Autosport (UK) - - PIT + PADDOCK/LETTERS -

PEREZ COULD MAKE A CASE TO BE HIGHER UP this list after an­other ex­cel­lent cam­paign with Force In­dia. He is now un­doubt­edly one of the F1 mid­field’s most con­sis­tent driv­ers.

With Nico Hulken­berg moved on to pas­tures new, Perez be­came the undis­puted ref­er­ence for Force In­dia, and its new driver Este­ban Ocon, and he didn’t dis­ap­point. There was no podium this sea­son, but he amassed a three-fig­ure points tally again and fell just one point shy of match­ing his 2016 peak of 101.

Perez was nar­rowly Force In­dia’s faster driver across the bal­ance of the cam­paign too, and proved he is much more than just a good tyre man­ager. He has flour­ished into a prop­erly fast, su­per-con­sis­tent, ut­terly de­pend­able per­former. Force

In­dia feels he is op­er­at­ing at his peak.

The big ques­tion then is whether Perez has reached his ceil­ing. Ocon be­gan to turn the tide on fa­mil­iar cir­cuits and will only get bet­ter. If Perez can­not re­tain the bal­ance of power against Mercedes’ star ju­nior, hopes of an­other shot at the elite end of the grid will surely never ma­te­ri­alise.

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