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Force India hail Perez as F1's most underrated driver

  • Published on 01 May 2018 17:15
  • comments 9
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Force India has offered its praise to Sergio Perez, who claimed his eighth career podium in Formula 1 on Sunday. The Mexican passed Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas in a matter of metres towards the end of the race, with Vettel struggling with a flat spot and Bottas driving with a puncture.

It marked the first time Perez made an appearance inside the top ten since the season kicked off over a month ago in Australia. Despite previously being a part of Ferrari's driver academy and spending the 2013 season as a McLaren driver, Force India says it can't believe the 28-year-old is being overlooked by top teams.

"I feel for Sergio in many ways because I think he is possibly the most underrated F1 driver out there," said Force India's deputy team principal Bob Fernley to Sky F1. "As a racer he's amazing and, not that we would ever want to lose him, but I think it's criminal that he's been overlooked."

Perez has long been linked as Kimi Raikkonen's eventual replacement at Ferrari, and Perez thinks that his time with a top team will come if he continues to impress. The former Sauber racer believes he still has much more to offer in the sport.

"I still feel that there is so much more I can do in the sport," he said. "I also feel that my time will come because I work really hard, I really put my effort in to have an opportunity and I feel I deserve to have a car to show my full potential. There hasn't been an opportunity or vacancy in the top teams. If you want to do something in Formula 1 you really have to be in one of those teams."

Replies (9)

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  • Always said it he should be in Kim's seat he'd be challenging SV more than KR has been. He is so quick in a rubbish car, imagine him in a RB or even a Renault.

    • + 1
    • May 1 2018 - 17:57
  • I remember Perez standout performances from GP2. Even though that year Pastor Maldonado was champion, I remember being more impressed by Perez than Maldonado. Other than that year at McLaren, Perez has been on an upward trajectory since he arrived at Sauber. I would love to see him get a top drive. I don't count that McLaren from 2013 as a top drive.

    • + 2
    • May 1 2018 - 19:01
    • I almost dont count that year at McLaren. Was probably too early for him, but ever since then he has cooled off and done really well. A far better pick than say Grosjean.

      • + 1
      • May 1 2018 - 19:33
    • Kean

      Posts: 692

      2013 was a really bad year for any driver to join McLaren. Can't really blame Perez for that year, he was still fairly new to F1 and I imagine McLaren as being an extremely high pressure environment, it was just too soon for him. Also, I recall Button as not being the best of team mates that year. When Ron Dennis chose to go with Magnussen instead (against Martin Whitmarsh wishes), Martin Whitmarsh said to Perez "Prove us wrong", and I for one think he has done so and then some..

      • + 1
      • May 1 2018 - 20:24
  • Kean

    Posts: 692

    Personally the only drivers I rate higher than Perez on the current grid are Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and Ricciardo. And I rate Hülkenberg, Bottas and Ocon just about as high as Perez. Hulk and Ocon might be slightly faster over one lap, but not by much, and the way Perez races, the way he handles the tyres is really impressive.

    (No I have not omitted Verstappen by mistake, sure he's incredibly fast but if all you bring to your driving is heart and guts and no brains, then we're gonna see the high rate of failure we're seeing now. Failures that cost points and positions in championships.)

    • + 0
    • May 1 2018 - 20:18
  • I think hes right up there on Hamilton level...

    • + 0
    • May 2 2018 - 17:28
    • He could very well be. I'd love to see Perez in a top 3 tier car.

      • + 0
      • May 2 2018 - 18:54
  • Alonzo

    Posts: 66

    He's been impressive ever since he joined F1... Think about this: he has 8 podiums in F1, all with Sauber (3) & Force India (5)... In Force India's 11 year history they have 6 podiums, 5 by Perez... So yeah, he's one the best, & the most underrated for sure...
    I would be eyeballing him if I was Renault or McClaren, Doubt the Ferrari seat will ever be a real thing...

    • + 1
    • May 2 2018 - 18:43
  • He rarely makes mistakes....gets loads of positions at the start at just about every race and drags performance out of a slower car. Makes the right calls ion strategy and is super quick. Teams seem to always look to young talent in the hope of finding the next Max, he's as quick as anyone including LH and SV.

    • + 0
    • May 3 2018 - 09:56

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  • Team Mercedes
  • Points 1,381
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  • Grand Prix 126
  • Country FI
  • Date of b. Aug 28 1989 (31)
  • Place of b. Nastola, FI
  • Weight 70 kg
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