Driver profile: Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez came within a whisker of scoring his maiden grand prix victory in Malaysia, only for a mistake while chasing Fernando Alonso's Ferrari to consign him to second place.
Perez's stats and facts
- Team: Sauber
- Team-mate: Kamui Kobayashi
- Nationality: Mexican
- Born: 26/01/90, Guadalajara
- Grand prix debut: Australia 2011
Despite the obvious disappointment of losing a victory that seemed to be on a plate, it was an impressive drive that merely underlined the potential the Mexican has appeared to have since he made his debut in Formula 1 last year.
Perez arrived at Sauber bankrolled by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, reputedly the world's richest man, but he soon proved he was more than a pay driver.
An eye-catching drive to a seventh-place finish in his maiden grand prix, getting to the end on just two sets of tyres, set the tone, and he continued in similarly impressive vein.
He lost some momentum with a nasty crash in qualifying at Monaco, which knocked him unconscious and forced him to miss the next race in Canada, too.
But he recovered to finish the season strongly and the good form has continued into 2012.
As a member of the Ferrari young driver programme, he is widely spoken of as a potential future driver for the legendary Italian team.
But it seems if that is true, Perez will have to wait - president Luca di Montezemolo has made it clear he wants someone more experienced as Fernando Alonso's team-mate.