An audacious one-stop strategy almost paid off for Sergio Perez.
|Kamui Kobayashi||Sergio Perez|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q2)||1’39.525 (-0.132)||1’39.657|
Sauber drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
There was to be no repeat of Kobayashi’s impressive 2010 drive in Valencia – he slumped to 16th place at the flag after being passed by Vitaly Petrov.
Technical director James Key said: “Kamui started on the soft tyres, then went on the medium in the middle stint, and tried to use the new soft tyres in the end as a two stopper. That didn?óÔé¼Ôäót quite work out.
“The medium tyres were too slow, but we didn?óÔé¼Ôäót want to run too long on the soft in the end. In hindsight maybe a three stop strategy would have been better.”
Perez wasn’t the only driver to start the race on medium tyres – but he was the only driver to stick with them long enough to make a one-stop strategy work.
He qualified 16th for his first race back from injury, a tenth of a second slower than his team mate. He started on medium tyres and dropped behind Jaime Alguersuari early on.
He persisted with the tyres despite their poor pace. He was passed by three cars on lap 17: Adrian Sutil getting by at turn 12, Nick Heidfeld on the outside of turn 17 and finally Rubens Barrichello lunged past him at the final corner.
But he stayed out until lap 25 before switching to soft tyres. Having done the longest stint of any driver on medium tyres he now did the same on soft tyres.
A string of drivers in front of him pitted, elevating him to 11th place. He briefly put Heidfeld under pressure for the final points place but dropped back in the final laps as his tyres finally started to go off and he was lapped by the leaders.
2011 European Grand Prix
- 2011 European Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your driver of the European GP weekend
- Red Bull: “Rules changed but not the result”
- Ferrari: Alonso says Red Bull up to a second faster
- McLaren: Only third-fastest in Valencia
- Mercedes: Schumacher takes blame for collision
- Toro Rosso: Alguersuari bounces back
- Sauber: Perez nearly grabs a point with one-stopper
- Renault: Boullier unhappy with single point
- Force India: Sutil cracks the top ten
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