Montreal, 11 June 2012: An Indian-born was celebrating at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Monday morning (India time) as the biggie teams are in their own celebrations. It was the special strategy of Sauber F1 team and the driving skills of Sergio Pérez, who endured a tough time in qualifying Saturday, complaining of poor brake balance, and could only manage 15th on the grid. But in the race he maximised a one-stop strategy to vault to fourth in the closing laps sending the Indian born CEO Monisha Kaltenborn into a tizzy.
And when second-placed Fernando Alonso, who was trying to cling to a fast-degrading set of soft compound tyres, began to slow dramatically, Perez was on hand to follow Lotus’ Romain Grosjean past the Ferrari driver and claim third place.
Afterwards, the Sauber driver said he had not believed a podium was possible until he was actually past Alonso.
“Starting 15th, the last thing you would think about is ending up on the podium,” he said. “We went quite aggressive and the first stint was quite good. Then the stop was very good. The second stint was really, really good. I managed to overtake some cars in difficult manouevres. I saw that degradation was not so high for me. I could manage my pace well. Then I managed to get some other drivers.
“It’s a great result for the team after such a bad day we had yesterday,” he added. “We had a lot of trouble with the brakes. Today, it’s just great to finish here on the podium. It’s a great boost for the team. After Malaysia it’s our second time to get in the [major] points and the second podium, so hopefully we can keep this way.
“Obviously, we have been very unlucky. [Look at] what happened in Monaco for example. We were very quick there and in Barcelona as well. It’s great to come back and do a podium for the whole team and with this here being so close to home with a lot of Mexicans around, it’s great.”
The Mexican racer went on to say that the race had given him another chance to show his potential.
“In the position that I am with my team, we are still fighting to get to the top, to be a top driver one day,” he said. “It’s great, every opportunity I have to show my potential, because you don’t know how many opportunities you will have. I have been very unlucky in the last races so I think it feels great but I think the first podium feels a bit better.”
The Sauber F1 Team celebrates its second podium finish this season. Given the fact that Sergio Pérez started 15th, today’s third place finish at the Canadian Grand Prix was completely unexpected. The young Mexican was on a one stop strategy. He started on the soft tyre compound and changed after 41 of the 70 race laps to the super soft tyres. He made the most out of them and overtook one car after another. His team mate, Kamui Kobayashi, had started from a slightly better position after qualifying 11th but got stuck in traffic during the race. The team changed his strategy from what was originally planned to be two stops to one stop, which meant Kamui stayed on a set of soft tyres for 46 laps. Kamui finished ninth and contributed two points to today’s great result. The Sauber F1 Team now has 58 points to its tally and improved to sixth in the FIA Formula One World Constructors’ Championship.
Sergio Pérez: 3rd
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056)
Start on new soft tyres, after 41 laps change to new super soft
Perez of Sauber F1 team on podium in Montreal on Sunday. Sauber F1 team photo.
“When you start 15th and there is no rain or chaos you don’t really expect to finish on the podium. We were quite aggressive today. The strategy and the pit stop have been very good and I was able to overtake a few cars. I saw that for me the tyre degradation wasn’t so bad and this allowed me to manage my pace quite well. We have a quick car but since Malaysia we have been unlucky for one reason or another, and then yesterday we had such a disappointing qualifying. Today’s result is a great reward for all the guys who work hard. The last time I scored points I was also on the podium and think this is quite a nice way to do it. Also it is particularly sweet to have been at the podium ceremony here in Montreal because we are not too far from my home country and there are many Mexicans here. It is a great boost for the team and I am very pleased for everybody.”
Kamui Kobayashi: 9th
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
Start on new super soft tyres, after 24 laps change to new soft tyres.
“My car was okay today and the team deserves the good result. For me we had planned two stops, but it turned out that one stop was possible and even quicker. I started on super soft tyres and after my pit stop I did 46 laps on the set of soft tyres. I had a good race pace when the tyres were in good shape, but in the end it wasn’t easy. However, to me the most difficult thing today was traffic and I think, under the circumstances, P9 was about the maximum possible from 11th on the grid.”
Peter Sauber, Team Principal:
“What an outstanding race! It’s quite unbelievable that a driver starting from P15 is able to finish on the podium in a race without any special incidents. Today, Sergio delivered his masterpiece! Kamui was less lucky with his strategy, but he was also able to score points. Recently we haven’t been able to exploit our full potential, but today we proved we are a great team. A big thanks to everybody who worked hard to make this possible.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“It’s difficult to find the right words after this emotional finish! The race started with a bit of a question mark: How would the tyres last in the hot conditions? Mostly for this reason we split the strategy for our two cars. Honestly, I thought two stops would be the way to go. Kamui was planned to have a shorter first stint than he did, but then we realised the tyres were holding on well. Unfortunately he came back on the track behind Paul di Resta and lost some time there. He couldn’t drive at his own pace, otherwise his result could have been better. With Sergio, who started on the harder compound, we went for a longer first stint without knowing if one stop would be enough. But then things turned out nicely, and we pitted him on lap 41. At the pit stop we managed to overtake Kimi Räikkönen, and then he was able to attack some cars in front of him who’s tyres were degrading. Sergio did some good overtaking, but the key really was that he was able to manage the tyres very well. That’s one of his skills. He drove an absolutely fantastic race which delivered the well deserved reward for the whole team.”
Category: Formula1, India In F1