Team: Sahara Force India F1 Team
Car No.: 11
Podiums (excluding wins): 1
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Laps Led: 11
Championship Position: 10th
Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)
Talk about landing on your feet. After being jilted by McLaren at the end of 2013, Sergio Perez sought refuge at Force India and, after just three races, finished on the podium following a great performance in Bahrain.
It would ultimately be the peak of Checo’s season, but the rest of the year saw a number of impressive performances. He was in the running to win the Canadian Grand Prix until the last lap of the race when he crashed into Felipe Massa, and he managed to pick up a good haul of points towards the end of the year despite the team’s development tailing off.
Checo told MST back in July that his move to Force India was a “blessing in disguise”, and it is true. Like Massa, he is in a better place than he was 12 months ago, enjoying his racing without the pressure of the bigger teams. With a Mexican Grand Prix on the cards next year and a new multi-year deal with Force India signed, the future looks very bright for Sergio Perez in F1.
Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)
Sergio Perez was lucky to land where he did at Force India for 2014 given how late in the 2013 season he was notified he’d not be returning to McLaren. Perez is starting to settle into a “perennial midfield” role, and after a year where he struggled at McLaren it was a case of a largely welcome return.
Perez was consistent, for one thing, with 12 points scoring results in 19 races. He hit the high points higher, securing that impressive podium in Bahrain, and also with a decent run to sixth in Austria including the fastest race lap.
But he also made a couple silly mistakes – his contact with Felipe Massa at Montreal was frustrating, and his first-lap contact with Adrian Sutil’s Sauber in Austin was unnecessary. Maybe it was the North American races getting to him a year before his own home country of Mexico hosts a Grand Prix for the first time since Perez was just a couple years old. Either way, a respectable campaign he can build on in 2015.