|Born||January 26, 1990||Nationality||Mexican|
|Team||McLaren||F1 Debut||Australia 2011|
|Career statistics to end 2012|
|Pole Position(s)||-||Fastest Lap(s)||1|
He’s too immature to be in a top team – or is he? Ferrari’s Luca di Montezemolo said so, but McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh has taken a punt on the 23-year-old Mexican even though he concedes there are edges that still need to be smoothed.
Curiously, Perez’s early-season form of 2012 – remember his thrilling pursuit of Alonso at Sepang? – deserted him as soon as the announcement of his switch from Sauber had been made.
But he ended the year with three podiums in Malaysia, Canada and Monza, with his Montreal performance probably the highlight of his year, along with a fastest lap in Monaco.
Too often, though, the cameras caught him gesticulating frantically at other drivers when the going got a little too rough for his liking and that’s a trait ‘Checo’ will need to get rid of as he settles in alongside super-smooth Jenson Button.
There’s no lack of confidence: he has already said that in his first year as a Woking driver “the biggest challenge is to win”.
“I think definitely when you come into McLaren you are expected to win every race because you are in the best team,” he said. “And if you are not winning, there is something wrong.”
The last time a Mexican won in F1 was in Belgium in 1970, when Pedro Rodriguez starred for BRM: can former GP2 runner-up Perez, who was 10th overall last year, bridge that wide gap?