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Sergio Perez

The lowdown on Sergio Perez

Lee McKenzie's view

"Sergio Perez, better known as Checo, has really grown up during his six years in Formula 1. He's always been a talented driver and well-supported by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, once the richest man in the world.

"Checo had some solid results at Sauber and was then thrown into McLaren in 2013 to replace Lewis Hamilton but that switch didn't really work out. He was also part of the Ferrari young driver programme but the Italian team chose not to put him in their car. 

"These sort of things can give you a reality check and make you work harder and this is what Checo needed, to be given a bit of a kick and in 2016 he was on the podium twice.

"He is also known for being so good at making tyres last. If there is an opportunity for a one-stop race he'll be the one still karting around after 43 laps and that gives him the edge on a lot of the other drivers."

Extremely quick, but erratic, where would Sergio Perez be if only he could nail down some consistency? 

A star in GP2, the Mexican graduated to F1 with Sauber in 2011, scoring points on his debut in Melbourne to underline his obvious potential.

A massive accident at Monaco - in which he was fortunate to escape serious injury - disrupted his maiden season, but he was superb in his sophomore year, nearly winning in Malaysia, before adding two more podium finishes to his tally.

That earned him a switch to McLaren, but the move couldn’t have come at a worse time and after failing to score a podium all year, the two parted ways.

Force India stepped in to save his career and Perez delivered with a third-place finish in Bahrain - only the team’s second podium in F1.

A maturing Perez continued to develop in 2015, overshadowing his highly respected team-mate Nico Hulkenberg and returning to the podium again in Sochi.

There was more of the same in 2016 as Perez finished a career-best seventh in the driver standings and added podiums in Monaco and Baku.