Rookie Report 2011: Sergio Perez

The next rookie we’re taking a look at is Sergio Perez, the Mexican driver will be joining the Sauber team alongside one of last years rookies, Kamui Kobayashi. He will be replacing Nick Heidfeld, who is still looking for a seat, and brings with him substantial backing from Telmex, a large telecoms company from his home nation. Perez is already aware of fellow rookie Pastor Maldonado’s skills, being a competitor in the same GP2 series, but finished just behind him last year.

During the Abu Dhabi Young Driver’s Test he came within a couple of tenths of future teammate, Kobayashi. He was also involved in the Pirelli tyre test gaining valuable experience not only with the car, but the new rubber. He may be young at 20 years old, but he has been working with top teams since joining the BMW series on 2005.

So how did he end up at Sauber?

The Perez family not only has a Formula One driver to its name, his older brother Antonio has competed in the NASCAR Corona Series. With fuel in his veins he made his single-seater debut on the racing track in 2004 in the United States, in the Skip Barber National Championship. He drove for a Telmex sponsored team and came 11th overall.

Part of the Ferrari Driver Academy

Like many international drivers before him, he moved to Europe and headed over to Germany to race in the Formula BMW ADAC series, driving for Team Rosberg he ended the year in 14th, still competing in 2006 he improved to a P6. During the same year he took part in one round of the A1 Grand Prix for A1 Team Mexico, becoming the 3rd youngest driver to do so.

A move from Germany to Britain allowed him to compete in the British Formula Three Championship for T-Sport in 2007, and won the title with ease, winning the majority of his races. In 2008 Perez and his team moved from the National to International class, and ended the year in 4th.

Barwa Addax in Bahrain 2009

His graduation into the Asian GP2 series got him a seat at Campos Grand Prix for the 2008-2009 season, and a partnership with current Renault driver Vitaly Petrov. He joined Arden International for the main GP2 series in 2009 and finished 12th, he finished second behind Pastor Maldonado in 2010 with Barwa Addax Team. Then on October 4th 2010, it was confirmed by Sauber that he would be driving for the team in 2011.

He may have slipped into Formula One relatively quietly, which may play in his favour, but his experience has prepared him for his toughest year yet. As well as being part of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Perez has been ‘training like hell’ to get race fit and moving to Switzerland to be closer to the team.

Will he make an impact this year? Will he take any overtaking lessons from his new teammate? Only time will tell…

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by rookief1, rookief1. rookief1 said: New Blog Post: Rookie Report – Sergio Perez, sneaking up on the competition > #F1 […]

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