A brief biography of Force India driver Sergio Perez, including his career history and Formula One statistics
Although motor sports is clearly in his family genes - his brother Antonio competes in the NASCAR Mexico Series - Sergio Perez nearly decided to pursue a career in playing football before taking up karting instead. Like many, Perez started karting at a young age in his native Mexico and enjoyed plenty of early success.
After amassing a total of five karting titles, Perez moved to single-seaters in 2004 in the US Skip Barber National Championship having picked up backing from Mexican telecommunications giant Telmex. The following year he moved to Europe to compete in Germany’s Formula BMW ADAC series with Team Rosberg, where he took a podium in only his second outing.
Perez represented Team Mexico in the China round of the 2006-7 A1 World Cup of Motorsport and then switched to the British Formula 3 Championship where he won the National Class in 2007. He then spent two years in GP2 where he finished as runner-up to Pastor Maldonado in 2010 with five wins.
That brought him an offer from Sauber to race in Formula One the following year, and despite driving for a small team Perez impressed by claiming three podiums in 2012 including runner-up spots in Malaysia and Italy. Inevitably that attracted teams with big money to his door, and ultimately it was McLaren that secured his signature in 2013 as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton who had made a shock move to Mercedes.
Unfortunately 2014 was not a happy season for either team or driver, and Perez was let go at the end of the year. Force India saw an opportunity to pick up a major talent and swooped in to offer him a seat alongside Nico Hülkenberg for 2014. Perez quickly rewarded their faith in him with a podium in his third outing with the team in Bahrain. Three more podiums have followed since, as Perez has repeatedly shown himself to be an exciting, talented driver able to turn mediocre equipment into a major threat by executing some daringly unusual racing strategies.
2015 saw Perez deliver some excellent results in the second half of the season and he finished ahead of his team mate Nico Hulkenberg by 20 points. 2016 started again with difficulty, the VJM09 proving uncompetitive at first but upgrades brought to the Barcelona race helped turn the season around, two podiums at Monaco and Baku the highlights of a season in which Force India achieved fourth place, their best ever finish in the constructors championship.