The drilling process is one of the most important and expensive aspects of the oil and gas industry. Its economic feasibility is a direct relation to good planning that has high dependence on an accurate prediction of the rate of penetration (ROP). Knowledge of drilling performance through ROP prediction models is a vital tool in the development of a consistent drilling plan and allows industry players to anticipate issues that may occur during a drilling operation. Additionally, as some drilling parameters (such as rotary speed, weight on bit (WOB), and drilling fluid flowrate), an accurate prediction of the ROP is crucial to the optimization of drilling performance and contributes to reducing drilling costs. Several approaches to predict the drilling performance have been tried with varying degrees of success, complexity, and accuracy. In this paper, a review of the history of drilling performance prediction is conducted with emphasis on rotary drilling with fixed cutter drill bits. The approaches are grouped into two categories: physics-based and data-driven models. The paper’s main objective is to present an accurate model to predict the drilling performance of fixed cutter drill bits including the founder point location. This model was based on a physics-based approach due to its low complexity and good accuracy. This development is based on a quantitative analysis of drilling performance data produced by laboratory experiments. Additionally, the validation and applicability tests for the proposed model are discussed based on drill-off tests (DOTs) and field trials in several different drilling scenarios. The proposed model presented high accuracy to predict the fixed cutter drill bit drilling performance in the 27 different drilling scenarios which were analyzed in this paper.