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Sergio Perez has been racing in Formula 1 for over a decade and he has become a true veteran of the sport. Better known by his nickname ‘Checo’, he has become renowned for his defensive prowess and tire management, both of which provoked another nickname as the ‘Mexican Minister of Defence’.
World Championships 🏆
Race Wins 🏁
Debut Race 🏎️
27 March 2011
The 33-year-old has been one of the most consistent drivers over the last 10 years and now stands as one of the championship contenders for Red Bull this season.
Formula 1’s Ever Present Journeyman Gets Another Go
Perez started his career with Sauber in 2011, where he became the first Mexican Formula 1 driver in over 30 years. Aged just 21, he started his career off well by providing fans with entertaining battles and displaying his high potential. But it was his second season where he truly shined.
He finished the 2012 campaign with three magnificent podiums and took10th place in the standings with 66 points, despite having six DNF’s. Perez’ excellent performances with Sauber raised speculation that he would replace Felipe Massa for Ferrari. However, after being deemed too inexperienced, it was McLaren who took the chance.
It was a dream come true for Perez, joining a legendary team like McLaren, but it ended up as more of a nightmare. His new car, the MP4-28, proved to be no match for his previous podium earning Sauber and he struggled to adapt to his new team. His teammate, Jenson Button, earned nearly twice as many points as the Mexican, which inevitably meant that Pérez’ time as a McLaren driver was up after just one season.
Great Time with Force India
After leaving the British giants, Perez teamed up with Force India, which became his home for five seasons. Over two thirds of his total Formula 1 race entries were under the flag of Force India, and he became a solid midtable driver while doing so. Over those five years, he earned another five podiums and never finished below tenth in the driver’s standings.
Then, it was time for a change as Force India was bought by Racing Point. A successful three years followed for Perez, and he earned his first race victory at the 2020 Sakhir GP. The Mexican found himself in last position on the second lap after a calamitous crash with Charles Leclerc, but he miraculously managed to show incredible pace to end the race 10 seconds ahead of second place. It was a race to remember, and for Christian Horner, it was enough to bring the driver to Red Bull Racing team.
Move to Red Bull Racing
Perez’ most successful years in the sport so far have unquestionably been with his current team, Red Bull. So far, he has gathered 17 podiums and three victories while racing for the team from Milton Keynes and he has played a significant role in winning last season’s constructor’s championship.
His most significant moments as a Red Bull driver came in his first season where he used his defensive expertise to keep his teammate, Max Verstappen, in the driver’s championship fight. Perez stopped the tyrannical Lewis Hamilton gaining crucial points, not once, but twice that season. The Mexican has continued to show those same levels of teamwork for his team, and Verstappen himself labelled the driver as a “legend” for his help.
The Making of Sergio Perez, the Mexican “Minister of Defence”
Sergio Perez was born in Guadalajara in 1990, the capital of the Mexican state Jalisco, which is famous for Tequila and Mariachi bands. His father, Antonio Perez Garibay is a successful business owner who was previously heavily involved with the running of his son’s former Formula 1 team, Force India.
His brother, Antonio Perez Mendoza was also a racing driver, who appeared in the Mexican NASCAR series and his sister, Paola, worked as a commercial manager for both brothers.
A Family Man First, a Formula One Driver Second
Perez is married to Carola Martinez, who is also from Guadalajara. The pair held a relatively secretive relationship until they announced that they were having a child in 2017. They were married a year later and now have two children with Sergio JR, born in December 2017, and Carlota, born in September 2019. Martinez often accompanies her husband to Formula 1 races and shares pictures of her travelling experiences on her social media.
How Much Is Sergio Perez Making and What is His Net Worth?
‘Checo’ currently has a net worth of $30 million and is reportedly earning around £8 million a year with his Red Bull contract which is due to end in 2025. Last year, he entered his very own team into theUIM E1 World Championship, an electric boat racing series, under the name of ‘Team Mexico.’
- Full name: Carlos Sainz Vazquez de Castro
- DOB: 26 January 1990
- Age: 33
- Place of Birth: Guadalajara, Mexico
- Nationality: Mexican
- Team: Red Bull Racing F1 Team
- Race number: #11
Racing to the Very Top: How Sergio Perez Made It to Formula 1
Like the majority of Formula 1 drivers, Perez started his motorsport career in go-karting. Aged just seven, he participated in the karting Youth Class, where he was the youngest driver in the category. Despite his age, he finished fourth in the championship with five podiums and one victory.
After several successful seasons in karting, he moved to Europe to race in the German Formula BMW Series for 4speed Media. It was a difficult first year for the then 15-year-old, who had to live in a restaurant for four months. He could only manage to finish 14th in the standings that season, but massively improved in the following year to finish sixth.
His performances earned a move to the illustrious Formula 3 series, which saw his family move to Oxfordshire. He competed in the national class in his first Formula 3 season with T-Sport, which he won comfortably after winning two thirds of the total races. Perez moved into the highest class and continued to impress. He ended the campaign in fourth place which led to a promotion to the GP2 Series.
He spent three seasons in the GP2 Series, racing for Campos Grand Prix and Arden International. In 2010, he finished second in the championship after five race victories, but it was Pastor Maldonado who beat him to the title. Despite failing to take the crown, his talent still warranted a move to Formula 1 with Sauber. The rest was history.
Could We See a Championship for Perez This Season?
It has been a great start to the season for Red Bull, with a one-two finish to kick things off and for Perez, there is potential for greatness. The RB19 is unquestionably one of the fastest cars on the grid and it looks like one of the biggest battles of the season could be from within the team itself. Max Verstappen eased to victory in Bahrain, with both Red Bulls over 25 seconds ahead of the competition and Pérez made quick work of anyone in his way.
Last season saw some bitterness show between the two drivers as Pérez began to show signs of agitation over his teammate’s domination. Now, he has the chance to take the star light for himself, and in equal machinery – there is every chance of doing so and the bookies see him as one of the main favourites to win the F1 championship at average odds of 14/1 (15.00).