Tag Archives: Sergio Perez

Barcelona testing day 3: Perez leads rain-affected session

Perez headed the timesheets in Barcelona

Perez headed the timesheets in Barcelona

Sergio Perez was fastest on the second-last day of testing in Barcelona.

The Mexican set the fastest time in the morning, edging out Jenson Button by 0.009 seconds. During the afternoon, rain began to fall, meaning that Perez’s time of 1:22.094 would stand as the fastest. Nearing the end of the day, there was reports of hail at Turn 1.

As opposed to the top two’s soft tyres, Daniel Ricciardo set his fastest lap on super-soft tyres en route to 3rd place.

Felipe Massa was 4th for Ferrari. The Italian squad raised eyebrows today after announcing that their drivers will not be talking to the media at any point during the weekend. The team’s Twitter account claimed that “The decision has been taken to keep the whole team fully focused on the job and there is not any polemic [controversial] intent behind it.”

Red Bull were the team to watch today, testing a heavily revised RB8 featuring a new exhaust layout. Mechanics were seen swarming around the car once it entered the pits, to block any photos of the new layout. Mark Webber was half a second off Perez with the updated car.

The front 9 drivers were separated by 0.8 seconds. Only Kimi Raikkonen was drastically off the pace, struggling with his steering in the morning, and setting only 43 laps across the entire day.

Meanwhile, HRT have confirmed that they will not be appearing at the final testing day tomorrow. The team still hopes to turn a wheel before Melbourne though, by doing a filming day next Monday.

Times from Barcelona day 3:

1.  Sergio Perez        Sauber C31          1:22.094   13  Laps
2.  Jenson Button       McLaren MP4-27      1:22.126   44  Laps    +0.009
3.  Daniel Ricciardo    Toro Rosso STR7     1:22.361   131 Laps    +0.061
4.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari F2012       1:22.447   122 Laps    +0.319
5.  Paul di Resta       Force India VJM05   1:22.828   108 Laps    +0.352
6.  Bruno Senna         Williams FW34       1:22.836   111 Laps    +0.386
7.  Heikki Kovalainen   Caterham CT01       1:22.893   64  Laps    +0.536
8.  Mark Webber         Red Bull RB8        1:22.978   70  Laps    +0.568
9.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes W03        1:22.932   129 Laps    +0.838
10. Kimi Raikkonen      Lotus E20           1:25.379   43  Laps    +3.285

First pictures of Sauber C31

Sauber have shown off their 2012 C31

Sauber have shown off their 2012 C31

Along with Red Bull and Toro Rosso, Sauber have released their 2012 car, the C31, today.

Just days ago, technical director James Key announced that he would be leaving the squad, posting a massive blow before the season has even started.

Regardless, the C31 has been described as “revolutionary where we had fresh ideas” by chief designer Matt Morris. He also stated that he believes that the exhaust blown diffuser ban will help the team:

"Because of the new definition in the rules we know that the disadvantages we had 
last year with a lack of the strong exhaust effect will be less of an issue for 
us now. As a result we evolved further our directions from C30 regarding the 
overall aero development of the car."
Side view of the Sauber C31

Side view of the Sauber C31

He also noted that the car will appear quite different at the first race in Melbourne, as more updates are added to the car.

Similar to last year, the car will be driven by Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez.

2011 final driver rankings: 10th – 4th

This is the third article in a 4-part series, ranking all 28 drivers of the season. This section of the ranking covers drivers such as Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

10th – Paul di Resta

Di Resta has proven to be a surprisingly fast and reliable rookie

Di Resta has proven to be a surprisingly fast and reliable rookie

Previous ranking: 13th

Review from previous ranking: “Ragged drives have lost him points, but nevertheless a decent start to his F1 career for the Scot.”

It still amazes me that Paul di Resta is in only his first year in F1 – his form makes him look like an experienced veteran.

Aside from a few scrappy rookie errors, Di Resta has been incredibly reliable and solid for a rookie, amassing the most racing laps by any driver this year. He out-qualified teammate Adrian Sutil 9 times, and held this advantage 6 times in the races.

Force India later began to split their strategies between their two drivers, which resulted in a hit-and-miss second half for Di Resta. Despite this, many have been seriously impressed with the Scot’s mature attitude and confident driving this year.

The fact that he scored points in his first 2 races, as well as 6 of the last 9, spoke volumes.

9th – Adrian Sutil

Sutil performed well, but it wasn't enough

Sutil performed well, but it wasn't enough

Previous ranking: 15th

Review from previous ranking: “If he is beaten by Di Resta in his first year, then Adrian will find himself shunted out of the way by the hotshot rookie.”

It’s both a blessing and a curse for teams to see their driver perform brilliantly while their contract is up for review. A blessing because it brings the results the team craves, a curse because the form rarely continues into the next season (see Toro Rosso).

Sutil found himself under huge pressure from rookie Di Resta, and delivered the goods fantastically in the second half of 2011. Taking season-best 6th places in home race Germany and Brazil were the highlights. It has been a complete turnaround from Germany only 2 years ago, when he bottled his first-ever points-scoring finish by clashing with Kimi Raikkonen.

He enjoyed a decent overall margin over Paul in both qualifying and the races, and rarely lost an opportunity when it was presented.

Adrian has proven himself to be much more reliable and mature than his previous driving indicated, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to retain his contract for 2012.

8th – Mark Webber

Webber tussled with the Pirelli tyres all year

Webber tussled with the Pirelli tyres all year

Previous ranking: 7th

Review from previous ranking: “Webber seems to be lacking in pace, and is at risk of being beaten (points-wise) by Alonso.”

After the end of one of his most disastrous seasons in Formula 1, it is a mystery as to how Mark Webber can pull his career around.

Webber has been completely annihilated by Sebastian Vettel in every single sector this year. While his German teammate finished in the top two 16 times, Mark could do the same only 3 times across the entire season.

He struggled massively at starts, couldn’t extract any performance from the Pirelli tyres in qualifying, and wore them out too quickly in the races. A solitary win in Brazil was barely deserved either – it was only because Vettel suffered gearbox issues.

His racecraft was hit-and-miss as well. His pass on Fernando Alonso in Spa was breathtaking, but he showed inability to adapt to the 2011 racing style in Korea, passing Lewis Hamilton just before a DRS zone, allowing the McLaren to sail past.

A charge through the field in China was fantastic to watch, but overall it was incredibly disappointing to see Webber toil with the Ferraris and McLarens rather than with his teammate.

7th – Sergio Perez

Perez is a completely different type of driver than other rookies

Perez is a completely different type of driver than other rookies

Previous ranking: 8th

Review from previous ranking: “Impressive pace has led many to praise Perez as rookie of the year.”

A crash in Monaco ruled out Perez when the Sauber car was at its best, but he has still done an immense job in his rookie year.

“Checo” made an immediate impact in F1 by scoring points on his debut, only to have them cruelly taken away after a minor technical infringement. A scrappy few races followed, particularly in China, where Sergio picked up two penalties after some questionable driving.

One of the things that has impressed me the most about Perez is his mature no-nonsense attitude. After his Monaco crash, he sensibly sat out the Canadian GP as well, after not feeling well in Friday practice. There are many drivers on the grid who would go into the Grand Prix regardless, putting themselves and their fellow drivers at risk. The fact that Perez reported side-effects from the crash up to 4 races later shows that his decision was the sensible one.

He was soon back to his best, taking a career-best 7th in Silverstone. He was vastly superior over Kamui Kobayashi in qualifying, and was very competent at adapting to the Pirelli tyres. The fact that he is already being lined up for a Ferrari drive is a signal of his prowess.

6th – Lewis Hamilton

Undoubtedly the worst season of Hamilton's career

Undoubtedly the worst season of Hamilton's career

Previous ranking: 4th

Review from previous review: “Hamilton needs to ease off at times, and learn which battles to fight and which to avoid.”

My prediction for Lewis Hamilton could not have been more wrong – it’s been an incredibly difficult year for the former world champion.

Needless clashes, spats with the stewards, tussling with a superior teammate, and apparent overwhelming personal issues all dogged Lewis in 2011. He hasn’t lost his racing ability, as shown by excellent driving in China, Spain and Germany. However, it was clear that Hamilton was surrounded by the wrong people.

The decision to hire a celebrity manager rather than a sporting one took its toll – Lewis was making 3 media/sponsor appearances every single day for a 3 week period at one point. His frustration took to the track, and several shunts with Felipe Massa in Monaco was just the beginning of a fracas that would last the entire season.

As well as the collisions with Massa, Monaco proved to be the worst race of the year. Hitting Pastor Maldonado near the end provoked another penalty from the stewards, and Lewis didn’t hold back in his criticism afterwards.

To make matters worse, the fact that Jenson Button had improved to become an increasingly competitive teammate proved calamitous. In Canada, relations were tense after the two collided in the treacherous conditions.

However, we must not forget that Lewis was still able to show his talents this year. He was completely deserving in every race he won, and pushed Vettel to the flag in Spain, where Red Bull have dominated so much in the past. Wonderful passes in China and Germany were a demonstration of how good a driver he is.

It’s absolutely certain that Hamilton has the pace to win championships, all he has to do is calm down. But that’s easier said than done.

5th – Michael Schumacher

A notable improvement from Schumacher this year

A notable improvement from Schumacher this year

Previous ranking: 10th

Review from previous ranking: “Further improvement this year would be the main aim for Schumacher.”

It’s been more than improvement for Schumacher – he has seriously upped his game, and pushed Nico Rosberg in nearly every way to the final race in Brazil.

Ending the season only 13 points behind Rosberg, it’s been an impressive year for Schumacher. He deserved a well-earned podium in Canada, only for an oversized DRS zone to rip it out of his hands.

Poor qualifying was his hindrance, but he frequently made it up in the races. Michael has set 116 overtakes this season, more than any other driver. Of course, this stat is skewed in the fact that Rosberg was unable to make up much places, while Schumacher would ascend from the depths of Q2, but it is still an impressive statistic.

It’s no secret that Schumacher’s side of the garage is 100% geared towards defeating Rosberg. There is apparently a growing tension in the team as both sides do their best to out-perform the other. It will be very interesting to see how the German duo battle it out in 2012, but much of it will hinge on the car.

4th – Nico Rosberg

Rosberg needs better machinery to show his potential

Rosberg needs better machinery to show his potential

Previous ranking: 5th

Review from previous ranking: “Consistently beating Schumacher will do his reputation a world of good.”

Another year, another lacklustre car at Rosberg’s disposal. It’s a wonder why he puts up with it.

While he was unable to completely dominate Schumacher in the points total, Rosberg completely out-classed his fellow German in qualifying pace. While Michael’s races were spattered with retirements, Nico has cleanly and consistently been taking points finishes by the truckload.

His points margin over Schumacher was reduced this year compared to 2010, but that was to be expected after a torrid campaign last time around from the 7-times champion.

Rosberg is completely capable of mixing it with the frontrunners whenever the opportunity arises, such as Spa or China. He has led quite a few Grands Prix, but the lack of pace from the W02 has constantly held him back from crossing the chequered flag first.

The start of next season will be similar to the start of 2011 – many will be looking to see does Mercedes deliver on its long-awaited frontrunning car. I’m also looking forward to that day – but mostly to see can Rosberg show what he’s really made of.

Hamilton penalised en route to leading India first practice

Hamilton set the fastest time in first practice

Hamilton set the fastest time in first practice

Lewis Hamilton headed the first ever official practice session for the Indian Grand Prix – but suffered a grid penalty in the process.

Hamilton set a flying lap at the very end of the session, putting him half a second ahead of anyone else, but sped through Turn 16 under double-waved yellows, resulting in a penalty from the stewards.

Lewis will be dropped 3 places on the grid, with Sergio Perez receiving the same penalty for the same action.

The red flag was out within minutes of the session beginning, as a stray dog wandered onto the track. Once the session restarted, Karun Chandhok (who will only participate in Practice 1) and Narain Karthikeyan led proceedings.

Pastor Maldonado's stray Williams soon caught out Hamilton and Perez

Pastor Maldonado's stray Williams soon caught out Hamilton and Perez

Fernando Alonso was out of the session early, with the Ferrari losing power. Felipe Massa was handed the Spaniard’s new front wing, which has since caused controversy, as it has been seen vibrating and showering sparks through Turn 4.

Pastor Maldonado pulled over near the end of the session, causing double-waved yellows, which consequently caused Hamilton and Perez’s penalties.

The Red Bulls were 2nd and 3rd, over half a second behind Hamilton. Jenson Button was a further second behind Vettel and Webber, with Michael Schumacher 5th.

Indian drivers Chandhok and Karthikeyan were 19th and 22nd in their respective Lotus and HRT cars.

Times from Friday practice 1:

01.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1:26.836    	     22
02.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1:27.416   0.580   23
03.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1:27.428   0.592   27
04.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:28.394   1.558   23
05.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1:28.531   1.695   23
06.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1:28.542   1.706   29
07.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1:28.644   1.808   22
08.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:28.705   1.869   23
09.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:29.219   2.383   24
10.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1:29.355   2.519   29
11.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1:29.700   2.864   24
12.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                1:29.705   2.869   22
13.  Bruno Senna           Renault                1:29.799   2.963   20
14.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1:30.132   3.296   25
15.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:30.367   3.531   21
16.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:30.566   3.730   19
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth      1:30.699   3.833   22
18.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault          1:30.818   3.982   22
19.  Karun Chandhok        Lotus-Renault          1:32.487   5.651   24
20.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth           1:32.771   5.935   24
21.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1:33.928   7.092   27
22.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth        1:34.113   7.277   30
23.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth        1:35.896   8.960   19
24.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1:35.899   9.063    4

Mexico to return to Grand Prix calendar?

After a 20-year absense from the F1 calendar, rumours are abound that a revival of the Mexican Grand Prix is being planned.

The main people involved appear to be CIE, a Mexican entertainment company, as well as Carlos Slim Domit, son of Carlos Slim – the world’s richest man. Previously this year, Slim’s company Telmex organised a sponsorship deal with the Sauber team.

One of the venues being investigated is the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, which has hosted 15 Grands Prix in the past. However, there are several problems with this track. Firstly, the surface of the track is reported to be extremely bumpy, which would render Formula 1 cars useless.

Secondly, the high altitude (2.285 km above sea level) would cause considerable problems for teams. The thinner air would be a hindrance to drivers, as well as engine air intakes. It has been confirmed that a large upgrade of track facilities would be necessary in order for Formula 1 to return here.

According to Reuters, the other option at the moment seems to be a new street circuit, located in Guadalajara. This city has been praised for huge economic potential, as well as a large young population. It has been touted as a “city of the future”. However, no concrete circuit plan has been drawn up yet.

Mexico currently has its first Formula 1 driver since Héctor Rebaque back in 1981.

Perez and Kobayashi to remain at Sauber for 2012

Both Perez and Kobayashi have impressed this year

Both Perez and Kobayashi have impressed this year

Sauber have retained both rookie Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi for the 2012 season.

Perez has had a difficult season so far, missing out on several races after his crash in Hungary. However, he has performed very well in the races, with the best tyre conservation record on the grid.

Kobayashi will start his 3rd season with Sauber next year, the team that rescued his career after the collapse of Toyota. Kamui is well known for his spectacular offensive overtaking moves.

Team principal Peter Sauber has stated:

"We are very pleased with our drivers.

Kamui has grown into his role extremely well this year. Though it is only his second 
full Formula One season, he is already taking on the responsibilities that naturally 
fall to the more experienced driver in the team.

We are delighted with him at both a sporting and a personal level. We had an option 
of working with him in 2012 and there was never any doubt that we would take it.

Sergio has achieved more than one could expect from a rookie. From the very first 
race he proved that he is capable of driving not only fast but consistently as well.

And after the accident in Monaco he demonstrated that he can handle difficult 
situations too. From the outset we had already signed a contract with Sergio that 
went beyond 2011. With a rookie that always entails a certain risk, of course, but 
clearly it has paid off."

2011 mid-way driver rankings: 14 – 6

Here is part 2 of the mid-season review of all the Formula 1 drivers. This article tackles drivers ranked 14th up to 6th.

14 – Felipe Massa

Massa has found himself being beaten by all his rivals

Massa has found himself being beaten by all his rivals

Ranking in 2010: 14th

Review from 2010 ranking: “No race wins, no pole positions, no fastest laps, and no hope for 2012 if he doesn’t improve fast.”

To lag behind Sebastian Vettel in 2011 is to be expected. But to have only a quarter of the German’s points, while driving a Ferrari, is nothing short of laughable.

This year was where the Pirelli tyres would leap Massa back through the field. Nothing of the sort has occurred. Take the Spanish Grand Prix for example – Fernando Alonso tussled for the lead in the early stages, while Massa was being beaten by the Force Indias in the envious battle for 10th.

With less than half of Alonso’s points, and not even a sniff at a podium finish, Felipe has been completely dominated. He has yet to out-qualify Fernando at any point in 2011.

While it would be incredibly difficult for Ferrari to find a driver as talented as Alonso, they need a second driver who can consistently take podiums, not struggle for 6th.

13 – Paul di Resta

Di Resta has had a solid start in F1

Di Resta has had a solid start in F1

Ranking in 2010: N/A

Review from 2010 ranking: N/A

Ragged drives have lost him points, but nevertheless a decent start to his F1 career for the Scot.

Di Resta’s best performances so far have been in qualifying, as he has out-qualified teammate Sutil 7 times in 9 races, with over 0.6 seconds in the average gap between the two.

However, despite spending more laps in front of Sutil than vice-versa, Paul has struggled for results, with only 2 points to his name. He was on course for a large points haul in Britain, before a tyre mix-up ruined his chances.

Poorly-judged moves, particularly in Monaco and Canada, have also cost Di Resta. However, with more consistency and experience, he may be able to challenge Sutil in the driver’s championship.

12 – Jaime Alguersuari

Alguersuari has improved in recent races

Alguersuari has improved in recent races

Ranking in 2010: 19th

Review from 2010 ranking: “Three points finishes is all he could do, with a car that never really looked like pushing for points.”

Alguersuari came very close to being replaced, but several good drives have rescued his career.

3 points-scoring finishes in a row have kept Jaime his Toro Rosso race seat from going to Daniel Ricciardo. The Spaniard now lies one point ahead of Sebastien Buemi.

His qualifying results have been poor, but in recent races Alguersuari has been able to turn Q1 knockouts into points on race day.

Both of the Toro Rosso drivers’ futures still hang in the balance though, so it will be interesting to see which driver ends the season on top.

11 – Nick Heidfeld

Heidfeld has not performed up to expectations

Heidfeld has not performed up to expectations

Ranking in 2010: 16th (Only 5 races)

Review from 2010 ranking: “He will need to work fast just to get a drive for next year.”

Hailed as a consistent replacement for the injured Kubica, Heidfeld has not had the required impact at Renault so far.

The German has only just taken the lead in the championship standings battle with Vitaly Petrov. With 11 years of F1 experience, much more was expected, especially going up against a rookie driver.

Heidfeld has been soundly beaten in qualifying, being knocked out in Q1 on more than one occasion. Reliable driving as always has helped him in the races, but a lack of raw pace is holding Nick back.

10 – Michael Schumacher

Driver errors are still an issue for Schumacher

Driver errors are still an issue for Schumacher

Ranking in 2010: 12th

Review from 2010 ranking: “Schumacher’s 2011 campaign entirely hinges on the W02.”

Expected to be soundly beaten this year, Michael Schumacher has surprised some by showing much improvement from last year.

While his qualifying record against Nico Rosberg is still extremely poor, race day has allowed Schumacher to make huge progress, often held back by misfortune.

Punctures in Australia and Britain, DRS difficulties in China, as well as being swamped near the end of the Canadian GP, show that Michael’s points tally doesn’t reflect his occasionally great drives this year.

12 points is a gap that could be easily bridged with good luck. Further improvement this year would be the main aim for Schumacher.

9 – Vitaly Petrov

Petrov has improved compared to last year

Petrov has improved compared to last year

Ranking in 2010: 10th

Review from 2010 ranking: “2011 should see Petrov improve even more.”

A first-ever podium in Australia, followed by leading Heidfeld for most of this year – 2011 has not gone badly for the Russian.

Consistently out-qualifying Nick, often by huge margins, shows that Petrov has improved alongside Renault this year. However, it is still apparent that neither driver could hold a candle to Robert Kubica, who surely would be dicing it with the Red Bulls at this stage.

The hot-blown diffuser crackdown has hugely hurt the team, so expect to see Petrov and Heidfeld slip down the order. Still, it will be up to Petrov to take the majority of Renault’s points this year.

8 – Sergio Perez

Perez is arguably the rookie of the year

Perez is arguably the rookie of the year

Ranking in 2010: N/A

Review from 2010 ranking: N/A

Already a master of the 1-stop strategy, impressive pace has led many to praise Perez as rookie of the year.

With 7th place in his first ever F1 race, his talent was clearly apparent. Poor luck in Malaysia and China held him back, before another points finish in Spain.

His year was disrupted by a heavy crash in Monaco, ruling him out for 2 races. However, the smash did nothing to faze the Mexican, taking 11th on his return, then a career-best 7th in Britain.

A large tally of points could have been taken in Monaco and Canada, so Perez’s current total doesn’t reflect his excellent performances so far.

Two energetic rookies may not seem like an intelligent combo, but it has worked wonders for Sauber so far. With luck, Perez could even challenge to finish in the top 10 in the championship.

7 – Mark Webber

Webber has been dominated by his teammate

Webber has been dominated by his teammate

Ranking in 2010: 2nd

Review from 2010 ranking: “Dominant at times, disappointing at others, but still a wonderful campaign.”

While Sebastian Vettel continues to rip up tarmac at the front, Mark Webber seems to be lacking in pace, and is at risk of being overtaken by Fernando Alonso. What’s going on?

It’s not like the days of Ferrari domination, though. Back then, when Schumacher crushed his opponents to win, Barrichello would come around in 2nd place. This year, a single 2nd place is all Webber can muster so far.

In Australia, for example, Mark had absolutely no pace. His first pole position (Spain) was ruined by a bad start, relegating him to 4th after the chequered flag.

Webber has had good moments though. A spirited charge through the field in China saw him take 15 places back after a qualifying disaster.

However, his second pole saw him suffer a similar fate, slipping to 3rd during the race.

On the plus side, the Australian is yet to finish outside the top 5. Still, that doesn’t mean much when your teammate hasn’t fallen lower than 2nd at any point.

6 – Kamui Kobayashi

Kobayashi is as impressive as ever

Kobayashi is as impressive as ever

Ranking in 2010: 9th

Review from 2010 ranking: “Kobayashi has breathed fresh life into Formula 1 with his “unique” [driving] style.

Still as exciting to watch as ever, Kobayashi continues to punch well above his weight with scintillating drives.

If people were asked which car was quicker – the Mercedes or the Sauber – there would be little doubt that the Mercedes has much better pace. Because of this, seeing Kobayashi only 3 points behind 7-time world champion Schumacher will demonstrate how much Kamui is extracting from the car.

6 points finishes in a row is much better and more consistent than many drivers – only the Red Bulls, McLarens and Alonso can claim better records.

While teammate Perez is taking headlines for his special 1-stoppers, Kobayashi tends to take the 2-stop route. Compared to the rest of the grid, both Perez and Kobayashi have taken the least pit stops this year, which is a massive advantage.

Like Perez, a top 10 finish in the championship is well within Kamui’s reach.

De la Rosa replaces Perez for Canada

Pedro de la Rosa, pictured here in 2010, will replace Sergio Perez in Canada

Pedro de la Rosa, pictured here in 2010, will replace Sergio Perez in Canada

Pedro de la Rosa will replace Sergio Perez for the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Perez was involved in a heavy shunt in Monaco qualifying, and was ruled out of the race. He returned to the cockpit in Friday practice today, but withdrew after the first session, after he reported feeling sick.

As a precaution, the team have decided to replace him for this weekend. Regular test driver Esteban Gutierrez was not in Montreal this weekend, so he has lost his chance to drive an F1 car for the first time.

A statement from Perez reads as follows:

"Of course I wanted to drive and I had no doubt I was alright. 
But apparently this is unfortunately not the case.

I am deeply disappointed. I spoke to the team after the session 
and told them that I’m not a hundred per cent fit. I only want 
to drive when I’m a hundred per cent well. I need some more time 
to recover."

McLaren have allowed their reserve driver De la Rosa the chance to drive the C30 this weekend.

De la Rosa drove for Peter Sauber’s outfit last year, before he was dumped with 5 races to go, and replaced by Nick Heidfeld.

Perez hospitalised after heavy shunt

Sergio Perez crashed out of Q3 in Monaco qualifying

Sergio Perez crashed out of Q3 in Monaco qualifying

Sergio Perez has been injured after a high-speed crash in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Sauber rookie lost control under braking at Turn 10 (Nouvelle Chicane), and slammed sideways into the barriers at well over 100mph.

Perez has been transferred to a hospital in Nice. Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn has reported that he  is complaining of a headache, and is suffering from pain in his right leg, but otherwise is believed to be conscious and in good condition.

If he is in appropriate conditon to race, he will start in 10th place, after failing to set a time in Q3. Teammate Kamui Kobayashi is in 13th.

Interestingly, race director Charlie Whiting ordered the removal of the speed bumps at Turn 10 earlier this afternoon, after Nico Rosberg bounced over them in a similar, but less serious, crash. Jenson Button has since praised Whiting for the call, claiming Perez’s car could have been launched if the bumps had remained.

Update: Perez will remain in hospital overnight with a suspected concussion and sprained thigh, but no fractures or broken bones have been detected.

Sauber drop appeal against disqualification

Sauber's disqualification will stand

Sauber's disqualification will stand

Sauber have announced that they are not to appeal their team’s disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix.

Both their drivers had done well to get into points-scoring positions, but the stewards have since ruled that the C30′s rear wing contained illegal sections. It has been confirmed that a radius on the upper rear wing element was several millimetres outside of the regulations.

Despite claiming that Kobayashi and Perez gained no advantage from the rear wing, Sauber have decided to go with the stewards’ decision. Technical director James Key stated:

"It did not bring us any performance advantage, but the fact is that it was a 
deviation from the regulations. We take note of the stewards' decision.

We have since found that there was an error in the checking process for the 
relevant dimension on this component. We have already put measures in place to 
ensure that nothing of this kind occurs again in the future."

 

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