Sahara Force India have announced Sergio Perez as their second driver for the 2014 season and beyond.
The 23-year-old Mexican completes Sahara Force India’s 2014 line-up alongside Nico Hulkenberg and helps create one of the most exciting pairings on the grid.
The move means a whole new line up for the Silverstone team. Scottish driver Paul di Resta is now certain to join the Indy Car series in America, possibly taking his cousin Dario Franchitti’s seat at Gannasi. Whilst Adrian Sutil is looking to stay in the sport with another team, probably Sauber.
Sergio Perez has been struggling for pace in Shanghai. His first two practice sessions were blighted by incidents, in Practice 1 he ran straight on at the pit lane entry and broke his front wing, whilst in Free Practice 2 he found himself sliding off backwards around the fast Turn 7 Turn 8 complex, flat-spotting his tyres and lightly touching the barrier with the right rear of his Mclaren.
The young Mexican conceded that the two Friday sessions were not perfect preparation for Sundays race and that his incidents have left him lacking in confidence and feeling uneasy “Today was a difficult day for me, but an important one for the team. Still, I’m sure we will improve tomorrow.”
Perez is pining his hopes on changing the cars balance before Free Practice 3 on Saturday, “I’ll effectively be starting from zero because I’ll adopt a completely new set-up.”
Gary Paffett had begun work back in the Mclaren simulator in Woking straight after the sessions in China, to find a different set up which may help Sergio get back up to speed and on the right track for the rest of the weekend. The pair even had a conversation on Twitter to complement each others work:
He was born in 1990 in the city of Guadalajara in Mexico, a city twinned with Seville, Frankfurt and Milan. Milan is where the Italian Grand Prix is staged at the Monza circuit – the second home of Ferrari. He is also called ‘Checo’ by his friends and those closest to him.
He lives in Switzerland, close to the Sauber F1 team factory. His hobbies include: Karting, Football, Yoga, Gym and Golf. His favourite circuits are: Monaco, Monza and Spa. His favourite food is: Tortas ahogadas (which is a popular dish in Guadalajara and consists of a sandwich ‘drowned’ in Chili) basically a Kebab.
The 22 year old started his racing career in German Formula BMW’s in 2005 and 2006. After a couple of medicore years, he moved to do British Formula Three in 2007 where he pretty much dominated, almost always on Pole Position and almost never off the podium. He wrapped up the championship with ease.
In 2008, the next step was to continue in Formula Three but to also race in the GP2 Asia Series. He started the season well in F3, but began to fade as the season wore on, he finished 4th with four wins. In GP2, he was team mate with current Caterham driver, Vitaly Petrov. Sergio won races in Bahrain and Qatar and ended up 7th overall in the championship.
In 2009 he enters the full season of GP2 and finishes 12th in the standings. In 2010 he does another full year of GP2, wins 5 races, including Monaco, and finishes second in the championship, just behind Pastor Maldonado. At the end of the year he is announced as a Sauber F1 driver for 2011, followed by the announcement a couple of days later that he was joined up to the new Ferrari Driver Academy.
In 2011, Checo impresses many onlookers with some solid results and is re-announced as a Sauber driver for 2012. He is also provided with an opportunity to test a Ferrari as part of the Ferrari Driver Academy Scheme.
In 2012 as we all know, he took on Fernando Alonso for victory in the rain-soaked Malaysian Grand Prix and just narrowly missed out.
‘Checo’ has already proven that he is capable of driving at the highest level, and perhaps a better level than current Ferrari driver Felipe Massa. With him also being part of Ferrari’s Academy set-up, it is very likely that he will be the next Ferrari driver. The question now is when?