In his final year at Racing Point, Sergio Perez recorded his maiden win and finished a career-best fourth in the Drivers’ Championship. Here are the facts and statistics from Perez’s 2020 season!
Sergio Perez scored more points in 2020 than in any of his other nine Formula 1 campaigns – a statistic made all the more impressive by the fact that he started only fifteen races this year. Perez was forced to miss both races at Silverstone due to testing positive for coronavirus. The highlight of his year was victory at the Sakhir Grand Prix – his first in 190 attempts, and a key factor in securing him a seat on the 2021 grid.
Perez proved to be a consistent points scorer once again in 2020, scoring on every occasion on which he finished a race. Two successive tenth place finishes at Spa and Monza were his only finishes outside of the top ten this season. In addition to his win, Perez also finished on the podium at the Turkish Grand Prix, equalling what was then his career-best result.
With Racing Point (soon to be Aston Martin) signing Sebastian Vettel in Perez’s place for 2021, it looked for a while as though Perez would be out of the sport in 2021. However, a week after the end of the 2020 season, he was announced as Alex Albon’s replacement at Red Bull for next season.
- Championship Position: 4th
- Total Points: 125
- % of teams’ points scored: 63%
- Points Scoring Races: 13
- Best finish: 1st (Sakhir)
- Number of starts: 15
- Number of non-finishes: 2
- Number of finishes: 13
- Laps Led: 26
- Laps Complete: 879
- % of Laps Complete: 84.76%
- Distance Covered: 4322.329km
- Laps Raced in the Top 10: 785
- Laps Raced in the Top 5: 480
- Laps Raced in the Top 3: 160
- Races gained positions in: 6
- Races lost positions in: 5
- Finished where started: 3
- Q3 Appearances: 12
- Q2 Exits: 2
- Q1 Exits: 1
- Best Qualifying Position: 3rd (Turkey)
- Worst Qualifying Position: 17th (Styria)
- Average Qualifying Position: 7.07
- Average Grid Position: 7.40
- Average Gap to own potential qualifying pace: +0.117s
- Achieved own ultimate pace: 3
- Beat team-mate in how many qualifying sectors: 29
- Beaten by team-mate in how many qualifying sectors: 16
- Average gap to team-mate per sector in qualifying: -0.023s
A STATISTIC FROM EVERY GRAND PRIX
Austria: Along with Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris, Sergio Perez was one of only three drivers who finished the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix in the same position as they started from. Perez recorded a new best Austrian Grand Prix qualifying result with sixth on the grid and equalled his best race result at the Red Bull Ring. He previously finished sixth on his first Austrian Grand Prix appearance in 2014.
Styria: At the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix, Sergio Perez finished in sixth place at the Red Bull Ring for a fourth time. Sixth is Perez’s best result at the circuit, though he was running in fifth place until the penultimate corner of the race. As a result of Perez failing to win the race, he overtook former team-mate Nico Hulkenberg as the driver to have started the third-most Grands Prix without scoring a victory.
Hungary: On Saturday at the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix, Sergio Perez qualified in the top four for the fourth time in his career. The Mexican has never started higher than fourth, despite qualifying on the front row at the 2016 European Grand Prix. After finishing in seventh place, Perez became the first Formula 1 driver to have scored 600 career points without winning a Grand Prix.
Britain: Sergio Perez was forced to miss the 2020 British Grand Prix after testing positive for COVID-19. It meant that his streak of nine consecutive points-scoring races – the second longest such streak of his career – came to an end. This was the first race which Perez did not start since the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix, the first race for which he did not qualify since the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix and the first race weekend which he played no part in since the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Spain: After testing negative for COVID-19, Sergio Perez became the first driver to return after an absence of exactly two races since Daniil Kvyat at the 2017 United States Grand Prix. On his return at the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix, Perez recorded his best ever Spanish Grand Prix qualifying result with fourth place. It was also his team’s best ever qualifying result here, beating their previous best from 1995, when Rubens Barrichello qualified fifth for Jordan. With fifth place in the race, Perez recorded his second top five finish at the track, having previously finished fourth in 2017.
Belgium: Sergio Perez reached Q3 at the Belgian Grand Prix for the sixth consecutive season and went on to score at Spa Francorchamps for the sixth time in the last seven years. Tenth place was his worst result at the track since his 2017 retirement.
Italy: Sergio Perez qualified in fourth place for the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, recording his team’s best Italian Grand Prix qualifying result since 2012, when Paul di Resta also qualified in fourth place. For a seventh consecutive year, Perez finished in the points at Monza. Only Lewis Hamilton has a longer active streak of points finishes at the Italian Grand Prix. Hamilton has scored in all of the last ten Monza races.
Tuscany: Sergio Perez maintained his 100% points scoring record in 2020 at the Tuscan Grand Prix. He equalled his best result of the season to date with fifth place. It was the twentieth time that the Mexican driver has finished in the top five in his career. This weekend marked Perez’s 183rd Grand Prix start, which means he equals Nick Heidfeld for second in the list of most Grand Prix starts without a victory.
Russia: Sergio Perez finished in fourth place at the 2020 Russian Grand Prix, recording his best result of the season to date and his best result since finishing on the podium at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. He maintained his record of having scored in every race which he has entered this year, and – along with Hamilton – is one of only two drivers to have scored at all seven Russian Grands Prix held since 2014. He also passed Nick Heidfeld for third in the list of most race starts without a win.
Eifel: At the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, Sergio Perez finished in fourth place for a second consecutive race. Having finished fifth at the Tuscan Grand Prix, the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix marks the first time in his career that he has finished in the top five at three consecutive races. With fourth place, Perez equalled Jordan’s best result at the track, recorded by Rubens Barrichello in 1995.
Portugal: Despite being last after the opening lap, Sergio Perez finished the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix in seventh place. Aside from his DNF at the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix, Perez has scored in every race in which he has competed since the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix.
Emilia Romagna: For only the second time in 2020, neither Racing Point driver reached Q3. Sergio Perez qualified in eleventh place, recording his first Q2 exit since the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (though he had one Q1 elimination since then, at the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix).
Turkey: Sergio Perez started the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix from third on the grid – marking the first time he has started in the top three. It was not Perez’s best ever qualifying result, however; he qualified on the front row at the 2016 European Grand Prix, but had a five-place grid penalty. In the race, Perez equalled what was then his best ever result with second place. He also finished second at the 2012 Malaysian and Italian Grands Prix. It was the ninth podium of Perez’s career, his first since the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Perez equalled the career podium tallies of Jean Behra, Peter Collins, Elio de Angelis, Eddie Cheever, Alessandro Nannini and Martin Brundle.
Bahrain: Sergio Perez reached Q3 in Bahrain for the first time since 2014. His fifth place qualification equalled both his and his team’s best-ever qualifying result at the Bahrain International Circuit. Perez was set to finish on the podium for a second race in a row, which would have been the first consecutive podium finishes of his career, but an engine failure in the closing stages left him out of the race. This was the first race Perez started this year in which he failed to score. It was Perez’s first retirement at the Bahrain Grand Prix and the first time in sixteen races at the Bahrain International Circuit that the driver starting fifth on the grid failed to score.
Sakhir: Sergio Perez took an incredible win at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix. Perez became the 110th different driver to win a World Championship Formula 1 race, doing so on his 190th race start. That’s a new record for most starts before a driver’s first win. The previous record was 130 starts, which was set by Mark Webber at the 2009 German Grand Prix. Perez became the second Mexican driver to win a Formula 1 race – the first to do so since Pedro Rodriguez at the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix, over fifty years ago. This was Perez’s first race win in 3,676 days. He took his last win just over ten years previously at the Yas Marina Circuit, winning the Abu Dhabi Feature Race in the 2010 GP2 season. Despite taking part in only fourteen races up to this point, Perez’s win meant that he had scored more points in 2020 than in any other season during his F1 career.
Abu Dhabi: Forced to start from the back due to a power unit penalty, Sergio Perez failed to reach Q3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for a third successive year. Perez was the only retiree from the Grand Prix. It was his second retirement in the last three races. 2020 is the first season in which Perez has not scored points at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2012. Of the last five newest winners in F1, four of them (Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Pierre Gasly and Perez) retired from the race after their first win.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.