Sergio Perez was having a drive of his life a year ago in Monaco. I was stunned at his pace around the principality and commented quite strongly how his performance made me a fan and showed a true sign of a man who will be a contender...then he hit the wall.
Suffering from a concussion, Perez took time to recover before stepping back into his Sauber race car and has, according to Sauber's website, become a different man:
"To me it is like a watershed event in my career. There is a time before and a time after the accident.
"I learnt a lot from what I had to go through and I think it made me stronger. I really want to show what I can do in Monte Carlo."
Suffering a crash such as Perez's can change a person and head injuries/concussions are very serious matters. One would be forgiven for being a tad more cautious and lifting the throttle early than what you otherwise would have. That isn't the case for Perez as he has put in some stellar performances since Monaco 2011 and is even tipped as a possible replacement for the struggling Felipe Massa at Ferrari (yes, rumors abound but they are, in the end, rumors).
Now, Perez is looking forward to show what he can do:
"This grand prix is the most special one for me.
"I have been waiting to race in the Monaco Grand Prix all my life and, of course, after what happened last year I am looking forward to it even more.
"I strongly believe on this track the driver can make more of a difference than on any other.
"As a team we are in good shape and I want to keep that momentum for Monaco. I also think our car can perform quite well on that unique circuit."
If he can keep it off the wall, his pace there last year was astonishing and this years Sauber is even better. Keep your eye out for the man who was bitten by Monaco and has a score to settle.
Follow Todd McCandless on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@formula1blog