It's quite scary to think that Sergio Perez has now been in Formula 1 for five seasons. How time flies, and how he flies at this moment in time. There's never been any doubt regarding the potential of Checo, but is now the time that the potential is being turned into results. Not just one offs, but a string of points scoring finishes that has seen him springboard team mate Nico Hulkenberg in the standings. Is it now, dare I say, 'Checo Time'? (I'm so sorry).
We've seen flashes of just what Perez can do at the wheel of a Formula 1 car, excelling in the Sauber in 2012. He could and arguably should have won in Malaysia, and went on to take two further podiums that season in Canada and Italy. He scored on just four other occasions that season, perhaps highlighting some inconsistency you expect to see in the early years of an F1 career.
An unspectacular year at McLaren - results wise at least - left Perez in a tricky position. He'd left the Ferrari supported Sauber stable to race for what should have been a front running team, and it didn't work out. What to do next? He'd shown at Sauber what a racer and battler he could be, but where would the next door open?
That opening appeared at Force India; and boy, it didn't take him long to settle in there. How about a podium on your second start, Sergio? Sure, sounds lovely.
It kick-started a season in which the Mexican would go on to score in twelve of the eighteen races he entered -bringing with it 10th place in the final standings and marking his most consistent season in Formula 1 up until that point.
So what of 2015? With the consistency of Mercedes and Ferrari at the front, podium opportunities have been a little harder to come by. Overtaking and fighting firm but fair for position are characteristics we've come to know and love from Checo, but there's now an added element to his game.
The consistency shown by Perez over the last six races - which has seen him score 28 points and finish in the top 6 twice - means he now sits firmly in the top ten of the standings and maybe, just maybe, in the minds of team bosses up and down the pitlane?
The return of the Mexican GP is very much on the horizon. Has Checo timed his rise to the fore perfectly? One thing is for certain, Mexico City is going to be rocking on November the 1st.
by Paul Godley