Sergio Pérez



Red Bull

Date of birth:

January 26, 1990

Country of birth:



Sergio Pérez will primarily be remembered as Max Verstappen’s second-in-command. However, it was a close call for the Mexican driver, who almost didn’t continue his career in Formula 1.

The Unexpected Beginning of a Second Life in Formula 1

What seemed like the end of Sergio Pérez’s Formula 1 career was actually the beginning of his second life in the premier class. Ironically, it was through a thin hotel wall that the Mexican heard his ever-boisterous team boss, Lawrence Stroll, announce that he had contracted Sebastian Vettel for 2021 – at Pérez’s expense.

Red Bull to the Rescue

By then, Pérez had already had a commendable stint in Formula 1. With teams like Sauber and Force India, later Racing Point, he proved himself as a very stable mid-fielder who was capable of more on his day, even securing podium places. Although a mid-term adventure with McLaren turned out to be a flop, Pérez had little to complain about until he accidentally overheard Stroll. 2020 was one of his best seasons in Formula 1, and most of the seats for 2021 were already taken.

However, Pérez didn’t give up. The cunning Mexican always knew how to appreciate a golden opportunity, and he did so at the Grand Prix of Sakhir, on the shortened track in Bahrain where he claimed a surprising victory. It was enough to convince Red Bull, which was still undecided about continuing with Alexander Albon. The energy drink manufacturer’s team was looking for an experienced force to pair with Max Verstappen, and Pérez had put himself in the spotlight.

Settling In

At Red Bull, Pérez publicly stated that he hoped to compete for titles, but that didn’t happen. He was a notch too small for Verstappen. In his first season, he willingly accepted his role as a second-in-command. In the decisive race in Abu Dhabi, he played a crucial role by significantly slowing down Lewis Hamilton, allowing Verstappen to eventually snatch the title. Pérez knew his chance would come, and it did. In Azerbaijan, he was allowed to stand on the highest step of the podium for the second time in his career. This is Pérez at his best: always strong in chaotic races and a specialist on street circuits.

Pérez underscored these qualities in 2022, with victories in Monaco and Singapore. Although the first was controversial due to his later controversial qualifying crash. After Monaco, Pérez also dreamed of the title again, but Verstappen quickly put him in his place as Red Bull’s number two. Later in the season, a dispute over team orders added a bitter edge. The biggest win, apart from his two victories in 2022, was that Pérez already had a new contract for another two years. In it, Pérez will have to fit into his role as a wingman again. Otherwise, he might hear Red Bull bosses Helmut Marko and Christian Horner having a similar conversation as Stroll.

2023: Mistakes

In 2023, after a good start to the season, Pérez thought he could become world champion, and all of Mexico thought so with him. Insiders knew better: no one could match Max Verstappen within Red Bull. The Dutch reigning world champion set the record straight in Miami, for example, by winning from P9 and showing Pérez who was the best. The Mexican took a hit and subsequently made mistakes in several Grands Prix in a row. In 2023, he also failed to reach the final phase of qualifying five times in a row. This even led to speculations about his seat at Red Bull.

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