His rookie season certainly wasn't dull. When Sergio Perez became the first Mexican driver in Formula 1 for 30 years, his home nation rose up in applause. The pressure of expectation in Mexico was huge, yet the now Perez faced it down and established himself - but only after overcoming one or two hurdles along the way.
In his debut in Melbourne, he brought his Sauber home in seventh place thanks to a successful strategy and his tyre-friendly driving style. And yet, as he was soon to discover, F1 giveth, F1 taketh away. Both the team's cars were later disqualified after it was deemed to have contravened the regulations. Perez was to suffer another setback in Monaco. He had just made it into the top-ten qualifying shootout for the first time when he lost control of the car and slammed into the barriers with withering force. He was left with severe concussion, forcing him to miss a few races.
And yet Perez never let his difficulties show. He battled his way successfully through what was a rollercoaster debut season, finishing in the points in five out of the 17 races he started.
Perez eventually entered the GP2 Asia and then the Main Series and in 2010, he concluded his second GP2 season as runner-up. His performances meant he signed a contract with Sauber before the final round.
Perez's father had been a racer himself and managed the career of Mexican driver Adrian Fernandez. The family's first-born son, Sergio's brother Antonio likewise became a racing driver and competes in NASCAR.