Sergio Perez, Force India, Shanghai International Circuit, 2018

Force India results show I’m as good as anyone – Perez

2018 F1 season

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Sergio Perez says the results he’s achieved at Force India show he can be a match for any driver in F1.

Perez finished seventh in the championship in 2016 and 2017, behind the drivers in the six quickest cars.

“Finishing seventh in Formula One, you’re working at a very high level, working with the best engineers in the world with the best technology,” he said.

“Seventh can be as good as a world champion in terms of the work and the speed that you’ve done. It’s what really matters to me that if I come here and I have a car that is capable of finishing 14th and I bring it home 12th, that’s a massive merit.”

Perez spent a single season at McLaren in 2013, but it proved the first of five win-less seasons for the team and he left at the end of the year.

“I still have my aim one day I will get the chance to fight for the best possible results because I believe I am as good as anyone here,” he said.

“But in Formula One it’s so much down to the potential of your team and your car. I hope that soon I can get an opportunity to show my full capacity.”

While top teams including vacancies have vacancies in the driver line-ups for 2019, Perez said he doesn’t understand why he hasn’t been suggested as a candidate.

“I don’t know what the reason for that [is]. I think I’ve been doing a very strong job in the past seasons so in that side there is not a lot I can do. It’s hard to show.

“I finish in the last two years seventh in the championship, in the front mix. So it’s hard for people to realise but I’m sure when they look at the performance. It’s not a coincidence I’ve beaten good drivers such as [Nico] Hulkenberg, the time we spent together. I believe I can be as good as anyone out there.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 58 comments on “Force India results show I’m as good as anyone – Perez”

    1. You’re underrated Checo, get used to it

      1. Is he @johnmilk? Honest question. Since he’s one of the candidates to replace Kimi at Ferrari I’d like to get a better understanding.

        1. @m-bagattini on forums and pages like this he certainly is.

          On the paddock I don’t know, if we take his comments appears to me that it is the same.

          There are/were minor rumours that he could replace Kimi, but the strength of those rumours never were great, at least it felt that it could easily go into other drivers way, such as Grosjean, who I personally rate lower than Perez

      2. Tbh I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t rate Perez very well. You have loads of people who don’t think Hulk, Grosjean, Sainz, etc are that good, and yet I hardly ever see anything putting Perez down. At worst people think he’s not quite as good as Ocon, from my personal experience. I don’t think he’s underrated or overrated, I think he’s about as good as the majority think he is.

        1. I think the contrary Grosjean and Sainz are overrated, Hulk is considered very good, rightfully so, and Perez is at Hulk’s level

          1. But people don’t rate him as high

            This was meant to finish the previous sentence

          2. I think Hulk is considered very good by some, and not so good by others. He has a much wider range of what people think of him, similarly to Grosjean and Sainz, who some think are ready for Ferrari/Red Bull, and others not. Perez however, whether people think he’s ready for Ferrari or not, has a much smaller range of what people think of him, no one thinks he’s a poor driver really, bar of course some anomalies. But in general, there’s a much smaller range of his perceived ability amongst fans compared to other ‘upper midfield’ drivers is the point I’m sort of trying to explain.

        2. Rating the Haas, Renault and Force India drivers I would say:

          1. Ocon
          2. Magnussen
          3. Perez
          4. Hulkenberg
          5. Grosjean
          6. Sainz

          I don’t think there is much between them on pace and all have the ability to hang on to good situations. Grosjean and Sainz particularly seems prone to drifting towards poor finishes and never come back from poor starts, slowing to the pace of the cars around them. Perez seems to be the most solid and consistent except when someone tries to pass him, Hulkenberg is possibly the fastest but mistake prone, and Magnussen is the best in wheel to wheel racing. However Ocon is probably the best combination of the three and with most potential to improve.

          1. You must be a Dane.

            Nothing else would explain the rubbish above.

      3. “I don’t know what the reason for that [is]…

        Ummm…how bout because you’re not even as good as your near rookie team mate?

        How bout that?

      4. @johnmilk I would tend to agree. Between him and Kobayashi (miss that guy) they drove the wheels off of the 11/12 Saubers. Man those were great seasons. Even with the finger dominating. So many world champions duking it out.

      5. Perez must show something extraordinary to claim a seat at a top team.

        If he can beat Ocon with a geat margin in quali and race.

        If he can do what Magnussen is doing to Grosjean or Hulkenberg is doing to Sainz.

        If he can overtake and defend faster cars like Magnussen (Verstappen, Sainz) and Hulkenberg (Vettel).

        It’s simple Perez – show it.

    2. Perez really is a very good driver, and it’s a shame that he has been looked over by the top teams. People often call Hulkenberg (my favorite driver) underrated, but he often gets a lot of praise in the paddock…in fact it’s Perez who is truly underrated. I don’t even think his time at McLaren was that bad. He beat Button in qualifying and was better than him in the last 5 or 6 races that season i.e. he was clearly improving and put in some very good performances in the second half of the season (his drive in India, for example). He continued to improve greatly when he was in Force India with Hulkenberg, especially in qualifying.

      Unfortunately, now he has to cope with Ocon who is seemingly equally good, but with more potential to improve, so his chances of getting another drive at a top team seem sadly distant at the moment. If he wants to make the big boys notice him again he’ll have to wipe the floor with Ocon…and that will be very difficult to achieve.

    3. I think he is a very good candidate for Ferrari considering they always try to bring experienced and “consolidated” Drivers

    4. “I don’t know what the reason for that [is]. I think I’ve been doing a very strong job in the past seasons so in that side there is not a lot I can do. It’s hard to show.”

      Because in F1 Checo some people (Verstappen, Danny Ric etc.) are deemed to have “it” and others (Bottas, Hulk, you) aren’t. It isn’t fair (or correct as far as I’m concerned, but that is how it is.

      1. Agreed. I don’t think his time at McLaren particularly helped, either. It was a little too much too soon, but after that great year with Sauber you could see why they picked him up. It just happened to coincide with a team in decline.

        1. Kimi was picked by McLaren way much too soon but managed to capitalize on it, in spite of all the reliability problems the team was experiencing in 2002-03.

        2. @ecwdanselby the funniest thing about Checo’s career so far, is that he managed to reach the podium with every single team he has been with, except McLaren

    5. Generally, all drivers that reach Formula 1 are very good and there is not a lot between them. Few are exceptionally good and the best teams try to hold onto those. For the rest, it is all about timing, good management and bit of luck.

      1. Very true. Fan parochialism doesn’t help either

    6. He missed a great opportunity to further his career by not taking the Renault offer. I get him wanting to be the best car at the time, to give him the best shop window for the Ferrari seat, but so many drivers have wasted their careers waiting for Kimi to retire/finally be shown the door… Hulkenberg grabbed that chance and is currently their leading driver, and Perez is yet to score a point, potentially only to see Riccardo take the seat he’s been waiting for, or Kimi to keep on going! You could say the same for Grosjean but I don’t think he’s nearly as good as he thinks he is. Perez and Hulkenberg are the biggest unfulfilled talents for me.

      1. @jmc200 Grosjean has shown flashes of surprising speed, but his inconsistency given his experience is equally astonishing.

    7. His window has been and gone. He wasn’t good enough at McLaren. Now his teammate is just as good as him, if not better. I don’t see him being picked up by a top team now. They have their junior programmes for that. The best he can hope for is to continue at FI or a move to HASS, which is probably a sideways step at best.

      1. He Is a better driver now than when he was at McLaren

    8. I guess it’ that time of the year where Checo has to remind everyone he’s over achieving and that he’s as good as it gets. He’s a solid driver, but he’s had his chance in a top team already. There’s a generation of drivers that are as good as him who haven’t got their shot. I think Perez just needs to learn a little from Hulkenberg on this matter.

      1. so you don’t like guys that sell themselves…interesting choice of profile picture

        1. @johnmilk

          Maybe it depends on what they’re selling. Some products are better than others. ;)

      2. He’s had his chance in a top team already.

        No, he hasn’t. McLaren may have been a top team in 2012, but were no longer there when Perez joined in 2013. This is evidenced by Button’s drop from 6 podiums with 3 wins to a best finish of a single fourth place in 2013.

    9. I think he’s a better driver than Nico Rosberg and given Rosberg was at Merc he is easily worth a drive at Ferrari. (in my humble opinion).

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        19th April 2018, 16:47

        Nico was also an underrated driver – he was at Mercedes before Mercedes became the WCC winning team they are but Nico did pretty well against Michael Schumacher. I’ve said many times that Nico was trying to outscore Michael Schumacher and wasn’t always racing for the best possible result but he did outscore him.

        That being said, I genuinely disliked Nico but I think he was a decent driver and when it came to winding tracks, he was actually outstanding.

        I’m not sure if Perez would do well at Ferrari – he needs a bit more pace for the top cars. Even Ricciardo is struggling for pace at a top team in quali and the race and everyone thought he was one of the best qualifiers in the world which he is (some days).

      2. Perez talks about being underrated, Rosberg definitely was underrated, he only got outqualified by the man with the most poles ever 42-36 (can’t find the delta though), and won a WDC against him, mechanical failures or not, he still won. And yet Rosberg is considered by many as an ‘above average at best’ driver.

        1. Rosberg was without doubt one of the fastest drivers in F1, as evidenced by his qualifying effort against Hamilton. But his race craft was terrible!

          1. But his race craft was terrible!

            @nick101 True (mostly) but at least he knew his limitations and usually drove within them. Whereas they are other drivers with the same terrible race craft who don’t.

            1. That’s just it though. Perez’s race craft is pretty good. He seems to make good decisions during the race, has a good appreciation of risk, that nonsense with Ocon last year being an exception.

    10. Can’t say I know a lot about Perez as I don’t follow him closely, but I would just say what I would say of all drivers in F1. They’re all good, some of them better then others, but the defining time comes when they have the car capable of race wins and Championships and it is only then that we see how they do when the pressure is at it’s greatest. Perez has yet to race under conditions of the greatest pressure, so we don’t really know how he would do, other than we know he can drive an F1 car well. There is more to it than that.

    11. He’s always struck above his weight, but in non-obvious, non-Verstappen-esque ways. The entire Hulkenberg era was weird, because while Hulkenberg was continually being touted as “the next big thing” Perez was quietly going about his business matching or bettering him.

      Now he’s having the same situation with “the next big thing” in Ocon, despite effectively out performing him. I’m not sure if this is a behind the scenes F1 bureaucracy thing, a status quo thing or what, but it’s pretty annoying an obvious to me. He should be at Ferrari.

      1. Perez is a fantastic driver and given the right car he will not disappoint. In only his second year in F1 he almost won a race in a sauber. Had he not made a small mistake his story would have been different.

    12. Perez should have gone to Renault when there was a chance a year or two ago, at least it’s a manufacturer team with a stable platform and the potential of fighting for the title a few years down the road. I’m not sure now as the boat might have sailed …… moreover, he’s not linked with any other teams at this time when so many openings are out there.

    13. Sure, I’d agree that Perez is somewhat underrated. But “as good as anyone”? Along with being underrated, he’s living on Planet Fantasy F1, which located between his ears. The ability to accurately self-assess is a critical skill in all walks of life and something that’s been missing with Checo, IMO.

    14. @partofthepuzzle Perez always considered Hulkenberg to be one of the best drivers on the grid and his strongest teammate ever, so maybe that’s where his confidence comes from. Hulkenberg is highly rated in the paddock even today. Anyway, bragging about himself might not be the worst idea if he is trying to make the big teams take notice and if he has got the results to back it up…it’s something that different drivers approach in different ways.

      1. @Aaditya You’re point is well taken. Perhaps I was a bit harsh on Perez. To be clear, I think he’s a very good driver. I also understand his need to promote himself and to psyche himself up. My reaction was to: “as good as anyone”. I’ve watched him in every race he’s done in F1 and I just don’t think he’s in the same league as the top 5 or 6 drivers in F1.

    15. Please allow me to set the record straight and clarify any misunderstandings: I did the interview in Bahrain, and asked the questions because I’m confused as to why Checo’s stock seems so low given his strong performances. In his responses he was not bragging at all; he was simply responding to my questions, and if anything, seemed a little embarrassed about having to talk about himself in such depth. Indeed, he seemed almost relieved when the cross-examination was over.

      1. @dieterrencken Thank you for the clarification

      2. Do you think it’s possible that his one bad year with McLaren is still haunting him? I’ve noticed something about F1 where if a driver wins a few races in a season, people tend to assume it’s a fluke, yet if he has a bad year, it’s because he clearly isn’t fit for F1.

        1. I think it depends on the person doing the critiquing. If a person likes a driver, then those two wins are going to be viewed as him on his way up, as opposed to a fluke, which is what a non-fan of that driver, or even a fan of that drivers teammate, might say. If he has a bad year, the fan will put it down mostly to the car, and a non-fan will say he’s wasting the seat. So for sure I think his year at Mac might have set the tone for some people, especially ones who would have preferred to see someone else in that seat. In the case of Perez, he hasn’t been in a race winning position, so he is coloured by his car, so one has to look more closely to see where he has had good performances even when those haven’t really been on the radar.

      3. I hope you could include this in your next pieces. I don’t mind to read your first impression even if you feel it a little bit opinionated. This kind of insight is a great human side that added rich colour to the article.

        1. @ruliemaulana this was a news piece, not an opinion column, where I would most certainly include my observations. The only reason I clarified the issue is that the term ‘bragging’ was inferred by a reader, and I felt it unfair for that impression to linger.

          As for the headline: he did say that, so it is accurate – and up to the reader to obtain context through reading the report.

          1. Agree on the headline, I didn’t see anything wrong with it.

            I just think reporting the interviewee emotional response from the first-hand experience is a great thing. Just like your exclusive on Claire, I could feel uneasiness for her to discuss Williams condition in an unfortunate timing.

            Cheers!

      4. The headline suggests otherwise

      5. It’s a great article, thank you Dieter!

    16. Look at Hulkenberg and Sainz lol. Force India drivers have been pretty amazing compared to Red Bull drivers if that Renault battle is anything to go by.

    17. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      20th April 2018, 0:42

      Here’s Perez celebration if he joins Ferrari and wins a race:

      Gracias Chicos!!! Muchos Gracias!!!
      Gran trabajo!!! Muy muy gran Trabajo!!!

      Vamonos!!! Vamonos Ferrari!!!

      1. That’s not Spanish, that’s Google Translate

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          20th April 2018, 15:33

          @johnmilk well, how you say it? Joao is that Spanish or Portuguese? I always associate it with Joao Gilberto and his masterpiece with Stan Getz.

          1. It’s Portuguese, but I’m fluent in Spanish too

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