
8
KOR
16
IND
10
ABU
11
BRA
13
16th 14
2012 Sauber F1 Team Sauber C31 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 AUS
8
MAL
2
CHN
11
BHR
11
ESP
Ret
MON
11
CAN
3
EUR
9
GBR
Ret
GER
6
HUN
14
BEL
Ret
ITA
2
SIN
10
JPN
Ret
KOR
11
IND
Ret
ABU
15
USA
11
BRA
Ret
10th 66
2013 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-28 Mercedes FO 108Z 2.4 V8 AUS
11
MAL
9
CHN
11
BHR
6
ESP
9
MON
16
CAN
11
GBR
20
GER
8
HUN
9
BEL
11
ITA
12
SIN
8
KOR
10
JPN
15
IND
5
ABU
9
USA
7
BRA
6
11th 49

Driver failed to finish the race, but was classified as they had completed >90% of the race distance.

ReferencesEdit

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergio_P%C3%A9rez
  2. http://www.statsf1.com/en/sergio-perez.aspx

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