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Full Name at Birth
Sergio Pérez Mendoza
Date of Birth
Claim to Fame
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Team
Sergio Pérez Mendoza (born January 26, 1990 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, also known as "Checo" Pérez, is a Mexican racing driver, currently racing for Sauber in the 2011 Formula One season. Pérez, who currently resides in Berlin, Germany, is the younger brother of former champion NASCAR Corona Series driver Antonio Pérez and is also a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy.
Pérez competed in the United States-based Skip Barber National Championship in 2004. Driving for a team sponsored by Mexican telecommunications company Telmex, he finished eleventh in the championship.
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. 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 is 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 GP2 Asia Series 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. In the off-season, he contested two rounds of the 2009–10 GP2 Asia Series for Barwa Addax, ahead of a 2010 main series campaign with the team. He won five races, and finished second in the standings behind Pastor Maldonado.
In 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 is the fifth Mexican to compete in Formula One and the first since Héctor Rebaque in 1977–81.
He passed the chequered flag in seventh place in his first race, the 2011 Australian Grand Prix, impressing commentators by stopping to change tyres only once—the only driver in the field to make fewer than two stops. However, both Sauber cars were subsequently disqualified for infringing technical regulations. Pérez failed to repeat the result in Malaysia where body parts flew off Sebastien Buemi's Toro Rosso car and into the electrical system of Pérez's Sauber, forcing his retirement. The Chinese Grand Prix saw him start in 12th position and he struggled during the race as well as making contact with several drivers en route to 17th. In the Spain, Pérez collected his first classified points in ninth place, ahead of team mate Kamui Kobayashi in tenth.
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 on medical grounds.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. He was replaced by Pedro de la Rosa.